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Community Planning Grant: Opportunity Zones

Check out the latest Community Outreach Grant designed to support association and commercial overlay board efforts to work with public officials and other community leaders exploring ways for your community to make the most of Qualified Opportunity Zones in their Advocacy Territorial Jurisdiction.

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REALTOR Party News – August 2019

Bob Goldberg John Smaby

REALTOR® Advocacy Continues During Summer Recess

August in the Nation’s Capital means it’s time for Congress to take its traditional “summer recess.” But for REALTORS®, summer recess represents an important opportunity to directly engage in-district with members of Congress who look to us as the experts on issues that impact the real estate industry and private property rights.

By the Numbers

Number of Opportunity Zones throughout the U.S. created to drive economic growth through long-term investments in economically disadvantaged communities. REALTORS Property Resource® (RPR), a nationwide data resource and a wholly-owned subsidiary of NAR, has added a powerful new data layer that will allow REALTORS® to analyze and search for properties within Qualifed Opportunity Zones throughout the U.S. NAR’s newest community planning grant helps associations assist their communities make the most of Opportunity Zones.
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Number of abandon homes in former industrial hubs from the East Coast to the Midwest. Learn more about the value of reducing vacancy and how formerly worthless properties are being turned into home in the latest Issue of On Common Ground magazine.
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Amount of money that GADs donated to Project Connect as part of the GADs Give Back campaign during the 2019 GAD Institute. Project Connect is the only program in the Greater Cincinnati area exclusively serving children experiencing homelessness. Through a collection of stuffed hygiene bags and a GoFundMe page, the GADs collected hundreds of needed hygiene products and raised $10,500.
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The REALTOR® Party At Work

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

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Wisconsin REALTORS® Urge State Senate to ‘Hold the Line’ on Property Taxes

With a full-on campaign called ‘Hold the Line on Property Taxes,’ the Wisconsin REALTORS® organized a powerful response to the governor’s plan to lift a freeze on municipal and country property taxes. An Issues Mobilization grant helped them convince the state senate that the move lacked tax-payer support.
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New Jersey REALTORS® Combat Last-Minute Tax Threats to Property- and Business-Owners

In a last-minute scramble to balance the state budget last year, New Jersey lawmakers set their sights on two real estate tax-targets that propelled the state REALTOR® Association into action: seasonal rental properties, and homes valued at more than $1 million. Calls for action got the message out to REALTORS®, who made their feelings known to their elected officials.
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Texas REALTORS® Achieve Tax Reform for Texas Property Owners

In Texas, where there’s no state income tax or a state-levied property tax, it’s the tax bills from your county, your municipality, your school district, and various other special districts that’ll get you. Texas REALTORS® have been battling the ‘Hidden Property Tax’ inherent in the system for years, and this summer, with a boost from a sweeping Issues Mobilization campaign, the Texas Property Tax Reform and Transparency Act was signed into law.
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Resources & Opportunities

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Flooded with Information: How Flood Insurance Impacts Your State

Wondering how the National Flood Insurance Program impacts your state? Use these state information sheets to advocate for a long-term reauthorization measure before September 30.
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REALTOR® R to Top Chicago HQ

See how the NAR building on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile will soon bolster the REALTOR® brand. Plus, the latest housing data — and how a Summer Splash challenge, started by young pros in California, has taken off while raising funds for the REALTORS® Relief Foundation—all in the new The Voice for Real Estate video.
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NAR Wins 2019 Sustainability Award from Business Intelligence Group

NAR was recognized by the Business Intelligence Group as a global leader in sustainability promotion. The annual Sustainability Awards honor organizations that have made sustainability an integral part of their business practice, commending NAR for the work it’s done since implementing an association-wide Sustainability Program in 2017.
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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, YouTube, and Instagram to get the latest news, information and resources.

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New Jersey REALTORS® Combat Last-Minute Tax Threats to Property- and Business-Owners

With just four days remaining in last year’s legislative session, an age-old puzzle was playing itself out in the New Jersey statehouse: lawmakers were scrambling to find revenue to balance the state’s budget, and negotiations were flying. When New Jersey REALTORS® learned about two proposals that would be seriously detrimental not only to the housing market, but to many businesses that also play a significant role in the state’s economy, they called on their members to make their voices heard. Timely calls for action supported by the REALTOR® Party’s Advocacy Everywhere program got the job done.

