2016 Election Recap

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By Bill Ruh, CVAR Government Affairs Director

Election Day 2016 is now one for the history books.  No matter where your partisan political preferences may rest, your non-partisan REALTOR® Party has been hard at work throughout this election cycle to help elect REALTOR® friendly candidates in the U.S. House of Representatives, the California State Senate and the California State Assembly.    To that end we at the Citrus Valley Association of REALTORS® are pleased to announce that ALL of the REALTOR® Party candidates in our service area have been elected or in some cases re-elected.

 In the U.S. House of Representatives, where we need to keep the Mortgage Interest Deduction and 1031 exchanges, we congratulate:

                              Congressmember Judy Chu – 27th Congressional District

                              Congressmember Pete Aguilar – 31st Congressional District

                              Congressmember Grace Napolitano – 32nd Congressional District

                              Congressmember Norma Torres – 35th Congressional District

                              Congressmember Ed Royce – 39th Congressional District

 In the California State Senate and the California State Assembly, where we need to stop the potential for Professional Service Taxes and need to keep the Independent Contractor status of REALTORS®; we congratulate:

                              Senator Mike Morrell – 23rd Senate District

                              Senator Anthony Portantino – 25th Senate District

                              Senator Ling Ling Chang – 29th Senate District

                              Assemblymember  Marc Steinorth – 40th Assembly District

                              Assemblymember Chris Holden – 41st Assembly District

                              Assemblymember Blanca Rubio – 48th Assembly District

                              Assemblymember Ed Chau – 49th Assembly District

                              Assemblymember Freddie Rodriguez – 52 Assembly District

                              Assemblymember Philip Chen – 55th Assembly District

                              Assemblymember Ian Calderon – 57th Assembly District

 That is 15 races in which the REALTOR® Party competed and 15 races the REALTOR® Party won! A 100% victory for REALTORS®  We know each of them and we know that they will fight for REALTORS®.

At CVAR we ask you to get involved with the real estate politics that affect your business. Join the advocacy of CVAR, CAR and NAR to keep all REALTORS® protected and nationally recognized. The REALTOR® Party is a powerful alliance of REALTORS® and REALTOR® associations working to protect and promote home ownership and property investment. The REALTOR® Party speaks with one voice to advance candidates and public policies that build strong communities and promote a vibrant business environment. Get involved with the real estate politics that affect your business. Without the advocacy of the REALTOR® Party, victories such as those above would not be possible.  We ask you to join the advocacy of the REALTOR® Party by making a contribution to the REALTOR® Action Fund. Your participation will help to ensure future victories.

 As Winston Churchill once said:  “Many forms of government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe.  No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise.  Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst from of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.”

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NAR CFA: Tell the Senate to Get to Work for Future Homebuyers

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I am REALTOR Party

Key Talking Points:

H.R. 3700 was passed by the U.S. House 427-0. Despite passing with NO OBJECTIONS, the U.S. Senate has not acted on H.R. 3700.This legislation provides significant benefits to taxpayers, homebuyers and the real estate market by:

Removing a burdensome and expensive FHA Condo approval process
Reducing FHA restrictions on the number of condos available to homebuyers
Permanently streamlining Rural Housing Service loan processing
More Information on NAR’s efforts to pass H.R. 3700:

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The Top 17 November Ballot Measures

 

17 ballot measures set to go before voters Nov. 8 will number 51 through 67. The Secretary of State has announced the numbering of the ballot on Friday July 1, 2016.

Given the financial wherewithal of some of the groups and people involved, voters can expect to become very familiar with various proposition numbers in the coming months.

Here is how the numbers line up:

▪ 51: Authorizes $9 billion school construction bond

Authorizes $9 billion in general obligation bonds: $3 billion for new construction and $3 billion for modernization of K-12 public school facilities; $1 billion for charter schools and vocational education facilities; and $2 billion for California Community Colleges facilities. Bars amendment to existing authority to levy developer fees to fund school facilities, until new construction bond proceeds are spent or December 31, 2020, whichever is earlier. Bars amendment to existing State Allocation Board process for allocating school construction funding, as to these bonds. Appropriates money from the General Fund to pay off bonds. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: State General Fund costs of $17.6 billion to pay off principal ($9 billion) and interest ($8.6 billion) on bonds over a period of 35 years. Annual payments would average $500 million. Annual payments would be relatively low in the initial and final few years and somewhat higher in the intervening years.

