Government Affairs

2017 LEGISLATIVE AGENDA

In March the Board of Directors approved this year’s BNAR Legislative Agenda that we will be discussing with key officials at Lobby Day.  The agenda is designed to inform our members of some of the key issues with which our National, State and local Associations are involved.  Use this link for the complete list of key issues covered at this time.

The Buffalo Niagara Association of Realtors continues to support the rights of Realtors and homeowners, affordable housing, preservation of neighborhoods, prudent sustainable development, lower taxes, pro-business policies, protection for independent contractors, job development, retention of our youth in Western New York, smart growth, safeguarding the ecology and participating in those activities and organizations benefiting the community.

BNAR ACHIEVES 2016 RPAC FINANCIAL GOAL

For the 11th consecutive years, thanks to the efforts of Chairman Margaret Hartman, the BNAR surpassed its RPAC financial goal. Remember:  RPAC is the life-blood of the BNAR’s political affairs effort.  Every contribution goes toward protecting your livelihood and improving our community.  Please consider giving your Fair Share in 2017 or increasing your share.  Here is the RPAC Pledge Form.

Or you can purchase an RPAC NY Pin for $25.00.

HOUSING OPPORTUNITIES

BNAR has received grants from the National Association of REALTORS to work with the Broadway-Fillmore Project.  Funds will be used for bus and walking tours, making of a video to promote the walk-able communities in the area and also offer training and education to Realtors on grant program availability and other financing programs.

KEY LEGISLATION APPEARING BEFORE THIS YEAR'S CONGRESS

The fate of the U.S. real estate market is at stake as Congress debates and votes on a number of key bills this year.  In March, Congress passed a modified version of the Flood Insurance Rate delay bill (HR 3370) which limited the amount of increase that FEMA can impose and grandfathering some property owners so that they can reasonably sell their property.  The new law is not perfect but it is a great deal better than before and keeps rates as low as possible for as long as possible. 

Congress is also considering the PATH Act which will eliminate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  The two Government Service Enterprises (GSEs) costs the Federal Government billions of dollars each year, but they are also the basis for a majority of the 30-year mortgages provided in this country and their abolition could increase mortgage rates by 1 to 4%.  If passed, the housing recovery would not only be halted, sales could revert to 2009 levels.   NAR adamantly opposes this bill.

Also on the docket is the Mortgage Forgiveness Tax Relief Act.  It generally allows taxpayers to exclude income from the discharge of debt on their principal residence. Debt reduced through mortgage restructuring, as well as mortgage debt forgiven in connection with a foreclosure, qualifies for the relief.  Financial corporations have been allowed to take advantage of this tax break and Congress is now considering allowing citizens to similarly benefit.

NAR publishes a number of Calls for Action which asks Realtor members to notify their elected representatives of our position.  What takes only 30 seconds could literally save your profession and home ownership.  When asked, please respond to these solicitations.


Joe Cecconi
West Herr Benefits