As Jarrod Grasso, Chief Executive Officer of the New Jersey REALTORS®, explains, both proposals would have hit property owners hard. The first sought to impose a sales tax on seasonal rental properties. “The Jersey Shore and other areas that depend on summer tourism could have suffered greatly,” he points out, noting that, according to one study, the average vacationer in New Jersey spends as much as $1,000 a week on food, transportation, shopping, and entertainment. “The bill would have hurt not only the homeowners who rent out their homes, but also all those businesses that depend on the profits they make during the high season.”

The second proposal looked to increase the realty transfer fee on homes sold for over $1 million, adding a minimum of $10,000 to the expenses associated with selling each such property. “In the Garden State, there are about 60,000 homes within the targeted price bracket, or one in every 43 properties,” added Douglas Tomson, Vice President of Government Affairs for the New Jersey REALTORS®. “For the counties with the highest home values, this added financial burden for aspiring homeowners could have resulted in a flattening of the market, or even an outmigration.”

When news of the real estate budget proposals broke, the New Jersey REALTORS®’ Government Affairs team sprang into action.  Using the REALTOR® Party’s Advocacy Everywhere program and social media, they contacted all REALTOR® members, urging them to send messages to their elected officials – and ask family, friends, and clients to do the same. Within just 24 hours, legislators received more than 10,000 messages from the voting public, expressing strong opposition to the two bills. Thanks to RPAC, Grasso and his team have built strong relationships with state politicians supportive of real estate issues, and spoke with them directly. They also sent out press releases to all New Jersey’s major news outlets.

A whopping 17,914 electronic letters opposing the seasonal rental tax and realty transfer fee hike were sent, reports Tomson.  “The response to our Calls for Action was so immediate and so strong, that legislators had no choice but to pay attention,” he says:  both real estate tax proposals were dropped from consideration on the final day of the session.  “We’re grateful to the REALTOR® Party and its Advocacy Everywhere program for making it simple to mobilize our members at a moment’s notice, and to RPAC for its deep support of political team-building.  This situation really highlighted how important these resources are to protecting New Jersey’s property owners and its real estate market.”

To learn more about how New Jersey REALTORS® are using the resources of the REALTOR® Party to speak for real estate issues in the statehouse, contact Douglas M. Tomson, Vice President of Government Affairs, at 609-341-7100.

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GADs Give Back in Record Way

This year the GADs chose to support Project Connect, part of the Cincinnati School System, in order to thank and give back to the community that hosted us for the 2019 GAD Institute. Project Connect is the only program in the Greater Cincinnati area exclusively serving children experiencing homelessness. It provides advocacy paired with specialized education services and lifestyle enrichment opportunities throughout the year for children who have neither a voice, nor a choice, in being homeless. Through a collection of stuffed hygiene bags and a GoFundMe page, the GADs collected hundreds of needed hygiene products and raised $10,500, enabling Project Connect to expand their program to 13- and 14-year old children, and serve the roughly 1,700 already enrolled. A special thank you to EVERYONE who contributed!

 

  • GADs Mark Quarry and Sarah Rayne coordinated donations to the Project Connect

 

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Wisconsin REALTORS® Urge State Senate to ‘Hold the Line’ on Property Taxes

Property taxes are already plenty high in the state of Wisconsin – the fifth highest in the nation – and in the first budget bill introduced by the new governor, there was a provision to increase them even further. With help from an Issues Mobilization grant, the Wisconsin REALTORS® Association (WRA) launched a campaign called ‘Hold the Line on Property Taxes’ that made voters’ preferences abundantly clear to the statehouse.

The 2019-2021 budget proposed by Governor Tony Evers would have lifted a freeze on municipal and county property tax levies enacted by the state in 2011, which has meant considerable savings for Wisconsin families in recent years, explains Joe Murray, WRA’s Director of Political Affairs. “High taxes are already a real problem, especially for aspiring home-buyers and the elderly on fixed incomes,” he says. “The governor’s plan would have made housing even less affordable.”