▪ 52: Locks in a quality assurance fee on hospitals

Increases required vote to two-thirds for the Legislature to amend a certain existing law that imposes fees on hospitals (for purpose of obtaining federal Medi-Cal matching funds) and that directs those fees and federal matching funds to hospital-provided Medi-Cal health care services, to uncompensated care provided by hospitals to uninsured patients, and to children’s health coverage. Eliminates law’s ending date. Declares that law’s fee proceeds shall not be considered revenues for purposes of applying state spending limit or determining required education funding. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: State savings from increased revenues that offset state costs for children’s health coverage of around $500 million beginning in 2016-17 (half-year savings) to over $1 billion annually by 2019-20, likely growing between 5 percent to 10 percent annually thereafter. Increased revenues to support state and local public hospitals of around $90 million beginning in 2016-17 (half-year) to $250 million annually by 2019-20, likely growing between 5 percent to 10 percent annually thereafter.

▪ 53: Requires public vote on revenue bonds of more than $2 billion

Requires statewide voter approval before any revenue bonds can be issued or sold by the state for projects that are financed, owned, operated, or managed by the state or any joint agency created by or including the state, if the bond amount exceeds $2 billion. Prohibits dividing projects into multiple separate projects to avoid statewide voter approval requirement. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: The fiscal effect on state and local governments is unknown and would vary by project. It would depend on (1) the outcome of projects brought before voters, (2) the extent to which the state relied on alternative approaches to the projects or alternative financing methods for affected projects, and (3) whether those methods have higher or lower costs than revenue bonds.(15-0003.

▪ 54: Prohibits votes on bills not in print for three days

Prohibits Legislature from passing any bill unless it has been in print and published on the Internet for at least 72 hours before the vote, except in cases of public emergency. Requires the Legislature to make audiovisual recordings of all its proceedings, except closed session proceedings, and post them on the Internet. Authorizes any person to record legislative proceedings by audio or video means, except closed session proceedings. Allows recordings of legislative proceedings to be used for any legitimate purpose, without payment of any fee to the State. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Increased costs to state government of potentially $1 million to $2 million initially and about $1 million annually for making additional legislative proceedings available in audiovisual form on the Internet.

▪ 55: Extends a temporary income tax increase on wealthy filers

Extends by twelve years the temporary personal income tax increases enacted in 2012 on earnings over $250,000 (for single filers; over $500,000 for joint filers; over $340,000 for heads of household). Allocates these tax revenues 89% to K-12 schools and 11% to California Community Colleges. Allocates up to $2 billion per year in certain years for healthcare programs. Bars use of education revenues for administrative costs, but provides local school governing boards discretion to decide, in open meetings and subject to annual audit, how revenues are to be spent. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Increased state revenues annually from 2019 through 2030—likely in the $5 billion to $11 billion range initially—with amounts varying based on stock market and economic trends. Increased revenues would be allocated under constitutional formulas to schools and community colleges, budget reserves and debt payments, and health programs, with remaining funds available for these or other state purposes

▪ 56: Increases the state tax on cigarettes by $2 to $2.87

Increases cigarette tax by $2.00 per pack, with equivalent increase on other tobacco products and electronic cigarettes containing nicotine. Allocates revenues primarily to increase funding for existing healthcare programs; also for tobacco use prevention/control programs, tobacco-related disease research and law enforcement, University of California physician training, dental disease prevention programs, and administration. Excludes these revenues from Proposition 98 funding requirements. If tax causes decreased tobacco consumption, transfers tax revenues to offset decreases to existing tobacco-funded programs and sales tax revenues. Requires biennial audit. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Net increase in excise tax revenues in the range of $1.1 billion to $1.6 billion annually by 2017-18, with revenues decreasing slightly in subsequent years. The majority of funds would be used for payments to health care providers. The remaining funds would be used for a variety of specified purposes, including tobacco-related prevention and cessation programs, law enforcement programs, medical research on tobacco-related diseases, and early childhood development programs

