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REALTOR Party News – April 2019

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April Highlights Fair Housing and Tax Day

April is Fair Housing Month. As stewards of the right to own, use, and transfer private property, REALTORS® understand that fair housing protects the real estate industry and our businesses. In short, fair housing makes us stronger. It’s also four days until Tax Day. If you still haven’t filed, we encourage you to review What REALTORS® Need to Know About the New Tax Law and other resources available to you READ MORE

By The Numbers

The net gain of new Hispanic homeowners in 2018, according to the 2018 State of Hispanic Homeownership Report from the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP). This raised the Hispanic homeownership rate from 46.2 percent in 2017 to 47.1 percent in 2018 and was the largest net gain for Hispanics since 2005. LEARN MORE

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The percentage of LGBT renters who said they fear discrimination in their future homebuying process according to a new study conducted by the National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals (NAGLREP). NAGLREP used the survey’s findings to call for support of the recently reintroduced Equality Act in Congress, which is aligned to NAR’s Code of Ethics. If passed, the bill would amend the Fair Housing Act and several other civil rights laws to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in seven key areas.LEARN MORE

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The percentage gap in homeownership between African Americans and non-Hispanic Caucasians between 2015 and 2016 according to the National Association of Real Estate Brokers’ (NAREB) 2018 State of Housing in Black America report. This is the highest it has been in the new millennium. NAR supports NAREB’s Two Million in Five initiative to expand African American homeownership, and is working closely with the NAREB and the Urban Institute to develop strategies NAR can use to support this effort..LEARN MORE

The REALTOR® Party At Work

Highlighted here are a few of the many REALTOR® Party success stories across the nation. These and others are catalogued in the Success Stories section on REALTORParty.realtor.

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Bay East REALTORS® Mobilize on Short Notice to Fight Just-Cause Evictions

With an important rental housing regulation hanging in the balance, the Bay East Association of REALTORS® launched a REALTOR® Party Mobile Alert campaign using the Advocacy Everywhere program, mobilizing more than 175 recipients to contact the City Council in a span of less than 48 hours.

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Royal Palm Coast REALTOR® Association Keeps Redundant and Burdensome Zoning at Bay

In the last three years, more than 45 municipalities across Florida have modified their vacation rental ordinances to be more restrictive. In Cape Coral, a seasonal residence for many homeowners, REALTORS® made use of the Land Use Initiative and issue campaign to urge City Hall to keep additional restrictions off the books.

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Charlotte REALTOR® Association Dives Deep into Regional State of Housing

Like so many U.S. urban centers, Charlotte, N.C., is facing an affordable housing crisis. To help housing stakeholders understand the full scope of the complex issue as it affects the whole region, the Charlotte Regional REALTOR® Association used a Housing Opportunity Grant to commission a State of Housing study that analyzed factors like jobs, housing supply, and affordability.

Resources & Opportunities

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April is Fair Housing Month

This April continue to build on last year’s Fair Housing celebration. Share your Fair Housing stories online and on social media, and visit www.fairhousing.realtor for resources and information. LEARN MORE

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REALTORS® Testify in Congress on Finance, Tech, and Flood

Register today for the 2019 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo, May 13-18, in Washington, D.C. Take an active role to advance the real estate industry, public policy and the association. Plus, NAR cleared the schedule between the hours of 2:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 15, and we want to see YOU on the Hill Wednesday afternoon! Contact your state association for information on your state delegation’s Hill visit. WATCH

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2019 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo

Register today for the 2019 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo, May 13-18, in Washington, D.C. Take an active role to advance the real estate industry, public policy and the association. Plus, NAR cleared the schedule between the hours of 2:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 15, and we want to see YOU on the Hill Wednesday afternoon! Contact your state association for information on your state delegation’s Hill visit. LEARN MORE

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Show Your RPAC Pride Online

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the REALTORS® Political Action Committee. Add a special graphic overlay to your social media profile picture (click on Add Your Photo). Then check out the map to see profile pics of your REALTOR® colleagues from across the country. LEARN MORE

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2019 REALTOR® Party Resource Guide

Check out the 2019 REALTOR® Party Association Resource Guide to learn about resources for community outreach, candidate and issue campaigns, RPAC and political fundraising, member and consumer mobilization, and much more. Also, review the programs and resources that qualify for the new Vote, Act, and Invest Core Standards’ requirements.

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Join the REALTOR® Party Online

Are you posting, liking, tweeting or pinning? So is the REALTOR® Party. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube to get the latest news, information and resources.