WRA had the luxury of a two-month planning period before e xecuting its full-blown advocacy campaign, for which it allocated $250,000 of its own funds, in addition to receiving the Issues Mobilization grant. They used a local consulting firm with more than 20 years’ experience in Wisconsin politics to conduct initial polling and frame the onslaught of digital, direct mail, radio, and billboard advertising; they also created a campaign website. Murray notes that, “the old legacy media really worked best in this case. Direct mail, which was superbly targeted, combined with heavy advertising on conservative talk-radio shows, was a powerful combination, and created a significant political force.” Three rounds of mailers were sent out, spelling out the property tax issue and equipped with handy tear-off postcards to forward to the senator representing that household. “Let’s just say the governor’s plan to raise property taxes really touched a nerve,” says Murray. “The reaction was strong and swift, and the Wisconsin state senate did, in fact, ‘hold the line’ on property taxes!”

Lacking the support of the senate, the governor signed the budget without the tax increase provision on July 3, 2019.

To help express tax-payer gratitude, the final mailer in the campaign series featured a tear-off ‘thank-you’ card to senators for ‘holding the line’ on property taxes.  “You want to reward your friends,” says Murray.

With 32 years on the job and several such campaigns under his belt, Murray is continually impressed by the strength of NAR’s advocacy program. “Seven or eight years ago when the REALTOR® Party was really ramping up and encouraging states to tap into its resources, Wisconsin was glad to do so – and to great effect! We’re grateful to the REALTOR® Party for all the support it makes available to us.”

To learn more about how Wisconsin REALTORS® are keeping vigilant and protecting homeowners from the threat of increased property taxes, contact Joe Murray, Director of Political Affairs, at 608-575-0023.

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REALTOR® Advocacy Continues During Summer Recess

It’s August, and in the Nation’s Capital, that means it’s time for Congress to take its traditional “summer recess.” While REALTORS® rarely take a break — from business and from advocacy work, this summer recess is no exception because it represents an important opportunity for REALTORS® to directly engage with Members of Congress. These elected leaders look to us as the experts on issues that impact the real estate industry and private property rights.

Our Federal Political Coordinators are holding in-district meetings with their members of Congress to discuss issues such as reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program, GSE reform, and infrastructure and transportation modernization. We want Congress to:

  • Find a way forward on a long-term reauthorization measure before September 30 and consider H.R. 3167, the National Flood Insurance Program Reauthorization Act.
  • Maintain a strong housing finance system that prioritizes access to financing for millions of Americans who want to become homeowners as they debate the future of the GSEs.
  • Consider NAR’s Vision for Housing Finance Reform, released earlier this year, which proposes a new, shareholder-owned utility model that highlights competition and remedies the failures of the pre-crisis system.
  • Restore and modernize federal infrastructure funding.
  • Streamline permitting to increase efficiency and maximize infrastructure funds.

Stay up to date on these and other issues by signing up for the Washington Report, which reports NAR’s legislative and regulatory activities, and the REALTOR® Party website.

 

 

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Realtors Property Resource® Adds Qualified Opportunity Zones

CHICAGO (August 1, 2019) – Realtors Property Resource®, a nationwide data resource and a wholly-owned subsidiary of the National Association of Realtors®, is pleased to announce the addition of Qualified Opportunity Zones to its platform. This powerful data layer will allow Realtors® to use RPR’s map interface to analyze and search for properties within the 8,700 Opportunity Zones throughout the U.S.

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GADFly Newsletter – August 2019

In This Issue…


Dates & Deadlines Aug. 7: Can the Broadband Gap in Rural America be Closed?
Tune in to our webinar on August 7 to get an overview of the digital divide; its impact on real estate and communities; and efforts underway to bridge the divide including funding and changes in laws to accelerate broadband deployment. Panelists include two of your fellow GADs who will describe how they advocated for broadband legislation in their states. Register today. For more information, contact Holly Moskerintz at 202-383-1157.

Aug. 16: Applications for GAD Advisory Group Open Positions Due
If you would like to be considered to serve on the GAD Advisory Group’s open positions for 2019 – 2021, please see the official duties then fill out the GAD Advisory Group application form no later than August 16. While positions are limited, the goal is to provide representation from a variety of diverse backgrounds, localities and GAD roles. For additional information, contact Julia Parenteau , Kelli Starrett or Kyle Lambert-London. Thanks for your interest!