▪ 57: Changes parole rules for some nonviolent offenders

Allows parole consideration for persons convicted of nonviolent felonies upon completion of full prison term for primary offense, as defined. Authorizes Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to award sentence credits for rehabilitation, good behavior, or educational achievements. Requires Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to adopt regulations to implement new parole and sentence credit provisions and certify they enhance public safety. Provides juvenile court judges shall make determination, upon prosecutor motion, whether juveniles age 14 and older should be prosecuted and sentenced as adults. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Net state savings that could range from the tens of millions of dollars to the low hundreds of millions of dollars annually primarily due to a reduction in the prison population from additional paroles granted and credits earned. Net county costs that could range from the millions to tens of millions of dollars annually, declining to a few million dollars after initial implementation of the measure.

▪ 58: Restores some bilingual education programs

(1) Existing law, as added by Proposition 227, a measure approved by the voters at the June 2, 1998, statewide primary election requires; among other things, that all children in California public schools be taught English by being taught in English. Proposition 227 specifies that English learner pupils, as defined, be educated through sheltered English immersion, as defined, during a temporary transition period not normally intended to exceed one year. Proposition 227 further, provides that its requirements relating to sheltered English immersion instruction may be waived with the prior written consent of a pupil’s parent or legal guardian as specified. Proposition 227 also encourages family members and others to provide personal English language tutoring to English learner pupils.

This bill would amend and repeal various provisions of Proposition 227. The bill would, among other things, delete the sheltered English immersion requirement and waiver provisions, and would instead provide that school districts and county offices of education shall, at a minimum, provide English learners with a structured English immersion program, as specified. The bill would authorize parents or legal guardians of pupils enrolled in the school to choose a language acquisition program that best suits their child, as provided.

(2) Existing law requires, on or before July 1, 2014, the governing board of each school district and each county board of education to adopt a local control and accountability plan and requires the governing board of each school district, and each county board of education to update its plan on or before July 1 of each year. As part of the process for developing the local control and accountability plan, existing law requires the superintendent of the school district or the county superintendent of schools to both present the plan or annual update to the plan to a parent advisory committee and an English learner parent advisory committee for review and comment, and to respond, in writing, to comments received from the committees. Existing law also requires the superintendent of the school district and the county superintendent of schools to notify members of the public of the opportunity to submit written comments regarding the specific actions and expenditures proposed to be included in the local control and accountability plan or annual update to the plan.

This bill would, as part of the parent and community engagement process required for the development of local control and accountability plan, require school districts and county offices of education to solicit input on, and provide to pupils, effective and appropriate instructional methods, including, but not limited to, establishing language acquisition programs, as defined.

(3) Proposition 227 also specifies that a pupil’s parent or legal guardian has standing to sue for enforcement of its provisions and, if successful, to receive normal and customary attorney’s fees and actual damages, but not punitive or consequential damages. Proposition 227 further provides that school board members, other elected officials, and public school teachers or administrators who willfully and repeatedly refuse to implement its provisions may be held personally liable for fees and actual damages by a pupil’s parent or legal guardian.

This bill would delete those provisions.

(4) Proposition 227 provides that its provisions may be amended by a statute to further its purpose passed by a 2/3 vote of each house of the Legislature and signed by the Governor.

This bill would delete the requirement that the amendment further the purpose Of Proposition 227, and would revise the vote threshold to a majority vote in each house of the Legislature.

(5) This bill would make these provisions operative on July 1, 2017.

(6) The California Constitution authorizes the Legislature to amend or repeal an initiative statute by another statute that becomes effective when approved by the electors.

