Washington, DC – During the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Annual Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, DC, REALTORS® from across the country, including members from the Coastal Association of REALTORS® (Coastal), traveled to Capitol Hill to meet with their federal elected officials.
REALTORS® and association staff from across Maryland meet with Rep. Andy Harris on Capitol Hill during the 2018 National Association of REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Expo.
The purpose of the visits is to share with elected officials NAR’s legislative priorities, which this year include strong net neutrality protections, long term reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), tax policy improvements, and equal access to housing opportunities.
NAR believes that net neutrality is important to small, main street businesses – like REALTORS® – that depend on open Internet access every day to run their businesses and serve their customers. Congress must enact common-sense “rules of the road” that will ensure the Internet is an open, competitive place for consumers and for businesses. REALTORS® went to Capitol Hill to encourage their elected officials to support legislation that ensures Internet service providers may not block, throttle, or establish paid prioritization, and must be transparent in their network management practices.
Members also advocated for the 21st Century Flood Reform Act, which would comprehensively reform and reauthorize the NFIP for five years. As it stands, the program is set to lapse on July 31, 2018. A lapse in the NFIP inhibits about 40,000 property sales per month.
As implementation of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act moves forward, NAR says it’s clear that Congress has more work to do to address significant tax law problems that unfairly inhibit current and prospective homeowners. On Capitol Hill, REALTORS® asked legislators to double the state and local tax deduction limit for married couples, index tax limits to inflation, make the exclusion for forgiven mortgage debt permanent, and extend the deduction for energy-efficient commercial buildings.
In observance of the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act, REALTORS® asked their legislators to support a bill that will protect Americans from housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The NAR Code of Ethics was amended in 2009 to include sexual orientation as a fair housing protection and amended again in 2014 to include gender identity. The LGBTQ community continues to face discrimination in housing, and REALTORS® feel these protections need to be added to the Fair Housing Act.
“It’s always great to meet with our legislators on Capitol Hill,” said Coastal President Joel Maher. “This year, we took them some very pertinent issues that really impact our industry and the lives of our clients. We were proud to present our legislators with the facts, and we hope they will stand with us to support homeownership.”
For more information about CAR, visit www.coastalrealtors.org.
More about Coastal Association of REALTORS®
Coastal Association of REALTORS® is the leading local advocacy group in the real estate industry on the Lower Eastern Shore of Maryland. Coastal REALTORS® works in partnership with its members to promote home ownership and preserve, protect, and advocate private property rights. The organization supports 1,000 REALTORS® who serve Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester counties.
For more information on Coastal REALTORS®, visit www.coastalrealtors.org. The term REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark unique to real estate professionals who are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribe to its strict Code of Ethics.
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