The National Association of REALTORS® is one of the most influential voices advocating for property owners, continuing and expanding private property ownership rights and is a watch dog of taxing policies affecting property owners. Their function, in part, and as taken from their website, www.realtor.org states:
“The National Association of REALTORS® is America’s largest trade association, representing over 1.1 million members, including NAR’s institutes, societies, and councils, involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.
Working for America’s property owners, the National Association of REALTORS® provides a facility for professional development, research, and exchange of information among its members and to the public and government for the purpose of preserving the free enterprise system and the right to own real property.”
As a function of NAR, the Government Affairs Directors have issued their “Summer Recess Talking Points” for use in meetings this week with Senators and Members of Congress during their summer recess. These “talking points” are designed to keep our members and the general public informed on issues affecting real estate values, taxing policies and changes that could negatively impact the right of property ownership.
One topic is to provide Private Flood Insurance Options. Congressional action needed is for the Senate to consider and pass H.R.2901, the “Flood Insurance Market Parity and Modernization Act”. The House of Representatives passed the bill by an overwhelming bipartisan vote, but no action has yet been taken by the Senate. This bill would expand choices for homeowners to obtain more affordable private flood insurance, as required for properties with federally backed mortgages. The private market may be able to offer comparable coverage at lower cost than the National Flood Insurance Program. We are all urged by NAR to contact our Senators to pass this important bill.
They also inform us that Congress is very unlikely to pass tax reform in 2016. However, tax reform proposals are currently being developed for next year. Tax reform legislation could be proposed that would affect how real estate and/or real estate transactions are taxed. Housing tax incentives must be preserved.
For more than a century, the Mortgage Interest Deduction has helped put homeownership within the reach of millions of Americans, strengthening families and society. Tax reforms that eliminate or marginalize the mortgage interest deduction can covertly cripple the tax benefits of owning a home.
Some reform plans would repeal the deduction for state and local taxes, including those for real estate. This would not only raise taxes on millions of middle-income Americans, but would also place homeownership beyond the means of many first-time home buyers.
For almost 100 years, the Section 1031 (Like-Kind Exchanges) provision has encouraged growth by permitting real estate held for investment to be exchanged for property of a like-kind on a tax-deferred basis. These exchanges are essential to the commercial real estate sector and to the economy. If repealed fewer redevelopment projects will for forward, and fewer jobs will be created. Repealing it would harm economic growth and cost jobs.
Be aware of any governmental changes that may affect you as a homeowner and reach out to your Senators, Congressmen, local and state governmental authorities to let them know your views on these and any other issues that could have an impact on real property ownership.
(Excerpts taken from NAR Talking Points distributed 7-21-16)
And remember…..ALL real estate is local! Make sure your REALTOR® is a member of the Stark County Association of REALTORS®!