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Charlotte REALTORS®Dive Deep into Regional State of Housing

Every day, an estimated 60 to 70 people move to Charlotte, North Carolina. Nice as it is to be popular, the city is learning that unless it plans accordingly, the fast-paced growth resulting from its desirability will present some real challenges moving forward. To get a handle on the current status of housing in the region, community leaders and local elected officials turned to the REALTORS® for help.

“We’re fortunate in having an excellent resource in the real estate department at the University of North Carolina (UNC) Charlotte,” says Terri Marshall, Executive Director of the Housing Opportunity Foundation associated with the Charlotte Regional REALTOR® Association (CRRA). In 2017, CRRA’s leadership approached the university’s Childress Klein Center for Real Estate and asked if it would undertake a five-year study of the state of housing in the greater Charlotte region. The initial report, released in February 2019 and clocking in at more than 80 pages, provides a valuable benchmark analysis of the city and eight surrounding counties. In addition to funding from a REALTOR® Party Housing Opportunity Grant, CRRA contributed eight-counties’ worth of MLS data to the project – and will continue to do so for another five years. The overriding finding, says Marshall, is that “We’re just not delivering enough housing, and the supply crunch is driving prices up steadily, at all levels of owner-occupied and rental housing.”

Joe Padilla, CRRA’s Government Affairs Director who worked closely with Marshall on the effort, explains that because affordable housing concerns are not limited to the city of Charlotte itself, it was important to take the outlying counties into account: “As the report states up front, no analysis of the Charlotte market would be complete without understanding its suburban markets. We share a responsibility to develop ample affordable housing for the growing population. If a county’s not allowing homes to be constructed at price points that are accessible to buyers at all income levels, it’s going to face difficulties down the road,” he notes, adding, “The report is generally positive, but it’s a wake-up call for all of us, as well as a road map.”

In committing five years’ support to the study, the REALTORS® were joined by a strong coalition of partners including the Foundation for the Carolinas, the Piedmont Public Policy Institute, the Charlotte Housing Authority, and numerous other industry leaders. The initial study was rolled out at the Summit on the State of Housing in Charlotte in February, an event that drew more than 300 participants – with more on a waiting list. “UNC is a research organization, and the study is the presentation of its findings, not a policy paper,” says Marshall. She adds, “But the Childress Klein Center did a phenomenal job of putting two panels together for the summit, and that was where stakeholders and city leaders began to talk policy. It brought about the most unifying discussions I’ve encountered in a very long time. Our involvement in the process has positioned the REALTORS® to be, more than ever, the voice of housing in Charlotte.”

“This has filled a real need,” agrees Padilla. “As our community leaders are planning and looking ahead, they can refer to this benchmark report and say, ‘What does the UNC study say?’” He notes that the effort complements Charlotte’s pro-active and responsible stance towards its housing challenges: a major affordable housing bond was recently approved on the ballot in Charlotte, and each year as the successive UNC studies are released, annual roll-out summits will focus on policies, solutions, and next-steps. For his part, he is hoping to expand the study’s impact by bringing some of the UNC study’s authors out in to the surrounding counties to meet with local chambers of commerce, REALTORS®, and homebuilder associations. “It would be great to sit down together and focus on the data specific to each county. The analysis has been done; now it’s time to share in a meaningful and productive way!”

View the complete report online.

To learn more about how the REALTORS® of Charlotte are working to address the affordable housing crisis in their region, contact Terri Marshall, Executive Director of the Housing Opportunity Foundation of the Charlotte Regional REALTOR® Association, at 704-940-3148; or Joe Padilla, its Government Affairs Director, at 704-940-3174.

 

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Royal Palm Coast REALTOR® Association Keeps Redundant, Burdensome Zoning at Bay

In the last three years, more than 45 municipalities across Florida have modified their vacation rental ordinances to be more restrictive. In Cape Coral, a seasonal residence for many homeowners, REALTORS® aided by a Land Use Initiative led a successful charge to keep additional restrictions off the books.

The rush to update ordinances covering vacation rental issues is explained by Chris Lopez, Public Policy Director of the 7,300-member Royal Palm Coast REALTOR® Association, which serves two counties along the Gulf Coast:  “It became evident several years ago that there was a big gap in ordinances dealing with the technology that brought us all the on-line booking platforms. The instinct seems to be to create a whole raft of new ordinances addressing the perceived ‘threat,’ rather than investigating the suitability of what already exists in local code. City Councils also reflexively jump on the ‘gap’ as a funding opportunity, where they could impose registration fees, fines for violations, and collect business and rental taxes on these properties. Our goal has been to minimize this excessive government involvement.”

