NSDCAR REALTORS MAKE ANNUAL WASHINGTON DC VISIT
Past NSDCAR Board Chairman Mike Carunchio joined the delegation to Washington D.C. earlier this month and came away with a deep appreciation for the power, effectiveness of value of being a REALTOR®.
More than 20,000 REALTORS® came to the Nation’s Capital to deliver a unified to members of Congress on important national issues that affect homeownership and real estate transactions.
“It’s quite amazing to be walking through the halls of Congress and they are filled with REALTORS®,” said Carunchio.
The well-organized and coordinated “Hill Visits” by REALTORS® really demonstrates the power of over one million NAR members.“Everyone has access to Congress, but we (REALTORS®) take full advantage of it by being well organized and having a focused message,” Carunchio said. This was his second NAR trip to Washington, but it won’t be his last.“I have already booked for next year at my own expense. Incredible that we have that kind of access and the work REALTORS® do here on behalf of real estate is incredible,” Carunchio stated.
REALTORS® Bob Pahlke and Marie Jebavy are NSDCAR’s representatives to the NAR Board of Directors. These are your representatives who study the national issues impacting your industry and share your views at the national meetings. Pahlke said the main issues this year during the Congressional office visits were Fair Housing, Net Neutrality, National Flood Insurance and Tax Policy. Congress must reauthorize the NFIP for five years and include meaningful reforms that open the door to private market flood insurance. While the House has passed the NAR-supported HR 2874, the 21st Century Flood Reform Act, the Senate has yet to act. NAR Research shows a potential loss of 40,000 home sales each month should the program lapse. Congressman Darrell Issa told our members that paying for such an insurance program is the biggest concern, and current legislation beyond a one-year authorization would likely not be signed by President Trump if passed.
In December 2017, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted the Restoring Internet Freedom Order. This order will replace and reverse the 2015 Open Internet Order, which implemented “net neutrality” rules. The 2015 Open Internet Order rules prohibited internet service providers from blocking or degrading of lawful content on the internet. They also prohibited paid prioritization or “fast lanes” on the internet. Once the order becomes final, NAR expects the issue to move to the courts and to Congress. Here is what NAR has to say on the issue: Net neutrality is important to small, main street businesses like REALTORS® who depend on open internet access every day to run their businesses and serve their customers. Removing net neutrality rules could make it impossible for small real estate firms to compete with larger entities on the internet.
NAR opposed the FCC Restoring Internet Freedom Order. NAR will work with Congress to enact balanced net neutrality rules that will allow REALTORS® to continue to serve consumers efficiently.
Here are the NAR positions on Tax Reform and Fair Housing delivered to members of Congress by REALTORS®.
New Tax Law
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R.) was enacted in December 2017, and includes many changes to the tax law that will affect residential and commercial real estate, as well as real estate professionals. As with most major legislation, many details as to how the new law will be applied and administered has been left to regulators (Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service). Treasury and IRS officials have already begun to issue guidance on the bill and much more is expected over the coming weeks and months. NAR is monitoring the process carefully and will be weighing in as necessary to help ensure the most positive outcome for real estate and practitioners as possible.
20 percent deduction on Qualified Business Income for Pass-Through Business Entities and Sole Proprietors
Indexing to inflation, the $750,000 cap on Mortgage Interest Deduction.
Indexing to inflation, the Capital Gains Exclusion on Sale of Principal Residence(link is external)
Extension of expired Mortgage Debt Cancellation Tax Relief
Congress must amend the Fair Housing Act to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Currently, only half of the country has state or local laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. NAR’s Code of Ethics requires REALTORS® to provide equal professional services without discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Amend the Fair Housing Act to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
“The Beacon” is a regular publication of NSDCAR designed to keep you aware of important issues and to help members understand the power of the Realtor Voice and the value of the Realtor Advocacy program.