This bill would provide that it would become effective only upon approval of the voters, and would require the Secretary of State to submit this measure to the voters for approval at the November 2016 statewide general election.[8]

▪ 59: Questions voters on “Citizens United” ruling (Advisory only)

Shall California’s elected officials use all of their constitutional authority, including, but not limited to, proposing and ratifying one or more amendments to the United States Constitution, to overturn Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (2010) 558 U.S. 310, and other applicable judicial precedents, to allow the full regulation or limitation of campaign contributions and spending, to ensure that all citizens, regardless of wealth, may express their views to one another, and to make clear that corporations should not have the same constitutional rights as human beings?[4]

▪ 60: Requires condoms for adult film actors

Requires performers in adult films to use condoms during filming of sexual intercourse. Requires producers of adult films to pay for performer vaccinations, testing, and medical examinations related to sexually transmitted infections. Requires producers to obtain state health license at beginning of filming and to post condom requirement at film sites. Imposes liability on producers for violations, on certain distributors, on performers if they have a financial interest in the violating film, and on talent agents who knowingly refer performers to noncomplying producers. Permits state, performers, or any state resident to enforce violations. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Potentially reduced state and local tax revenue of millions or tens of millions of dollars per year. Likely state costs of a few million dollars annually to administer the law. Possible ongoing net costs or savings for state and local health and human services programs. (

▪ 61: Imposes price controls on state drug purchases

Prohibits state agencies from paying more for a prescription drug than the lowest price paid for the same drug by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. Applies to any program where the state is the ultimate payer for a drug, even if the state does not purchase the drug directly. Exempts certain purchases of prescription drugs funded through Medi-Cal. Fiscal impact: It is the opinion of the Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance that the measure, if adopted, may result in a substantial net change in state or local finances

▪ 62: Replaces the death penalty with life in prison

Repeals death penalty as maximum punishment for persons found guilty of murder and replaces it with life imprisonment without possibility of parole. Applies retroactively to persons already sentenced to death. States that persons found guilty of murder and sentenced to life without possibility of parole must work while in prison as prescribed by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Increases to 60% the portion of wages earned by persons sentenced to life without the possibility of parole that may be applied to any victim restitution fines or orders against them. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Net reduction in state and local government costs of potentially around $150 million annually within a few years due to the elimination of the death penalty.

▪ 63: Imposes new gun-control restrictions

Prohibits possession of large-capacity ammunition magazines, and requires their disposal by sale to dealer, destruction, or removal from state. Requires most individuals to pass background check and obtain Department of Justice authorization to purchase ammunition. Requires most ammunition sales be made through licensed ammunition vendors and reported to Department of Justice. Requires lost or stolen firearms and ammunition be reported to law enforcement. Prohibits persons convicted of stealing a firearm from possessing firearms. Establishes new procedures for enforcing laws prohibiting firearm possession by felons and violent criminals. Requires Department of Justice to provide information about prohibited persons to federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Increased state costs in the tens of millions of dollars annually related to regulating ammunition sales, likely offset by various regulatory fees authorized by the measure. Increase in court and law enforcement costs, not likely to exceed the tens of millions of dollars annually, related to removing firearms from prohibited persons as part of court sentencing proceedings. These costs could be offset to some extent by fees authorized by the measure. Potential increase in state and local correctional costs, not likely to exceed the low millions of dollars annually, related to new and increased penalties.

▪ 64: Legalizes recreational use of marijuana

Legalizes marijuana and hemp under state law. Designates state agencies to license and regulate marijuana industry. Imposes state excise tax on retail sales of marijuana equal to 15% of sales price, and state cultivation taxes on marijuana of $9.25 per ounce of flowers and $2.75 per ounce of leaves. Exempts medical marijuana from some taxation. Establishes packaging, labeling, advertising, and marketing standards and restrictions for marijuana products. Allows local regulation and taxation of marijuana. Prohibits marketing and advertising marijuana to minors. Authorizes resentencing and destruction of records for prior marijuana convictions. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Net reduced costs ranging from tens of millions of dollars to potentially exceeding $100 million annually to state and local governments related to enforcing certain marijuana-related offenses, handling the related criminal cases in the court system, and incarcerating and supervising certain marijuana offenders. Net additional state and local tax revenues potentially ranging from the high hundreds of millions of dollars to over $1 billion annually related to the production and sale of marijuana. Most of these funds would be required to be spent for specific purposes such as substance use disorder education, prevention, and treatment.