Faced with a proposed new set of such ordinances, the Royal Palm Coast REALTORS® applied for a Land Use Initiative review by NAR consultants. “It’s always my first step, in cases like this,” says Lopez, noting that, “if we can use this legal expertise in early conversations with city leaders, we may be able to head-off expensive efforts for both sides down the road. Having the national and state framework that NAR consultants provided was extremely persuasive in these meetings, and in workshop settings when we seek to re-draft legislation, and in support of our testimony during public hearings. It’s a powerful ace-up-the-sleeve.”

The REALTORS®’ strongest objection to the Cape Coral proposal was that most of the concerns it attempted to address were already covered by existing city ordinances. “We have regulations regarding noise. We have rules about parking, and trash collection, and property upkeep. All these issues can be effectively managed with a call to the police. There is simply no need to duplicate the legislation by adding a redundant layer just for vacation homes.” Beyond that, the economic burden that the new rules would impose on affected property owners and businesses could be onerous. After a good faith effort at workshopping the proposed Cape Coral ordinance with city staff and a like-minded coalition of organizations, including Airbnb and the Florida Vacation Rental Managers Association, the REALTORS® found that they still could not support the resulting compromise language.

At that point, reports Lopez, they mobilized REALTOR® members and the general public with a mailing. “At the second public hearing on the ordinance, we filled the room with business people, REALTORS®, and homeowners, many of whom voiced their fears that these overly restrictive measures would affect their ability to live and do business in Cape Coral.”  There was no one to speak in favor of the proposed ordinance, and the City Council was forced to concede that the protections in place were adequate, if no one wanted them changed. “It was a pretty great victory,” admits Lopez: “going in to the hearing, the outcome was a toss-up. After our people had their say, all seven Council members and the Mayor had come around to our way of thinking.”

“I can’t speak highly enough about the service that Robinson & Cole provides,” he adds. “These collective resources of the REALTOR® Party that can be called into play when high stakes are on the table are so important, and form a critical part of our ongoing advocacy. We keep a constant eye on local municipal agendas, and work hard at maintaining strong relationships with our civic leaders, so we’re able to be fully engaged and keep finding good solutions for our communities.

To learn more about how the Royal Palm Coast REALTOR® Association is keeping a vigilant eye on short-term rental ordinances and other legislation of concern to Southwest Florida property owners, contact Public Policy Director Chris Lopez at 239-936-3537.

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Bay East REALTORS® Mobilize on Short Notice to Fight Just-Cause Evictions

California’s Bay East Association of REALTORS® had numerous reasons to oppose the city of Hayward’s proposed just-cause eviction ordinance, but less than a week to get an opposition campaign underway. Although the emergency legislation passed, support from the REALTOR® Party’s Advocacy Everywhere program helped raise awareness of the serious downsides of the ordinance and put City Hall on notice that REALTORS® are paying attention to all the housing and property rights policies coming to the table.

David Stark, Public Affairs Director of the 5,800-member association, explains that its philosophical stance on just-cause eviction stems from its belief that property owners should be able to do what they want with their property – including ending a lease. He notes that the members of the Hayward City Council had been under intense pressure from tenants-rights advocates, but, as he points out, the outcome has been short-sighted and detrimental to an already fraught housing situation. “Hayward is not far from Silicon Valley, and has a robust economy of its own, so the demand for housing is huge and spans a broad demographic — from tech executives to college students. Unfortunately, the city has a history of inhibiting development, and hasn’t adequately planned for the housing needs of its growing population. That failure to plan has created a crisis.”

“As a practical matter,” he continues, “we support affordable housing in many forms, but the just-cause eviction ordinance actually erodes the strength of rental housing. Property owners who own rental housing now must be concerned about this new limitation the city has imposed on their freedoms, and if they choose to sell or otherwise withdraw those units from the rental market, that will actually force rental prices up.” REALTORS® have to care about rental housing rules, he adds, because they directly affect families who are buying and selling homes, and the way REALTORS® do their jobs.

The Bay East Association of REALTORS®, together with the rest of the public, learned about Hayward’s proposed rental ordinance less than a week before it went to vote. Springing in to action, they designed a REALTOR® Party Mobile Alert text campaign, and a targeted email campaign: more than 175 messages of opposition were sent to the City Council in a 48-hour span.