Sept. 12 – 13: New GAD & AE Orientation – Registration Is Open!
Registration is now available for NAR’s 1.5 day REALTOR® Party Advocacy New GAD and AE Orientation on Sept. 12 – 13 held at the NAR offices in Washington, D.C. The REALTOR® Party Advocacy New GAD and AE Orientation is for GADs, and AEs without GADs, who have been in their role for fewer than 18 months and would like to learn the basics of the REALTOR® Party, including the tools, services, program details, and how these programs qualify for association Core Standards requirements. For programmatic details, qualifications and registration, please visit our website or contact Kyle Lambert London.


GAD Institute Follow-Up

Thank you for attending the 2019 GAD Institute in Cincinnati. What a week! Below you can find speaker presentations, handouts, and professional photos that capture the sessions and events that took place. For those who attended, check for info on your free “head shot” photos included with your registration. We hope that EVERYONE (whether you attended or not, are a GAD or AE) will complete the GAD Institute Annual Evaluation. We use this feedback to improve the offerings for the GAD Institute and professional development for GADs throughout the year. Thanks for your support and your interest!

If you would like a photo touched up, please email Teressa at tcatrambone@hellooa.com.

 GADs Give Back – update
This year the GADs chose to support Project Connect, part of the Cincinnati School System, in order to thank and give back to the community that hosted us for the 2019 GAD Institute. Project Connect is the only program in the Greater Cincinnati area exclusively serving children experiencing homelessness. It provides advocacy paired with specialized education services and lifestyle enrichment opportunities throughout the year for children who have neither a voice, nor a choice, in being homeless. Through a collection of stuffed hygiene bags and a GoFundMe page, the GADs collected hundreds of needed hygiene products and raised $10,500, enabling Project Connect to expand their program to 13- and 14-year old children, and serve the roughly 1,700 already enrolled. A special thank you to EVERYONE who contributed!

 2019 GAD Institute Evaluation – IMPORTANT!
Please take a few minutes to complete a survey, regardless of whether you attended the 2019 GAD Institute or not, using this secure link: https://www.research.neth/r/9RB6XRS. We use your feedback to improve the offerings for the GAD Institute, and to improve professional development for GADs throughout the year.

Your responses will remain completely confidential, as results will be reported in aggregate and not at the individual level. We will not sell or distribute your name or any information about you to another party. You may choose to enter your name at the conclusion of the survey to be entered into a drawing for a gift card. Thank you, in advance, for your feedback! Please send questions to surveys@realtors.org. Mark Your Calendars and Your Budgets for the 2020 GAD Institute
For your planning purposes, the 2020 GAD Institute takes place in Philadelphia July 14 – 16, 2020. NAR group rates at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel will be $179 per night plus taxes and fees. The registration fee will remain the same at $550 (late registration will be $600). Details provided at REALTORParty.realtor


Advocacy Resources

August Recess Resources
As always, during the August recess, we are asking FPCs to conduct an in-district meeting with their members of congress. This is not mandatory but highly encouraged as a great way to interact with lawmakers away from the hustle and bustle of Washington, D.C. The talking points this year will look familiar. They include Flood Insurance, GSE Reform, and Infrastructure. Information has been posted on nar.realtor. A webinar was held to discuss talking points, resource materials, ways to tell your story around these issues, and how to incorporate social and other media. If you have questions, please contact your political representative or Victoria Givens.

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

REALTOR® Party Advocacy Wins Awards
NAR consultant ACCESS Marketing Services received five Summit Creative Awards for work done on behalf of REALTOR® associations. Of the entries submitted from 27 countries in 86 categories, below are those awards. The more than 4,500 creative submissions were judged based on strength of concept/ideation/big idea, quality of execution, and ability to persuade.

