Public Affairs Update – November 2017


Welcome to Fall! By this point, you should all be aware of the Call To Action NAR has released related to Tax Reform. There have been many questions related to what the plan says and what NAR’s position is, and I wanted to take a second to clarify where we stand and why. To start, it is important to note that NAR, WR, and CCAR are all non-partisan associations. We believe in the REALTOR Party concept, allowing us the independence to align with whoever we feel best represents the interests of your business and our communities. With the information and data we have now, we are opposed to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in its current form. Many months of analysis have gone into developing our position on this, and it has ultimately been determined that the plan would place a heavier tax burden on homeowners and have a negative impact on property values. NAR supports the concept of revising the tax code, and feels it still remains appropriate for the policies to promote homeownership, recognizing the positive impacts it has on neighborhoods and as a wealth building tool for the middle class. In the coming weeks, there will certainly be revisions to this bill, possibly moving the data enough so that it becomes something NAR chooses to support. Until then, we need to communicate with our Congressional delegation that homeowners should not be negatively impacted by tax reform, and ideally maintain the tax incentives for homeownership.


On state and local levels, WR remains engaged in talks to find a fix for the Hirst Decision, as well as issues related to the Growth Management Act and affordable housing. Locally, we are involved with conversations related to how community services are funded, and will continue to promote funding solutions that do not place undue burden on the business community or negatively impact affordable housing. Your Government Affairs Committee was involved in the Vancouver City Council races, endorsing four candidates that best represent our values of affordable housing and responsible taxation. As of this writing, the results of the election are not official, but we are hopeful that Anne McEnerny-Ogle, Scott Campbell, Alishia Topper, and Linda Glover were all successful. Our activity with this election included hosting a candidate forum in the spring, along with conducting interviews later in the fall. Keep your eyes open for some changes to our process heading into 2018; and in the meantime, ensure you are doing your part to protect our industry and communities by investing in RPAC.


I wish you all the best as we enter into the holiday season. Please know if you ever have questions about policy or how current events may impact our communities or your business, I welcome the chance to discuss those items with you.


Rian Davis, Public Affairs Director