Prior to the vote on the ordinance, 2019 Bay East Association President Nancie Allen testified before the City Council. In addition to citing the need for better planning and the additional burden of liability that the just-cause eviction requirement places on her members, she respectfully asked the Council to provide the public with more notice when such important issues come up in the future. Though the ordinance was passed, Stark points out that engaging members through Advocacy Everywhere was a big step in the right direction. “This has just been one chapter in a much longer story, in which the REALTOR® Party is going to be an important character,” he says. “I can’t say enough about working with the staff at the National Association of REALTORS®, and the incredible systems they’ve established. We were able to set up the robust campaign we needed in less than 90 minutes,” he adds, noting, “In the midst of these challenging issues, it’s nice to know we’ve got NAR behind us with resources and expertise.”

To learn more about how the Bay East Association of REALTORS® is protecting private property rights and safeguarding the region’s vulnerable rental housing market, contact Public Affairs Director David Stark at 925-730-4068.

 

 

 

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April Highlights Fair Housing and Tax Day

April is Fair Housing Month. As stewards of the right to own, use, and transfer private property, REALTORS® understand that fair housing protects the real estate industry and our businesses. We depend on a free, open market that embraces equal opportunity. In short, fair housing makes us stronger. This year, we will commemorate this important and historic milestone by highlighting four key issue areas that will set the tone for the future of fair housing.

On March 13, 2019, Rep. David Cicillini (D-PA) introduced HR 5, the Equality Act, in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Equality Act would amend the Fair Housing Act to provide protections for LGBTQ people in key areas of life, such as housing, employment, credit, public accommodations, and voting rights, and is aligned to NAR’s Code of Ethics. As we monitor this bill through the legislative process, we will continue to express our support. If the bill passes, we will work to address our policy issues as any regulations implementing it are developed.

We’ll also continue to work with and support our multicultural partners — the National Association for Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP), the Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA), and the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB) — to address immigration housing rights, improving language access to financial materials, and gaps in African-American homeownership.

Don’t forget there are only four days until Tax Day! This is the first filing season that the impact of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will be seen as you are preparing your tax returns. If you still haven’t filed, we encourage you to review What REALTORS® Need to Know About the New Tax Law. There you’ll find helpful videos and other resources available to you. And as always, consult a tax professional if you have more detailed questions.

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GADFly Newsletter – March 2019

Dates & Deadlines

Mar. 31: FPC Field Reports Due This Week
The end of the 1st quarter is upon us. Please follow up with your FPCs to make sure they are current on their field reports and your state secures 100% for the quarter. To run a real-time list of FPCs who still need to file reports, you can go to the FPC Quarterly Field Report Tool. If you have any questions, please reach out to Victoria Givens at 202-383-1021.

Apr. 30: GAD Vice Chair Interest Due
Candidates for Vice Chair must submit a Statement of Interest to NAR by April 30, 2019. This year’s election will be for a local GAD candidate. Please include the candidate’s qualifications; reason for seeking the position; an indication of support from his/her association executive; and affirmation of interest in fulfilling the responsibilities of the position. Visit the GAD Policies and Procedures for additional details. Please send Statements of Interest to Kyle Lambert London.

May 17: Best Practices for Choosing REALTOR® Champions Train the Trainer
On May 17 from 8:30 – 11:30 a.m. at the Washington Hilton Hotel, NAR will be offering a Train the Trainer course (in conjunction with the 2019 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings) to provide GADs an opportunity to become eligible to teach this offering to volunteer leaders, RPAC trustees, Government Affairs Committee members, and interested staffers. The Best Practices for Choosing REALTOR® Champions course provides time-tested methods for screening, identifying, and ultimately choosing the best political candidates who will support issues important to REALTORS® and real estate. Register Today. For more information, contact Kyle Lambert London.

2019 REALTOR® Legislative Meetings and Trade Expo: GAD Meetings and Events of InterestTuesday, May 14

  • 8:00 – 9:30 a.m. – Federal Legislative & Political Forum, Marriott Wardman Park Hotel (Room TBD)
  • 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. – GAD Briefing on Hill Visits, Omni Shoreham Hotel
  • 2:30 – 4:00 p.m. – *GAD Advisory Group Meeting, Marriott Wardman Park Hotel (Room TBD) *closed meeting
  • 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. – NAR 360°, Marriott Wardman Park Hotel

Wednesday, May 15

  • 7:00 – 8:00 a.m. – Federal Priority Issues Briefing, Marriott Wardman Park Hotel (Room TBD)
  • 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. – Advocacy Everywhere Training, Marriott Wardman Park Hotel (Room TBD)
  • 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – State and Local Issues Policy Committee, Omni Shoreham Hotel (Room TBD)
  • 2:00 – 4:30 p.m. – Hill Visits
  • 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. – RPAC Fundraising Awards Ceremony and Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, Marriott Wardman Park Hotel (Room TBD)

