BNAR Achieves 2012 RPAC Goal for Eighth Consecutive Year
Click here for 2012 Legislative Agenda
Last week, 2012 RPAC Chair, Sharon Ciminelli, announced that the BNAR hit its 2012 RPAC financial goal of $37,920. It is the earliest that the dollar goal has been achieved by the organization in the past ten years. It is also the eighth consecutive year that the BNAR has reached the target which is established by the National Association of Realtors®. This year’s participation goal of 724 was surpassed in March, also a record for the earliest that objective was ever accomplished.
In conjunction with the achievement, Ms. Ciminelli announced that the RPAC cocktail party, which was first held last year to thank donors, is scheduled for this October. The affair is free for $99-plus contributors which also holds an auction to generate additional RPAC funds.
The question now is: Why give if the Association has hit its goal? It is even more beneficial since 100% of the RPAC dollars contributed stay with the local organization for its own use. And this being an important election year for state races, we need to make our voices heard to retain our friends and remove those legislators who hinder property rights.
Remember: RPAC is the life-blood of the BNAR’s political affairs effort. Every contribution goes toward protecting your livelihood and improving our community.
BNAR Participates In 2012 Lobby Day
Twenty-six BNAR members and staff, the largest local contingent ever sent to Albany, will participate in the annual NYSAR Lobby Day on June 12. Local association representatives will meet with 18 Western New York legislators to discuss issues relevant to REALTORS® and homeowners including opposition to tax increases, changes in the taxation of condominium and patio home homeowners held in cooperative ownership, and expansion of environmental legislation which will stifle construction and raise building costs. Representatives will also voice support for a homebuyer tax credit, improved property disclosure form, and property tax relief.
Realtors® Running for Office
This year’s BNAR political agenda included promoting Realtors® to run for public office. Two BNAR members have already taken the cause to heart and have declared their candidacy in upcoming elections. Shelia Ferrentino, the 2012 Public Affairs chair, is running for the Grand Island Town Board this year and Diane Benczkowski is campaigning for a position on the Cheektowaga Town Board in an election to be held next year. Both are seeking financial and campaign assistance from associates during their run for election.
The efforts by these two BNAR members also coincides with the Public Affairs Committee’s (PAC) involvement with WomenElect, a local bi-partisan organization formed to advance the cause of getting women elected to public office.
A third Realtor candidate, Antoine Thompson, a former New York State Senator and Buffalo Common Council member, is considering a primary run against 58th District State Senator Tim Kennedy.
In another recent governmental development, Realtor® Christie Nelson has been appointed Director of Real Estate for the City of Buffalo by Mayor Brown. Ms. Nelson succeeds another former Realtor®, John Hannon, who retired from the post in October of last year.
Realtors® Working with Assessors & Builders for Patio Home Legislation
A group has been meeting since November 2011 to come up with a permanent resolution of the patio home/condo tax abatement issue. Initiated by Public Affairs Director, Dan Locche, the group comprises representatives from local municipal assessors, Joe McIvor of the Buffalo Niagara Builders Association (BNBA), and the BNAR.
Meetings are focusing on resolving the tax abatement issue granted to condominium and patio home owners who belong to associations and privately pay for services normally provided by municipalities. Each year for the past ten years, legislation has been introduced by two downstate Assembly and Senate representatives to remove the abatement altogether, but has been successfully defeated by the Western New York state delegation with strong urging from the BNAR and BNBA. Local Assessors have long supported the removal of the tax break despite the fact that it would harm a large number of local homeowners and create an upheaval in the most popular type of housing in Western New York. By entering in negotiations, it is hoped that a compromise can be reached which would satisfy the concerns of assessors and downstate law makers without undermining local homeowners, housing market and construction.
Anyone interested in participating in the Public Affairs Committee or wanting more information should contact Dan Locche at dlocche@BNAR.ORG, or calling (716)923-4152.