by Matthew Nesto Two members of the Boston City Council on Monday proposed a new 6 percent real-estate transfer fee on the sale of high-value commercial and investment properties to curb speculation and preserve affordable housing. In a petition that was prefiled ahead of a full board consideration Wednesday, Boston City Councilors Lydia Edwards and Kim Janey — the chairwoman and vice chairwoman of the Housing and Community Development Committee, respectively — proposed the new fee as a way to curb speculation as well as address the city’s affordability and displacement crisis. "Boston residents are struggling as our economy booms, and our homes have become the new stock market," Edwards said in an emailed statement. "This legislation will curb real estate speculation and generate millions to build and preserve affordable housing." If adopted, the proposal would establish an “investor and commercial properties transfer fee” that would see both the buyer and seller of real estate valued at more than $2 million subject to a 3 percent levy. In addition, a fee of up to 25 percent would also be applied on so-called “flippers,” who resell a property less than two years after its purchase. While the proposal targeted high-value real estate transactions, it would exempt property transfers between family members and owner-occupied homes. It called for 100 percent of the revenue generated by the transfer fee to be deposited in the Neighborhood Housing Trust Fund to be used for affordable housing. Real estate investors said there’s no question Boston and the surrounding areas are facing a shortage of affordable housing, but felt the transfer fee proposal was not the way to solve the problem. “Adding an additional tax will not result in more housing,” said Tamara Small, CEO of the Massachusetts chapter of the Commercial Real Estate Development Association. “We should be doing everything possible to encourage investment in Boston — not disincentivize growth.” Small said property taxes from commercial and residential projects fund important services such as police officers and teachers. On the matter of property taxes, Edwards voiced concern Monday to a panel of housing advocates, that 70 percent of the city’s revenue currently comes from one source — property taxes — but stressed her proposal would only impact the speculative part of the market and generate as much as $175 million a year. While the city council gets set to look into this petition, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh was pursuing a housing agenda of his own, as are other elected officials at the state level. For example, SD.334 was filed Friday by state Sen. Joseph Boncore, D-Winthrop, and would authorize local communities to levy real estate transfer fees up to 2 percent to fund qualified affordable housing programs. But even though the issue of fixing and funding the affordable housing problem was gaining attention, policymakers such as Edwards suggested the crisis, as currently calculated, is actually worse than commonly characterized. “Area median income” data used by the city to factor Boston’s housing costs and affordability rules includes the earnings of many affluent communities in the region, which Edwards said pushed average household income closer to $100,000, rather than the $40,000 level where she thinks it actually belongs. “Too much of the affordable housing we do have isn't affordable enough,” Edwards said in a Facebook post announcing her bill, adding her desire was to see affordability redefined through a different lens.