Thursday, May 16

  • 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. – Hill Visits
  • 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – RPAC Phone Banks – Start to Finish!, Omni Shoreham (Room TBD)
  • 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. – RPAC Online Fundraising – Start to Finish!, Omni Shoreham (Room TBD)
  • 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. – NAR PAC Management System Best Practices, Omni Shoreham (Room TBD)
  • 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. – GAD Reception (Location TBD)
  • 7:00 – 10:00 p.m. – RPAC 50th Anniversary Celebration, National Building Museum, Washington, D.C.
  • NAR Federal Agency Visit
    On May 16 from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m., NAR will host an agency visit with HUD, USDA’s Rural Housing Service and the Department of Veteran Affairs. The event will feature presentations from each agency as well as audience Q&A. Pre-registration is required with limited seats available. If you have already registered for the conference, you will need to amend your registration to add this event. Contact Megan Booth at 202-383-1222 with any questions.

Friday, May 17

  • 8:30 – 11:30 a.m. – *GAD Professional Development Session: Best Practices for Choosing REALTOR® Champions Train the Trainer class, Washington Hilton (Room TBD) *registration required; breakfast available.
  • 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. – Government Affairs Directors Meeting, Washington Hilton (Room TBD)
  • 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. – State and Local Breakout Meetings, Washington Hilton (Rooms TBD)
  • 4:00 – 5:30 p.m. – Regional Caucus Meetings, Marriott Wardman Park and Omni Shoreham Hotels

Advocacy & RPAC News

Do You Have a New GAD?
Update any and all GAD contact information in NAR’s GAD Directory. Are you a new Government Affairs Director, serving your association in a Government Affairs or REALTOR® Party capacity? Please add (or remove) any contact information there. Help us keep this list accurate and up to date. Thanks!

2019 President’s Circle Webinar and Deadline
Are you promoting the President’s Circle Program in your association, or considering joining yourself? Join Lauren Facemire, RPAC Fundraising Director, and Avery Walker, RPAC Disbursements Representative, for a webinar to review the program’s procedures and benefits on Wednesday, April 24 at 3pm EST. Click here to register for the webinar and be prepared – the deadline for President’s Circle members to invest their first $500 is May 31, 2019. For more information, contact Avery Walker at 202-383-7510.

Apr. 17 Deadline: RPAC Major Investor Recognition
Make sure you and your members are recognized as RPAC Major Investors in time for the 2019 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, D.C. All RPAC investments must be submitted to the NAR Finance Office no later than Wednesday, April 17, 2019 to meet this deadline. Click here for more information. For more information, contact Jackie Zaporowski at 202-383-1029.

Corporate Ally Program Webinar Recording
Exciting changes are happening with the Corporate Ally Program this year! The Corporate Ally Program now counts toward your fundraising goals for receipts and Major Investors, and we’re rolling out an improved benefits and recognition structure. Check out this webinar recording for everything you need to know about these improvements, as well as how and who you can solicit for Corporate Ally Program contributions. For more information, contact Allyson Nelson at 202-383-1156.

May 15: RPAC Fundraising Awards & 50th Anniversary White & Gold Celebration
Be sure to save the date for the 2018 RPAC Fundraising Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, May 15, 2019 from 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. in the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel. Join us to cheer on your association and celebrate a successful 2018 RPAC fundraising year! The awards ceremony is also an opportunity to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of RPAC. Wear white and gold, and encourage your members to do the same! Enjoy the celebratory atmosphere with an adult beverage and noisemakers, courtesy of NAR. View President’s Cup and Triple Crown Award details. For more information, contact Jackie Zaporowski at 202-383-1029.

May 15: RPAC Hall of Fame Class of 2018
The celebration doesn’t stop after the RPAC Fundraising Awards! The RPAC Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will immediately follow with no break in-between. Come see 189 REALTORS® and staff be inducted into the 2018 RPAC Hall of Fame Class during the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo. The RPAC Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is open to all. Please plan to come cheer on your members as they receive this prestigious honor! The ceremony will be held Wednesday, May 15, 2019 from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. in the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel. Click here to view the 2018 RPAC Hall of Fame roster. For more information, contact Jackie Zaporowski at 202-383-1029.