▪ 65: Redirects revenue arising from state ban on plastic bags (see Proposition 67)

Redirects money collected by grocery and certain other retail stores through sale of carry-out bags, whenever any state law bans free distribution of a particular kind of carry-out bag and mandates the sale of any other kind of carry-out bag. Requires stores to deposit bag sale proceeds into a special fund administered by the Wildlife Conservation Board to support specified categories of environmental projects. Provides for Board to develop regulations implementing law. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: If voters uphold the state’s current carryout bag law, redirected revenues from retailers to the state, potentially in the several tens of millions of dollars annually. Revenues would be used for grants for certain environmental and natural resources purposes. If voters reject the state’s current carryout bag law, likely minor fiscal effects

▪ 66: Speeds up the death penalty process

Changes procedures governing state court appeals and petitions challenging death penalty convictions and sentences. Designates superior court for initial petitions and limits successive petitions. Imposes time limits on state court death penalty review. Requires appointed attorneys who take noncapital appeals to accept death penalty appeals. Exempts prison officials from existing regulation process for developing execution methods. Authorizes death row inmate transfers among California state prisons. States death row inmates must work and pay victim restitution. States other voter approved measures related to death penalty are null and void if this measure receives more affirmative votes. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Increased state costs that could be in the tens of millions of dollars annually for several years related to direct appeals and habeas corpus proceedings, with the fiscal impact on such costs being unknown in the longer run. Potential state correctional savings that could be in the tens of millions of dollars annually.

▪ 67: Referendum to uphold or repeal a law restricting single-use carryout bags

If signed by the required number of registered voters and timely filed with the Secretary of State, this petition will place on the statewide ballot a challenge to a state law previously approved by the Legislature and the Governor. The challenged law must then be approved by a majority of voters at the next statewide election to go into effect. The law prohibits grocery and certain other retail stores from providing single-use bags but permits sale of recycled paper bags and reusable bags

State law sets the ballot order based on the type of measure as well as when signature checkers finished sampling millions of signatures turned in by supporters. The fall election will feature the most measures since March 2000, when voters saw 20. Lawmakers could add still more after they return from summer recess Aug. 1.

For complete information please visit the Secretary of State website:  http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/ballot-measures/qualified-ballot-measures/

It should be noted that these ballot measures do not include a number of local measures which will also be on the ballot.

A few of our accomplishments

Realtor Party: Vote Act Invest

At the local level CVAR:

1) Defeated two costly parcel taxes in local communities

2) Defeated the Eminent Domain of Mortgages in 3 CVAR communities

3) Elected Pro-REALTOR® candidates in local communities

 

At the State Level CVAR and CAR:

1). Halted an expensive $75 per-document housing fee

2). Prevented the passage of a Professional Services Tax

3). Halted a costly Point of Sale environmental retro-fit

 

At the Federal Level CVAR and NAR:

1). Maintained the Mortgage Interest Deduction

2). Retained the 1099 Exchange

3). Stopped a tax on Mortgages for Roads and Highways

Get Involved

Realtor Party: Vote Act Invest
Support Your Business
The Citrus Valley Association of REALTORS® is dedicated to advocating for real estate professionals and their clients in the political arena. We want to make it easy for you to get involved and support your business!

Get the Call for Action From Anywhere!

The new REALTOR® Action Center mobile app contains a host of features to help you VOTE, ACT and INVEST while on the go.

Receive a notification alerting you to a Call for Action. The new mobile alert format will make participation a snap. No forms to fill out. Short, fast and easy!

