Since returning from their August recess, Congress has been busy working on several items that impact the real estate industry. The nation’s debt ceiling was raised, and this legislation benefited REALTORS® as it included language that reauthorized the National Flood Insurance Program. This is a three-month extension that will be revisited soon. The re-authorization comes at a crucial moment, as the U.S. coastal regions have endured several strong hurricanes in a short amount of time.
In addition to advocating for NFIP, NAR has been active on Capitol Hill, attending meetings and speaking about issues such as tax reform, GSE waivers, and HUD appointments.
NAR’s 2017 Federal Taxation Committee Chair Iona Harrison testified in the Senate Finance Committee hearing on individual reform. During her testimony, Ms. Harrison reaffirmed the importance of the Mortgage Interest Deduction and the 1031 Like-Kind Exchanges and restated NAR’s guiding principles to tax reform:
- Our income tax system, despite its many flaws, has supported a homeownership system that is unequaled in the world. Tax reform must build on the positive aspects of our current system so that it continues to encourage and support homeownership.
- While some aspects of our current tax system are mind-numbingly complex, the housing and real estate tax rules create no undue or significant complexity burdens for the great majority of individuals. A quest for simplicity must not be allowed to override common sense.
- Income-producing real estate is vital for strong economic growth and job creation, and great care must be taken in tax reform to ensure that current provisions that encourage those results not be weakened or repealed. Further, we agree that the tax system should be improved to better incentivize the construction of low-income housing (such as through an enhanced Low-Income Housing Tax Credit), encourage more investment in income producing real estate by the middle class, and to help families save for retirement security.
In preparation for the 2018 elections, contract lobbyist Neil Clark provided the Ohio Association of REALTORS® with an update of recent events around the state.
“Four Democratic candidates for governor faced off for the first debate ahead of next year’s primary…touching on issues ranging from education to Ohio’s economy. Former Rep. Connie Pillich, Sen. Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman), Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, and former U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton each touted their experience and leadership as the reasons they should be elected the next governor, and took on the current Republican leadership in Columbus.
Democratic candidate for governor Connie Pillich announced an “Education Stimulus” plan to spur economic growth and attract workers and businesses to the state by making investment in education a top priority in Ohio. This includes universal pre-K and “debt free” college for middle class students.
Husted for Governor recently unveiled its first supporting coalition, “Gun Owners for Husted”. According to the campaign, “… the coalition leaders are made up of prominent Second Amendment leaders both within the state and nationally. Each member joins the coalition in his or her personal capacity.”
Gene Krebs will run for the 5th Senate District seat, the former state representative and Ohio Consumers’ Counsel Governing Board chair announced Thursday. Krebs will face Rep. Stephen Huffman (R-Tipp City) in the Republican primary for the office, which is currently held by term-limited Sen. Bill Beagle (R-Tipp City). Huffman announced his candidacy in May.
Don Elijah Eckhart announced Thursday that he will seek the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in 2018, according to the Columbus Dispatch, making him the fourth Republican in the race for the seat currently held by U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH). Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, Cleveland banker Mike Gibbons, and Marysville business owner and political activist Melissa Ackison have also announced campaigns.”
The Dayton City Commissioners recently voted to modernize building permit fees. Commissioners cited a push from developers to hire more staff and improve service to continue the development of Dayton’s downtown core.
DABR has been present at various events around the county and has held meetings with local officials advocating for policies that protect homeowners and develop communities to build a stronger Dayton Metro region.
DABR CEO Andrew Sims has been busy advancing several initiatives on behalf of DABR members. He served as a guest of Mayor Mary McDonald at the Montgomery County Black Elected Officials Gala. Mayor McDonald has repeatedly praised the REALTOR® community as instrumental in developing and strengthening our communities.
Additionally, REALTORS® had a strong presence at the Dayton Hispanic Heritage Festival, as they operated a booth and engaged with those in attendance about the importance of using a REALTOR®.