NAR’s Economic Outlook

  • Existing-Home Sales Surge 11.8 Percent in February – Total February existing-home sales increased 11.8 percent from January to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.51M.
  • 2019 Q1 Homeownership Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) Survey – In the first quarter of 2019, 65 percent of people believe that now is a good time to buy a home, which is a slight increase over the previous quarter. Only 35 percent of people believe that now is not a good time to buy a home.
  • Profile of Home Staging – REALTORS® understand the importance of making a home as welcoming and appealing as possible to potential buyers, and while every REALTOR® doesn’t use staging in every situation, the potential value it brings is clear to both home buyers and sellers.
  • Commercial Real Estate Outlook – The last quarter of 2018 registered a solid increase in the volume of sales transactions in LCRE markets, ending the year on a high note.
  • Metro Area Housing Wealth Gains – Homeownership is the largest source of wealth among households, and contributes positively to the homeowner’s and children’s economic condition because the home equity can be tapped for other expenditures.
  • For more information on NAR’s Economic Outlook, contact Meredith Dunn at 202-383-1207.

Message from the GAD Chair

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Matthew Ledger
GAD Chair
REALTORS® of the Palm Beaches and Greater Fort Lauderdale

Some spring cleaning if you will….

2019 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo – With the 2019 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo a little more than a month away, please make note of GAD-related meetings times and dates. Kyle has referenced some of the important ones in the body of the GADFly. Our GAD Reception will be the evening of Thursday, May 16, 2019. Stay tuned for more details!

GAD Advisory Group Vice Chair Nominations – For those interested in submitting their name or nominating someone for GAD Advisory Group Vice Chair, please submit application(s) to Kyle Lambert-London by April 30, 2019. A big thank you in advance for anyone considering stepping up in a leadership capacity!

NAR Committee Applications – Time to get engaged! It is important that we have as much representation on NAR Committees from GADs as possible! We have done an outstanding job of getting on committees, but we need to stay engaged and continue to serve! Applications are due May 1, 2019.

2019 GAD Institute Key Note Speaker – As promised in last month’s GADFly, on behalf of your 2019 GAD Advisory Group, your keynote speakers for the 2019 GAD Institute will be Political Pollsters Margie Omero and Kristin Soltis Anderson. Their podcast series, The Pollsters, can be accessed through Apple iTunes or via Spotify or Stitcher. You can also check them out on Twitter @ThePollsters. Thank you to NAR staff for helping secure our speakers!

For those traveling to Austin, Texas for AE institute, safe travels!

Thank you,

Matthew

SAVE THE DATE

GAD Directory

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Breaking News: NAR Seeks Responsible Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Reform

This week, the Senate Banking Committee advanced conversations on reform of the country’s two government-sponsored enterprises, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, by welcoming NAR President-Elect Vince Malta and other housing industry leaders to testify.

Also on Wednesday, the White House announced that President Trump directed the U.S. Treasury Department to develop a white paper on ending conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

NAR President John Smaby issued the following statement in response to Wednesday’s White House announcement:

“REALTORS® are encouraged to see conversations surrounding GSE reform intensifying in Washington, particularly with the White House today directing the U.S. Treasury to outline plans for how Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can be removed from conservatorship. While NAR believes the GSEs must be transitioned out of conservatorship, this must be done in a responsible manner that will protect taxpayers and retain the Enterprises’ public mission, and these actions must be driven by Congress.

“This is the only way to secure an explicit government guarantee, a public mission, and the 30-year fixed rate mortgage, which are critical components of a robust U.S. housing market. That point will remain NAR’s primary focus as we continue GSE reform conversations with the Senate, House and the administration.”

With Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Ranking Member Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) holding hearings on Tuesday and Wednesday to gather perspectives on potential reform in Congress, NAR Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Shannon McGahn issued the following statement in response to the broad consensus that appeared to emerge from the industry:

“This week’s hearings in the Senate Banking Committee showed multiple points of broad industry consensus on GSE reform. Specifically, many participants agreed that our housing finance system would benefit from a utility model that can serve the national market and promote stability in housing, particularly during times of economic distress.

“We were pleased to see those points addressed repeatedly by NAR President-Elect Vince Malta and other industry leaders, and we’re confident that these key principles will be the basis for reforms on Capitol Hill in the coming months.”

More on GSE reform.

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NAR Provides Testimony on Housing Finance Reform

NAR’s president elect Vince Malta provided congressional testimony on housing finance reform to the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs on Wednesday, March 27.