  • Mobile Investing: Make your annual investment to support the Realtor Party Action Committee via your phone!
  • Action Profiles: The app contains a summary of your REALTOR® Party engagement, including a list of open action items and actions you have already taken.
  • Advocacy Reports: Track your state and local associations’ advocacy efforts to help us reach our annual 15% goal.
  • REALTOR® Party Tracker: Learn how your state and local associations are using NAR programs to build political strength in your own backyard. Find out what tools and programs NAR is providing our association, and how much money those programs cost.
What RPAC Does and Why We Urge You to Support It

Since 1969, the REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC) has promoted the election of pro-REALTOR® candidates across the United States. The purpose of RPAC is clear: REALTORS® raise and spend money to elect candidates who understand and support their interests. The money to accomplish this comes from voluntary contributions made by REALTORS®. These are not members’ dues; this is money given freely by REALTORS® in recognition of how important campaign fundraising is to the political process. RPAC doesn’t buy votes. RPAC enables REALTORS® to support candidates that support the issues that are important to their profession and livelihood.

When Congress is considering legislation that affects the real estate industry, NARcalls on its members to act. Simply by contacting your Member of Congress through an e-mail, Tweet, or a phone call, you can ensure that your business remains strong. NAR members join together and speak with one loud, powerful voice.  It does make a difference!

What’s Happening on Capital Hill?

One of the most important services organized real estate provides is representation in the halls of government. Stay up to date with what is going on and visit our Government Affairs section of the website to read the most current political news.

National Government Affairs News

The Washington Report is a weekly publication compiled by the Government Affairs division of the National Association of REALTORS®, covering legislative and regulatory policy activities affecting all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.
Click to Read the Washington Report

Receive Government Affairs News via Email

To receive government affairs news via email, Subscribe to NAR’s Weekly Report newsletter and check Legislative & Regulatory Issues.

 California Government Affairs News

The Citrus Valley Association of REALTORS® encourages its members to be familiar with issues that directly impact their business and to support state and federal initiatives to ensure a viable real estate market.
Read California Government Affairs News

RPAC: Your Best Investment in Real Estate

Realtor Party: Vote Act Invest

Why Political Involvement?
Since 1969 RPAC has been promoting the election of pro-REALTOR® candidates across the United States. During the last federal election cycle alone, RPAC contributed over $12 million to pro-REALTOR® candidates to Congress, making it the number one trade association political action committee in the nation.

Why has RPAC been successful?
In America the exercise of good government has its foundation in the participation of its citizens in politics. By definition of the work you do, REALTORS® are contributors to the American dream- home ownership. REALTORS® make it possible for people to bring value to their communities, their lives, to schools and to the future. Increasingly REALTORS® are facing forces from many directions that threaten their ability to help bring about the American dream for more people. Increasing health care premiums, the economy, property tax burdens, rent controls, impact fees and the taking of private property for the public domain are only a quick handful of issues that somewhere, everyday REALTORS® confront.

If Not You, Who?
That is why it is vitally important that REALTORS® be politically active: to take on the responsibility of protecting the values and rights we hold dear. If not REALTORS®, then who? No one knows a community better than a REALTOR®. It would be difficult to believe that a local no-growth group would represent your real estate business interests, or that those employed by the local government know best how much and where to spend the tax dollar better than you do. REALTORS® are the experts on their communities. REALTORS® know the lay of the land, the families, the best schools, the neighborhoods, and the leaders. With REALTORS® in virtually every community in the nation, you are in a strong position to be on the front line as either a proponent or a defender.

Failure to be involved politically can and likely will result in someone else filling the vacuum left by you. That may sound okay at first; because we are sure someone else will do the job and see things as we do. That is until one discovers that the voices being heard may be contrary to wise business planning and a threat to property owners and their rights. If you as a REALTOR® do not speak out, get involved, and help shape your community, someone else will. It is a good bet that they won’t be supportive of your position.

On the national level, we give our money to those in Congress who both understand and support REALTOR® issues. We look to build the future by putting RPAC dollars in places that will help advance the interests of Real Estate professionals. RPAC is the only political group in the country organized for REALTORS®, run by REALTORS® and exists solely to further issues important to REALTORS®.