CCAR Endorsed Candidates

CCAR Endorsed Candidates

2016-candidate-endorsement

CCAR Candidate Endorsement

*Candidates are interviewed by The Clark County Association of REALTORS. Candidates are endorsed based upon their answers to the questions below and their voting history if they are incumbents. The motions made by our Government Affairs Committee then have to be ratified by our Board of Directors

Candidate Interview Questionnaire for Office of State Legislature – 2016

General Information

  1. Why are you running for elected office/re-election?
  1. What are your top priority issues if elected/re-elected?

Tax and Fiscal Issues

  1. Under the Supreme Court’s McCleary decision on funding of basic K-12 Education, the Legislature has been ordered to reduce reliance on local school levies, find additional funding for basic education and to improve educational outcomes.

What is your position on how the Legislature can meet the requirements of the McCleary decision given revenue constraints?

What is your position on the local levy exchange or “property tax swap” that would reduce local school district levies but increase the statewide property tax levy in equal total amounts?

  1. In recent years, the State Legislature has considered legislation that would establish a state capital gains income tax that would apply to capital gains from the sale of some types of real estate.

What is your position on creating a state capital gains tax, and do you think that such a tax should apply when a person sells real estate or their business to fund retirement, college costs, or other basic family expenses?

  1. Washington State has one of the highest sales taxes in the nation. The sales tax does not apply to services such as real estate brokerage (a recognition of the high B&O tax paid by these businesses), and imposing the sales tax on real estate services would increase housing prices and keep qualified buyers out of the housing market. It would have a devastating impact on the recovery housing industry.

Will you commit to OPPOSE any and all efforts to increase or expand the sales tax on services, particularly real estate services, in the future?

  1. Washington’s Real Estate Excise Tax (REET) is one of the highest in the nation. The REET is an inequitable tax on equity because it is levied against the gross sales amount, not the profit or gain on the sale of property. This robs the home equity from homeowners when they sell their homes.  Real estate taxes are another tax on property that penalizes people for selling their home. Further, increasing real estate taxes worsens the shortage of affordable homes as these taxes will inevitably be passed on to home buyers through higher priced homes.

Will you commit to OPPOSE any and all efforts to increase the Real Estate Excise Tax in the future?

  1. Real estate and other service businesses are subject to the highest regular rate of business and occupation tax (B&O tax) in the state of 1.5%. The B&O is a regressive tax that applies only to business revenue without regard to profitability.

Will you commit to oppose any increases in the B&O tax rate on real estate?

Housing, Land Use, and the Environment

Housing affordability and availability are important issues – not only for REALTORS®, but for consumers and businesses, as well.  In some parts of Washington State, available housing inventory is at an all-time low.  Housing and land supply is constrained and prices greatly exceed levels of affordability for most families.

  1. Do you believe housing affordability/availability is a problem state government should address, because local communities are not addressing the problem … or, do you believe housing affordability/availability is a problem local governments should address, because the state should not interfere with local decisions.
  1. Will you support legislation that requires counties and cities to provide more buildable land to create housing needed for future population and job growth?
  1. Land use and environmental regulations often add significant costs to housing, and many of our state’s laws are outdates and duplicative. Do you support streamlining the development process by removing unnecessary layers of permit review?
  1. What is your perspective on the role of state government in addressing climate change?

Infrastructure & Transportation Funding

In recent years, the Legislature has diverted infrastructure funds and certain tax revenue streams from the Public Works Trust Fund to balance the Operating Budget.  Without funding for basic infrastructure, local governments will be unable to fulfill requirements under the Growth Management Act, stormwater permits, and other regulatory requirements.

  1. Given the needs for infrastructure funding at the local level, how do you believe the state can best provide funding for the infrastructure necessary to support growth?
  1. Will you support using revenues generated by growth (one-time revenues generated by real estate taxes, sales tax on new construction, tax increment financing, etc.) to fund infrastructure projects necessary to accommodate growth or redevelopment needs?

Real Estate Regulation & Consumer Protection

A strong economy depends upon protecting the ability to freely own, use and transfer real property.  REALTORS® work to protect homebuyers and sellers in the homebuying process, ensure that real estate transactions are not complicated by unnecessary requirements, and provide stability in the housing market.

  1. Agencies and local governments increasingly seek to use the real estate transaction process to mandate that sellers take certain actions in order to be able to sell a house. These “point of sale” mandates complicate real estate transactions and discourage activity in the real estate market.

Will you oppose point of sale mandates on real estate transactions?

  1. Washington REALTORS® developed and supported the state’s real estate seller disclosure law in the 1990’s, and since then we have worked with the Legislature on a number of improvements to the disclosure forms. The seller disclosure law is critical to protecting and educating consumers, and clearly establishing the duties of parties in real estate transaction.

Will you agree to contact the Washington Realtors for advice and input if stakeholder groups or constituents propose changes to various real estate statutes, including the seller real property disclosure form?

  1. Housing is a leading driver of the state and national economy. The housing market has successfully relied on tax credits, down payment assistance, and other mechanisms to provide stability and economic recovery after the crash of the banking system.

Do you support legislation or other programs that provide housing opportunities for qualified buyers and help stabilize the housing market, such as down payment assistance programs or loan modification programs that prevent foreclosures?

 

Information about the Campaign (Organization)

  1. Please tell us about the organization and plan you have put together for the campaign.
  1. What are you personally doing to get elected?
  1. What are the organizations and/or elected officials that are supporting your candidacy?
  1. What previous relationship have you had with the Local and/or State Association of REALTORS®?
  1. Is there any other information you would like REALTORS® to know about yourself that was not covered in our questions?

Candidate Interview Questionnaire for local office – 2016 (inclusive of general questioning as stated above)

  1. How do you plan to address the lack of affordable housing in Clark County?
  1. How do we fill the transportation funding gap and fund important projects in Southwest Washington to spur business and job growth?
  2. What do you see as the Key issues in Clark County and how do you plan to resolve them?
  3. How do we ensure we can receive our fair share of a WA state transportation package in the future?
  4. With funding needed to satisfy the Mcleary decision what is your position regarding a creation of a capital gains tax and/or increase to B&O tax?
  5. What is your position on legislative review of agency rules?