Award Level Category Association & Campaign

Bronze TV/Commercial Spot 5000 to 25000 Ada County ID – Vehicle Registration Ballot Measure – Rat Race Video Silver Public Service Campaign Beaufort County SC – Sales Tax Referendum – Vote Yes Campaign Bronze Political Marketing Harris County TX – Vote for Flood Control District Prop A – Postcard Silver Political Marketing Carl Marcellino for NY State Senate District 5 – Postcard Silver Microsite Unlock the Door to Affordable Housing Website


RPAC News

Aug. 20: Corporate Ally Program Best Practices Training Webinar
Do you know how the Corporate Ally Program works to benefit your association and the whole real estate industry? Join Leslie Cantu, TREPAC Director, Texas REALTORS®; Peter Kelly, Director of RPAC Technology & Online Fundraising, NAR; Kristin Nash, Director of Political Fundraising, NC REALTORS®; and Allyson Nelson, Political Fundraising Manager, NAR, on Tuesday, August 20 at 2:00 pm EST for a webinar to discuss the changes and benefits to the Corporate Ally Program, answer technical and reporting questions, and hear from GADs who have used the program successfully. Register today. For more information, contact Liz Demorest at 202-383-1061.

Corporate Ally Program Resources
Want to take advantage of the Corporate Ally Program to help you reach your 2019 fundraising goals while supporting REALTOR® issues? Check out the Corporate Ally Program Brochure and updated FAQs for more information. For more information, contact Allyson Nelson at 202-383-1156.

Sept. 20: 2019 President’s Circle Deadline
All four President’s Circle rounds have now launched for 2019! The full $2,000 investment is due by September 30, 2019, but please encourage your members not to wait to complete their commitment! View the current President’s Circle Roster online. For more information, contact Avery Walker at 202-383-7510.

2020 President’s Circle Conference Update
The 2020 President’s Circle Conference will be held in Miami, Fla., from February 24 – 27, 2020. President’s Circle members who invested the full $2,000 by July 31 will be able to register for the conference beginning on August 5, 2019. Early registrants have first access (at their own expense) to a limited number of rooms reserved for nights before/after the conference for the lower conference rate.

After the initial launch, registration will be open to members on a rolling basis, as follows:

Registration Round 1
Launch Date: August 5
Invitees: PC members who complete their $2000 investment by July 31

Registration Round 2

Launch Date: September 5
Invitees: PC members who complete their $2000 investment by August 31

Registration Round 3

Launch Date: October 4
Invitees: PC members who complete their $2000 investment by September 30

Contact Avery Walker at 202-383-7510 for questions regarding the President’s Circle program.
Contact Patricia Tarhon at 202-383-1119 for questions regarding registration for the 2020 President’s Circle Conference.


NAR’s Economic Outlook

  • Profile of International Activity in U.S. Residential Real Estate – Foreign buyer purchases of U.S. existing homes during April 2018 – March 2019 fell sharply to $77.9 billion from the $121 billion during the prior 12-month period (April 2017 ‒ March 2018) — a 36% drop.
  • Existing-Home Sales – June 2019 brought 5.27 million in sales, a median sales price of $285,700, and 4.4 months of inventory. The median sales price is up 4.3% year over year, and inventory is up 0.1% from June 2018.
  • State Employment Monitor – All states had job gains in June, with the strongest gains in the South and West states, led by Nevada (3.4%), Utah (3.0%), Arizona (2.8%), South Dakota (2.7%), Florida (2.6%), Washington (2.6%), Texas (2.5%), Idaho (2.4%), Wyoming (2.3%), and Colorado (2.0%).
  • Foot Traffic for June 2019 – The foot traffic index decreased 5.6 points in June from May.
  • Pending Home Sales Climb 2.8% in June – Each of the four major regions recorded a rise in contract activity, with the West experiencing the highest surge.

For more information on NAR’s Economic Outlook, contact Meredith Dunn at 202-383-1207.

Message from the GAD Chair
Julia Parenteau
GAD Chair
Texas REALTORS®

cadyThomas2.jpgHopefully you’ve caught up on sleep and emails, now that we are two weeks past the end of GAD Institute in Cincinnati. GADs are always quick to move on to the next thing, but before we do:

THANK YOU to our hosts, the Cincinnati and Ohio REALTORS®, especially Mark Quarry, who is a consummate professional with impressively deep ties to his community. You showed us how it should be done!

Our exceptional staff at NAR, especially Kyle Lambert-London, Beth Brittingham, Vanessa Lopez, Stephanie Quinn, and Tiane Harrison, you make us look like the nerdy rock stars we always wanted to be. You’re the best.

