If everything goes according to plan, you will receive this edition of RealtyLine before the 2020 election. This is an important election for many reasons, none of which shall be shared here. It is not my intention to influence your vote one way or another.  It is simply my intention to encourage you to vote. Get out there and vote ­— it is one of the things that makes this country great!

Both Texas REALTORS® and the National Association of REALTORS® have political action committees: TREPAC and RPAC, respectively. Both PACs have mission statements as well, and they are similar in nature. The mission of TREPAC-Texas REALTORS® Political Action Committee is to raise and disburse funds to promote home ownership, protect real property rights and increase political awareness. RPAC’s mission is to protect and preserve property ownership rights to the benefit of all citizens throughout the United States.

On a national level, RPAC supports candidates and officeholders who support  a variety of REALTOR® issues, including making sure REALTORS® in every state are deemed essential service providers, extension of the National Flood Insurance Program (this challenge is a traditional pawn), drones, cannabis (yes, cannabis), ADA website compliance, financing options, fair housing and broadband access, just to name a few. 

In Texas, TREPAC has been the constant advocate for REALTORS® and property owners for decades, and there have been plenty of successes. Notably, TREPAC-supported officials have been instrumental in placing important measures on the ballot. 

In 2007, Texas voters approved a measure that allows each of us to claim a property tax exemption on one car used for business as well as personal uses (Proposition 6). The passage of Proposition 6 was estimated to save REALTORS® an average of $1,000 per year.

In 2015, Texas REALTORS® promoted and were successful in passing a constitutional ban on transfer taxes that would have affected all real estate transactions in Texas, both sales and leases. A transfer tax could potentially discourage homeownership and state economists estimated a 7 percent reduction in sales volume if such a tax existed. The defeat of that potential tax saved the average REALTOR® in Texas thousands of dollars per year

If you are a broker, you can thank TREPAC-supported officials for the repeal of the “occupations tax” that was assessed to brokers every two years when they renewed their licenses. That is a $300 license renewal savings every two years.

Across the country, 85 percent of REALTORS® are registered to vote, but in 2016, only 74 percent of members exercised that right. As a profession, REALTORS® are better informed on the issues than any other professional group, more knowledgeable of the issues at hand and more likely to vote. Let’s all make sure that we get out the vote this year, and let’s all encourage others to do the same.

Both PACs are color blind when it comes to supporting candidates for office. The PACs advocate for the REALTOR® Party — not blue, not red, but purple. The PACs support candidates who have a proven track record of supporting real estate issues. TREPAC supports candidates who understand the importance of a strong real estate market to the Texas economy. All candidates are vetted by your Texas REALTOR® leaders (leaders like yourself) to ensure each one is a REALTOR® champion.

It is easy for Texas REALTORS® to know the issues, no matter how you choose to get your information! Text “TREPAC” to 512-806-0316 for instant news and updates. Sign up for the Legislative Liaison e-mail newsletter for updates during legislative sessions and throughout the year at texasrealestate.com/liaison. Just check the Legislative Liaison box and click “save.” Read the TREPAC newsletter at TREPAC.com/blog. Want to be engaged on social media? Follow @TexasTREPAC on Twitter and like the TREPAC page at Facebook.com/TREPAC.

Bottom line once again, make sure you vote, and I will see you at the polls!

Bill Evans

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