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Section 199A Deduction Examples

Example 1

Check out What REALTORS® Need to Know About the New Tax Law

Amy Agent is a single REALTOR® who operates as a sole proprietor and independent contractor.  She received $100,000 in net commission income in 2018.  She has no capital gains or losses.  After claiming deductions not related to her business, including the standard deduction, Amy’s total taxable income for 2018 is $81,000.  Her qualified business income (QBI) is $100,000, which is her gross commissions less her business deductions.  Amy’s section 199A deduction for 2018 is equal to $16,200, which is the lesser of 20% of her QBI from her business as a real estate agent ($100,000 x 20% = $20,000) and 20% of Amy’s total taxable income for the year ($81,000 x 20% = $16,200).

Example 2

Assume the same facts as in Example 1 except Amy Agent also had taxable pension income of $20,000, making her taxable income for the year $101,000.  Her QBI is still $100,000.  Amy’s section 199A deduction for 2018 is now equal to $20,000, which is the lesser of 20% of her QBI from her business as a real estate agent ($100,000 x 20% = $20,000) and 20% of Amy’s total taxable income for the year ($101,000 x 20% = $20,200).

Example 3

Carla and Bob Broker are married and file a joint tax return.  Carla earns $50,000 in salary as an employee of Acme Corporation in 2018.  Bob owns 100% of the shares of Bob’s Brokerage, which is an S corporation that provides real estate services and contracts with several agents.  Bob’s Brokerage generates $100,000 in net income in 2018 after deducting Bob’s salary of $150,000.  Carla and Bob have no capital gains or losses.  After allowable deductions not related to the brokerage, Carla and Bob’s total taxable income is $270,000 ($50,000 salary for Carla + $100,000 net income from Bob’s Brokerage + $150,000 for Bob’s salary less $30,000 in deductions).  Carla’s and Bob’s salaries are not considered Qualified Business Income (QBI).  However, the net income from the S corporation is QBI.  Carla and Bob’s section 199A deduction is equal to $20,000, the lesser of 20% of Bob’s QBI from the business ($100,000 x 20% = $20,000) and 20% of Carla and Bob’s total taxable income for the year ($270,000 x 20% = $54,000).

When Congress was debating the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, it was not clear that personal services professionals like Amy and Bob would get much, if any, deduction for their business income.  NAR, along with other organizations who represent small businesses, encouraged Congress to make the deduction available to as many small businesses and proprietors as possible.  The result was that all sole proprietors and pass-through business owners below the taxable income thresholds of $157,500 for single filers and $315,000 for joint returns were made eligible for the deduction.  

Example 4

Deborah is single and a high-producing real estate agent in an active market.  She is an independent contractor and sole proprietor of her business.  She received net commission income of $400,000 in 2018.  She has no employees, but owns business property consisting of her car and office equipment that originally cost $70,000.  After allowable deductions unrelated to her business, Deborah’s total taxable income for 2018 is $370,000.  Because her income exceeds the applicable threshold amount, Deborah’s section 199A deduction is subject to the   W-2 wage and qualified property limitations.  Her business has no W-2 wages, so the QBI component of Deborah’s section 199A deduction is limited to the lesser of 20% of the business’s QBI or 2.5% of its original cost of qualified property.  20% of her $400,000 of QBI is $80,000, and 2.5% of her original cost of her qualified business property is $1,750 ($70,000 x 2.5%).

Therefore, her section 199A deduction for 2018 is $1,750.

Example 5

Assume the same facts as in Example 4 above, except that Deborah has an employee whom she pays wages of $50,000 in 2018.  Because her taxable income is above the threshold amount, Deborah’s section 199A deduction is subject to the W-2 wage and qualified property limitations.  20% of her QBI of $400,000 is $80,000.  The W-2 wage limitation equals 50% of Deborah’s employee’s wages of $50,000 or $25,000.  The original cost of qualified property limitation equals $14,250, the sum of 25% of the employee’s wages ($50,000) or $12,500 plus 2.5% of the original cost of qualified property ($1,750 – as above) is $14,250.  The greater of the limitation amounts ($25,000 and $14,250) is $25,000.  Deborah’s 199A deduction is limited to the lesser of 20% of the QBI ($80,000) or the greater of the limitations ($25,000).  Thus, her deduction for 2018 is $25,000.

Note:  Had Deborah paid more wages or had a larger investment in business property (owning the business’s office building, for example), the section 199A deduction could be much larger.

As enacted, the section 199A deduction provided that owners of certain businesses that provided personal services would be prohibited from claiming the deduction if their taxable income were over certain thresholds ($157,500 for single filers and $315,000 for joint returns).  One of the prohibited types of business was “brokerage service.”  Thus, it appeared that real estate agents and brokers would not be allowed to claim any section 199A deduction if their taxable income happened to exceed the threshold amounts.  However, NAR advocated with the U.S. Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service, urging them to not include real estate professionals in the “brokerage services” category.  The regulations, issued in January 2019, held that real estate brokers and agents would not be included in the prohibited category and thus would be eligible to claim the deduction no matter how high their incomes.  