The ever-increasing support within NAR for GAD Nation has been amazing, and we know it’s because of Bill Malkasian and Gerry Allen. Thanks for bringing your A-Team; your support means so much to us.

And what an honor it was to have CEO Bob Goldberg join us, along with your friend and mine, President John Smaby. Add in Tracy Kasper and Christine Hansen, and we had the leadership panel to beat all panels. Thank you for your time, attention, and willingness to tackle tough issues.

Any and all accolades for the Institute content are due to the GAD Advisory Group. Just get out of the way and they’ll develop three solid days of intense, interesting, and relevant programming! A special shout-out to the Short-Term Rental and Affordable Housing workgroups: you’ve started something big. I can’t wait to see where it goes.

Chairman Matthew Leger, you are a thoughtful and humble leader, and it’s my pleasure to call you my colleague and friend. Congratulations on a stellar year.

Lastly, you have elected Kelli Walker Starrett as your 2019-2020 Vice Chair. Kelli is a fierce and admirable advocate, and I’m grateful she’s on our team.

Looking forward, so much is already underway, with even more yet to come.

Applications are open for the 2019-2021 GAD Advisory Group. Its hugely important that the group be comprised of a diverse collection of opinions and expertise, and you all have something unique to offer – please consider applying if you are interested in serving in that capacity.

Earlier this week the GAD Mentorship Program was officially rolled out, and conversations between newer and experienced GADs have already started. It’s such a cool way to learn from each another in a one-on-one environment.

I’m so excited for the year ahead, and the opportunity for us all to carry forward the work of those who came before us, and ensure that GADs continue to grow, learn, and hone our collective skills on behalf of the REALTOR® Party.

One of the greatest benefits of GAD Nation is the relationships and networks we create among ourselves – so keep talking. See you in San Francisco in November!


SAVE THE DATE

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Texas REALTORS® Achieve Tax Reform for Texas Property Owners

In Texas, where there’s no state income tax or a state-levied property tax, it’s the tax bills from your county, your municipality, your school district, and various other special districts that’ll get you. All these entities are largely dependent on property taxes to fund their budgets and have benefitted for decades from an outdated and murky tax structure and the steady rise in property values across the state. At the same time, property owners have seen higher and higher tax bills, and more than a few have been forced to sell as a result. Texas REALTORS® have been battling the ‘Hidden Property Tax’ inherent in the system for years, and on June 12, 2019, with a boost from a sweeping Issues Mobilization campaign, the Texas Property Tax Reform and Transparency Act was signed into law.

“We are so grateful to the REALTOR® Party for its support of our Hidden Property Tax campaign, which helped shift the statewide discussion on the need for property tax reform,” says Tray Bates, 2019 Chairman of the Board of Texas REALTORS®. “The campaign also provided legislators with the support they needed to feel confident their actions were in the best interests of, and desired by, their constituents.”

“This is huge,” adds Daniel Gonzalez, the association’s Chief Lobbyist and Director of Legislative Affairs.  The ‘Hidden Property Tax,’ he explains, results from the misleading claim by local taxing entities that they have not raised ‘taxes,’ when, in fact, they mean ‘the tax rate.’ The rise in appraisal value ensures that their tax revenue increases, along with the tax burden on property owners, despite a level tax rate. If property owners see contesting higher appraisal values as their only recourse, they will inadvertently devalue their investment – and local market values. The new law addresses these issues with two important reforms:  first, the creation of online databases providing taxpayers with a transparent understanding of the process that determines their annual property tax bills; and second, a lowered threshold for increasing public revenue via property tax collection and a mechanism requiring voter approval for increases beyond the established thresholds.

The Hidden Property Tax campaign was fully comprehensive, reaching REALTOR® members, consumers, and legislators with a website, social media, direct mail, earned media, and online advertising. As consumer confusion over the property tax structure was a significant part of the problem, Texas REALTORS® made a concerted effort to educate the media about the issues, with enhanced media relations, including a special three-part media-training series last year. “Journalists really are interested in seeking out sources and getting their facts straight,” notes Gonzalez, “and while the challenge is that journalists tend to be transferred to different beats and different markets, we’ll just keep helping them to understand the real estate issues. In the end, we’re building a valuable network of professionals whose business is presenting information to the public.”

