NAR, TAR and MetroTex agree: REALTORS® must stay politically engaged this year in both local and national arenas. On the national front, Congress is poised to tackle several issues that directly impact our industry.
Congress is expected to try to completely overhaul the country’s tax code. Changes to Dodd Frank and the secondary mortgage market are already in the works. Flood insurance program reauthorization is also on the agenda, and needs to be completed by September.
The Republican “blueprint” for tax reform reduces the number of tax brackets from seven to three, with tax rates of 33, 25, and 12 percent. It also increases the standard deduction to almost twice its current amount reducing the incentive to itemize deductions. Itemized deductions are largely eliminated, though mortgage interest and those for charitable contributions remain. NAR is concerned that the larger deduction greatly reduces the appeal of the mortgage interest deduction.
On the commercial side, there are indications that the 1031-exchange could be eliminated. NAR’s position is that it is important to maintaining 1031 exchanges.
NAR would also like to keep the federal government in the secondary mortgage market to ensure the viability of affordable, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages and not eliminate the role that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have played in ensuring credit is available in a variety of market and to the most people possible.
Locally, we will be making our voices heard in the elections in May. Remember that we want to protect property owners’ rights. We will also be paying attention to issues that impact education, transportation, utilities and the Dallas Pension Fund – all of which impact our quality of life and the ability of us to do our business.
Register to vote. Pay attention to our endorsed candidate and other local races and remember to vote!