 

For more information on Tax Reform, visit www.nar.realtor/tax-reform

 

 

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REALTOR Party News – March 2019

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State Rent Control Issue Takes National Stage

Across the country, state and local governments are currently considering legislative rent control measures. However, these efforts are misguided. They do nothing to address residential construction deterrents like imprudent local zoning measures and high land costs. In response, NAR is working to fight rent control and rent stabilization laws on both residential and commercial properties.READ MORE

By The Numbers

The length of the RPAC Archival video. Created to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the REALTORS® Political Action Committee, this video highlights 50 years of REALTOR® success. Show your RPAC pride and watch today! READ MORE
Every year, President’s Circle investors have the opportunity to learn & discuss policy concerns affecting the REALTOR® community while participating in valuable networking opportunities that enable strategic partnerships for our members. Check out photos from the 2019 President’s Circle Conference.SEE PHOTOS
The population threshold to participate in the newest REALTOR® Party program – the Rural Outreach initiative. This program is designed to help tailor community outreach activities to meet the needs of rural REALTOR® associations and to benefit small towns across America as they work to strengthen their economies, provide residents with a better quality of life and build on local assets. LEARN MORE

The REALTOR® Party At Work

Highlighted here are a few of the many REALTOR® Party success stories across the nation. These and others are catalogued in the Success Stories section on REALTORParty.realtor.

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Mississippi REALTORS® Secure Broader Broadband Access

REALTORS® know that expanded internet access is an important way to increase economic opportunity and connect communities in rural and underserved areas. Harnessing the power of Advocacy Everywhere, Mississippi REALTORS® rallied voters to support the Mississippi Broadband Enabling Act, which permits electric cooperatives to provide broadband services in addition to electric power.

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Selkirk REALTORS® Protect Quality of Life in Bonners Ferry with Bike/Ped Network Plan

With a series of Smart Growth Action Grants, Selkirk REALTORS® supported a multi-year planning process for an integrated network of pedestrian and bicycle routes in Bonners Ferry, Idaho. Complete with graphic branding and signage, the plan will enhance the local active transport scene for residents and contribute to the region’s growing appeal to bike tourism.

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Columbus REALTORS® Join Forces to Celebrate Fair Housing

Joining forces with colleagues from the local NAREB chapter and the National Association of Gay & Lesbian Real Estate Professionals, Columbus REALTORS® hosted a Cost of Poverty Experience and dramatized a mock trial to highlight issues addressed by the Fair Housing Act that are still at play in their communities.

Resources & Opportunities

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Voice for Real Estate: Ad campaign, Affordability, Firms, Scams

REALTOR® Advocacy Showcased in NAR’s new national TV, radio and online ad campaign, “That’s Who We R,” highlighting REALTORS® as advocates for strong communities. “REALTORS® work with lawmakers to protect property owner rights,” the TV ad says, “because owning a home is part of the American Dream.” WATCH

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2019 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo

Register today for the 2019 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo, May 13-18, in Washington, D.C. Take an active role to advance the real estate industry, public policy and the association. Plus, NAR cleared the schedule between the hours of 2:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 15, and we want to see YOU on the Hill Wednesday afternoon! Contact your state association for information on your state delegation’s Hill visit. REGISTER TODAY

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Apply for One of Four Community Outreach Grants in 2019

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the REALTORS® Political Action Committee. Add a special graphic overlay to your social media profile picture (click on Add Your Photo). Then check out the map to see profile pics of your REALTOR® colleagues from across the country. LEARN MORE

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Show Your RPAC Pride Online

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the REALTORS® Political Action Committee. Add a special graphic overlay to your social media profile picture (click on Add Your Photo). Then check out the map to see profile pics of your REALTOR® colleagues from across the country. LEARN MORE

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2019 REALTOR® Party Resource Guide

Check out the 2019 REALTOR® Party Association Resource Guide to learn about resources for community outreach, candidate and issue campaigns, RPAC and political fundraising, member and consumer mobilization, and much more. Also, review the programs and resources that qualify for the new Vote, Act, and Invest Core Standards’ requirements.

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Join the REALTOR® Party Online

Are you posting, liking, tweeting or pinning? So is the REALTOR® Party. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube to get the latest news, information and resources.

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