Housing affordability is a problem all over the country, Gonzalez adds, noting that another beneficial side-effect of this campaign has been demonstrating to the public that the REALTORS® are not in it for themselves and their industry, but for their clients and property-owners throughout the state. “Making sure homeowners have the information they need about their property taxes is going to result in healthier, stronger communities, and that’s good for everyone. History will show that this legislation will have a tremendous impact on homeownership in Texas.”

To learn more about how Texas REALTORS® have succeeded in reforming the taxation process and protecting property owners in the great state of Texas, contact Daniel Gonzalez, Chief Lobbyist and Director of Legislative Affairs, at 512-370-2143.

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REALTOR Party News – July 2019

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July Brings Summer Fun and Advocacy

July is the time for baseball, summer fun, relaxation, and family vacations. But rest assured that we are continuing to work hard on your behalf! Check out the latest updates on affordability and supply, association health plans, and flood insurance, and stay in the know on the go with REALTOR® Party Mobile Alerts.

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By The Numbers

Number of state and local REALTOR® associations that have agreed to support NAR’s latest work to secure affordable, high-quality health care option for its members ad their families through Association Health Plans. Has your association jumped on board?

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Number of REALTORS® currently subscribed to the REALTOR® Party Mobile Alerts texting program. Stay in the know while on the go today by texting the word REALTOR to 30644. Or sign up online by July 31 to be entered into a drawing to win a $250 Amazon gift card.

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The Supreme Court opinion, in which justices sided with Pennsylvania resident Rose Mary Knick on a property rights issue that will likely have ripple effects on land use and environmental regulations. This decision overturned a decades-old precedent. It states that landowners should not have to jump through state-level hoops before heading to federal court to accuse the government of taking their property.

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The REALTOR® Party At Work

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

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Utah REALTORS® Think Ahead to Prevent Affordable Housing Shortage

The population of Utah is expected to double – yes, double – by the year 2040, and the state is already feeling a housing crunch. With the help of Utah REALTORS® and the support of Issues Mobilization Grants, Utah has found a way to incentivize solutions to its growing shortage rather than strong-arming municipalities with mandates.

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Miami REALTORS® Celebrate Mega Success with Mega-Grant Program Pilot

With more than 47,000 members spanning roughly 70 different municipalities, the Miami Association of REALTORS® is the nation’s largest – a distinction that can be unwieldy and impractical when it comes to taking advantage of REALTOR® Party resources. A scaled-up program designed for “mega-boards,” piloted by the Miami REALTORS®, has proven to be a mega-success.

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Greater Los Angeles and Southland Regional Association REALTORS® Join Forces to Defeat Parcel Tax

Fresh off a win with a highly publicized teachers’ strike earlier this year, the Los Angeles Unified School District called for a 16-cent per square foot parcel tax on all residential and commercial buildings, claiming that it would support students. But the REALTORS® of the Greater Los Angeles and the Southland Regional Associations begged to differ.

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Resources & Opportunities

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Aug. 7: Can the Broadband Gap in Rural America be Closed? Webinar

Twenty-four million American households or more do not having reliable, affordable high-speed internet, and 80% of these households are in rural areas. But access to funding and changes in laws are taking place across the country to accelerate broadband deployment. This includes removing barriers to infrastructure investment and promoting competition in the telecommunications market. Tune in on Aug. 7 to get an overview of the digital divide, its impact on real estate and communities, and efforts to bridge the divide.

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We’ve Got You Covered

Major investors to RPAC are getting a special edition of REALTOR® Magazine in July! Plus, hear how REALTORS® are mentoring REALTORS® in community service, and learn about an enhancement to the VA loan program. Those stories and more in the Voice for Real Estate.

WATCH

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50th Anniversary of RPAC Commemorative Artwork

Are you one of the 10,000 2018 RPAC Major Investors whose name is part of the custom picture by artist Phil Hansen, replicating NAR’s Washington, D.C., building? Watch the Commemorative Artwork Creation Video, and visit the 50th Anniversary of the REALTORS® Political Action Committee webpage to search for your name.

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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, YouTube, and Instagram to get the latest news, information and resources.

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