Realtors, what has RPAC done for you lately?
Realtors, what has RPAC done for you lately? Well, as the 2013 Utah Legislative session has just concluded, maybe this is a good time to quantify your donation a bit.
As you may know, most of my posts have more to do with the Tooele County area more than they do with politics. However, as I've often said, if your profession is Real estate, your business is politics. I didn't always think that way, but I certainly do now! In this case, the only political Party I'll be discussing is the 'Realtor' Party. I'm a card-carrying member!
In any event, our legislature just finished its annual 45 day marathon. Of the 1200+/- bills they dealt with, the Realtors, through their legislative committee reviewed nearly 80 of them. We actually 'read' them all, to make sure they didn't affect our core mission statement, and we dealt with those that did.
I could spend all day talking about minutae, but as the tit;e to this post suggests, I want to touch on the real 'meaty' issues we dealt with this year. Especially the ones that have the potential to affect the way you do business in Utah and touch you in the wallet. I'll focus on three specifically.
The Utah State Tax Commission, in their never ending search for revenue, has suggested that a good place source would be a tax on those that use data bases. Can you imagine 'pay per click' on the MLS? What do you think that would cost you and your clients? SB124 creates an exemption from this tax. Thanks Sen. Harper!
HB290 corrected a mistake in the law that dates back to the 2010 session. In their zeal to clean up grammatical errors in older law, some legislative Attorney changed one word in a law, making it impossible for a Broker/Brokerage to sue a seller for a commission! A Judge ruled on the actual 'text' of the law, rather than the intent. Luckily, the Representative and the Senator that ran the 2010 Legislation (that actually had NOTHING to do with commissions) are both Realtors, and understood the huge potential issues this has caused. It's fixed! Thanks to Rep. Froerer and President Neiderhauser!
Finally, in HB4, an increase in our State license fees from $35 to $100 was proposed. As this is the bill that actually 'funds' operation of State government, it's a pretty big bill. That said, we worked with the sponsor, and there is NO increase in our fees for 2013!
These are just a few of the issues we dealt with this year. These things are possible in no small part because of Realtors being involved in the process at the grass-roots level. Having legislators serving that understand the importance of property rights, fair taxation, and the importance of the housing market to our overall economy saves you money on every transaction, and in many cases, makes it possible for you to do business at all!
I gave an issues briefing to the Tooele County association of Realtors this last week and gave them a challenge. Instead of the $40 we ask of you every year, why not write a check for the $65 difference between the $35 license fee you have and the $100 you just saved by having Legislators in office that 'get it'. It's the best, most cost effective insurance policy you'll ever find. So, again I ask you Realtors, what has RPAC done for you lately?
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