With the New Year in full swing, it is important that REALTORS® acknowledge the momentous year 2015 was for us in federal and state government affairs.

At the federal level, advocacy efforts by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) were successful in extending the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness for two years, halting the Waters of the Unites States Rule implementation, and removing G-Fees as a financing mechanism from the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act.

At the state level, the Arizona Association of REALTORS®’ (AAR) Legislative Committee read over 1,200 bills, proactively defeated many items of legislation prior to receiving a hearing in committee and was successful in the passage of its 2015 Legislative Policy agenda.

NAR and AAR achieved several accomplishments and set the foundation for many important issues moving forward. Here are some of the key accomplishments affecting your business.

Arizona Association of REALTORS®:

  • Defeated legislation that would have eliminated the Homeowner’s Rebate program in Arizona; this victory saved homeowners throughout the state over $20.2 million dollars on their property taxes in 2016
  • Passed legislation to prohibit cities and towns from requiring a real estate broker or sales person to obtain any additional business licenses, saving the REALTOR® anywhere between $80 – $100 per business license when they conduct business within various municipalities
  • Championed legislation that prohibits certain fees for residential services to be charged to anyone other than a person who physically resides at the property and who received the services; the passage of this legislation saves homeowners and landlords money by prohibiting fees for residential utility services they did not use
  • Advocated for condominium and planned community associations to file their annual reports to the Arizona Corporation Commission with a separate statement containing the name of the designated agent or management company for the Homeowners Association (HOA), the address for the HOA and contact information of the HOA, its designated agent or management company; the passage of this legislation saves REALTORS® time when trying to located contact information for condominium unit owners and owners in a planned community

National Association of REALTORS®:

  • Maintained funding levels for the National Flood Insurance Program and homeowner’s advocate, with small increases for flood mapping and mitigation activities
  • Secured additional funds to fight wildfires, during the worst wildfire season in the nation’s history
  • Reauthorized the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, which mandated that insurers make terrorism coverage available along with its property and casualty lines; this program was reauthorized through 2020
  • Reduced the Federal Housing Administration annual mortgage insurance premiums by 50 basis points

Nicole LaSlavic is vice president of Government Affairs for the Arizona Association of REALTORS®

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