Government Affairs

Covid Strikes Government

While government at all levels has continued to meet - either virtually or in-person - throughout the pandemic, much of the focus has been on how to get through this difficult period with the least amount of disruption.  Legislative agendas have been placed on the back burner while only the most important non-financial issues have been addressed.

Once REALTORS® were permitted to return to work, the hot housing market resumed without missing a beat. So what can the membership expect in the future?  Regardless of the result in the presidential election, taxes at all levels will mostly likely be increased in order to pay for the deficits incurred to bolster the economy through this period.  Municipalities, in particular, will be forced to raise property and school taxes to close financial shortfalls and pay for precautions implemented to mitigate the effects of the virus.  Simultaneously, with the significant increase in the national deficit, the Federal Reserve may be forced to raise interest rates, thereby increasing mortgage rates.

It is hard to determine what the total impact of this will be.  It is likely that while we have enjoyed an unprecedented housing market over the past eight years, this cannot last indefinitely.  Increases in taxes, growing deficits, shrinking inventories, rising unemployment and a potential recession and inflation do not create an optimistic outlook.  As English poet Robert Herrick once stated: "Gather ye rosebuds while ye may."

New York State Legislation

Since 2018, Democrats have assumed control of all three houses of state government.  The impact has been not only legislation dominated by one party, but also a significant amount of control by officials from the New York City and Long Island areas.  The most recent impact has been the number of bills submitted which deal with tenant rights.  Opposed by NYSAR, the legislation places "onerous and overly restrictive 'good cause eviction' standard and impose de facto rent control statewide without any home rule option."  While essentially providing tenants with a perpetual lease even when terms of that lease have expired, it will reduce the market value of existing properties and discourage investors.  Unlike other proposed laws which would only impact New York City, this is a state-wide effort which "addresses" a problem in upstate which doesn't exist.

REALTORS® MUST GET OUT THE VOTE

2020 must rank as one of the most important election years in recent memory.  While the presidential race steals the headlines, and most political fundraisers are limited to virtual sessions, there are key federal and state races which should not be overlooked.  The three Congressional races which cover the BNAR district - NY 23 (Tom Reed), NY 26 (Brian Higgins), and 27 (newly elected Chris Jacobs) - are being contested, and there are 4 local state races that have no incumbent on the ballot:

o NY Senate #60: Sean Ryan (D) vs. Josh Mertzlufft (R)

o NY Senate #61:  Kim Smith (D) vs. Ed Rath (R)

o NY Assembly #140: William Conrad (D) vs. Robert Pecoraro (R) vs. Anthony Baney (G)

o NY Assembly #149: Jonathan Rivera (D) v. R Joseph Totaro (R)

 

The best way for the membership to show its legislative potency is to go to the voting booth on November 3rd.  Vote for the candidates who reflect your best interests, and proudly wear the sticker "I Voted."  It's a privilege, a right, and a responsibility.


RPAC Falling Short of 2020 Goal

For the first time in 15 years, the BNAR is lagging in contributions to the REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC).  As of August 8, 917 members have contributed $50,091 toward our goal of $70,820 (71%).  While the shortfall can be attributed to the Covid pandemic, the need for donations has not abated. 

 

RPAC Chair Margaret Hartman stated: “Can you truly afford not to invest in RPAC knowing all of the harm that can be done to our industry and livelihoods if anti-REALTOR® legislations pass?  I remind REALTORS® that an annual contribution of $99 breaks down to about a quarter a day.  So for less than a pack of gum or a cup of coffee each day, you can invest in RPAC, protect your business interests and ensure that you continue to have a viable real estate market in which you can make a living."

 

This is an important election year at all levels of government. RPAC raises money for the future and protection of the real estate industry and homeowners by supporting the election of candidates who support the free enterprise system and private property rights.  It provides Realtors® with a voice in legislative chambers, and a seat at the table where decisions are made regarding our welfare and financial future.  The BNAR’s knowledge of real estate, its experience as "Ambassadors of the Community,” and its technical resources compels it to be actively involved in the formation of public policy at all levels of government.

 

Don't rely on your co-workers to protect your welfare.  Remember: “If you’re not at the table, you are probably on the menu!”

Please consider giving your Fair Share!  Here is the Contribution Form for you to complete and send in.

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