Annapolis, Md. – Coastal Association of REALTORS® (CAR) members and staff traveled to Annapolis on Monday, March 2 to join about 600 REALTORS® from across the state in a rally to oppose legislation that would apply a new sales tax to professional services.

(From left) Mechelle Smith of Coldwell Banker Residential in Salisbury, Steve Parsons of Coldwell Banker Residential in Salisbury, Terrence McGowan of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty in Ocean City, Bernie Flax of EXIT Realty At The Beach in Ocean Pines, Don Bailey of Coldwell Banker Residential in Salisbury, CAR Executive Vice President Page Browning, Grace Masten of Sea Grace at North Beach REALTORS® in Ocean City, Susan Warthen of Long & Foster Real Estate in Salisbury, and Austin Whitehead of Whitehead Real Estate Executives in Salisbury.

House Bill 1628 – titled “Sales and Use Tax – Rate Reduction and Services” – reduces the Maryland sales tax rate from six percent to five percent, but applies the tax to professional services, which includes real estate services, among countless others. The new tax – which is projected to raise $2.9 billion annually and is slated to fund the Kirwan Commission’s ‘Blueprint for Maryland’s Future’ bill – is the largest tax increase in Maryland’s history.

According to a study commissioned by Maryland REALTORS®, Maryland real estate’s fiscal contributions to local governments totaled $9.4 billion in fiscal year 2018. This amount is more than the total local appropriations for Maryland public schools, which is just under $8 billion.

Sales and use taxes, according to Maryland REALTORS®, are particularly regressive in a home transaction because sellers and buyers already pay multiple sales and use taxes. Most Marylanders pay eight taxes related to their home: a state transfer tax, a local transfer tax, a recordation tax, a recording fee, a state property tax, a county property tax, the Bay Restoration Fund fee, and a stormwater fee.

“CAR went to Annapolis this week to ensure the REALTOR® voice is loud and clear on this bill: $9.4 billion is enough,” said CAR President Joe Wilson. “Our association stands with Maryland REALTORS® in its opposition to this bill that reaches into the pockets of every single Marylander, especially our members and their clients.”

For more information about CAR, call 410-641-4409 visit

More about Coastal Association of REALTORS®

The Coastal Association of REALTORS® is fortunate enough to represent over 1,000 real estate professionals in Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester Counties. These members are engaged, informed, and active in their communities. They support the American dream of homeownership, as well as the purchase and use of all types of real property. They are local. They are accurate. They are trusted. They are REALTORS® and affiliate members.

For more information on Coastal, visit The term REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark unique to real estate professionals who are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribe to its strict Code of Ethics.

MEDIA CONTACT: Sarah Rayne / 410-641-4409 /