Realtors® Political Action CommitteeImproving good government by stimulating Realtors® to become involved in government at every level.
What is RPAC?
The Realtors® Political Action Committee is a volunteer group of Realtors® and others and is not affiliated with any political party. The Committee exists for six main purposes:
- To promote and strive for the improvement of good government by encouraging and stimulating Realtors® and others to become more active and involved in government at every level.
- To encourage Realtors® and others to understand the nature and actions of their government, with regards to important political issues as well as the records of officeholders and candidates for elected office.
- To assist Realtors® and others in organizing themselves for more effective political action and for carrying out their civic responsibilities.
- To endorse and/or financially support candidates in primary and general elections for Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia and local Boards of Supervisors; to provide funds for national political action committees which are a part of, or affiliated with, the National Association of Realtors®.
- To provide, through an established framework, funding for local associations and local association PACs to use in local or state elections and for political issues of local concern.
- To assist financially, under established guidelines, the Virginia Association of Realtors® or local association of Realtors® and local association PACs in their efforts to support or oppose political issues of local concern.
Contribute to RPAC
If you are a Realtor®, an affiliate member, or an immediate family member residing in the same household, you are eligible to contribute to RPAC. You can contribute by including your investment in your next dues bill payment, attending a FAAR RPAC event, or donating online.
What has RPAC done for me lately?
- Virginia Realtors® were instrumental in the development and passage of the First Time Homebuyer Savings Plans which allow certain investments to grow Virginia income tax free if established guidelines are followed.
- Virginia Realtors® worked to gain immunity from prosecution for Realtors® who rely on public records for information.
- Potential legislation that would have created huge daily fines for Realtors® who place signs in public rights of way was stopped because of the relationships that Virginia Realtors® have with state legislators.
- Virginia Realtors® work hard each year to seek out Realtor® input on issues that affect property rights in Virginia and/or negatively impact Realtor® businesses.
Why should I support RPAC?
Realtors® make many business investments such as cell phones, cars, computers, MLS fees, errors and omissions insurance. They are investments you rely on in your business. However, some Realtors® overlook one very important investment in their business. That investment is RPAC.
RPAC is the way Virginia Realtors® can act together in influencing legislation and regulation that affects real estate property rights in our state and nation. RPAC helps elect candidates who think like we do, who understand the challenges of running a small business, paying self-employment taxes, and defending oneself against frivolous lawsuits. RPAC is not a charity. Rather, it is a necessary investment in your business, a kind of insurance policy against bad legislation and regulation. Furthermore, RPAC is non-partisan in its support for candidates. It’s all about policies, not parties.
What has RPAC accomplished?
It may be tempting to look at the relative ease with which you can practice real estate in Virginia and assume that today’s marketplace evolved naturally, that policy makers had your interests in mind all along. But that’s just not so. Without the efforts of the local, state, and national association, you’d be inundated with ridiculous red tape and legal liability, and your customers and clients would have a steeper climb towards home ownership. Want proof? Take a look at this list of our recent legislative wins and losses on your behalf.
Civil Penalties for Unlicensed Real Estate Practices
Many local Commonwealth’s attorneys do not have the time or resources to prosecute unlicensed activity, and the Real Estate Board may now issue “cease and desist” orders, as well as civil fines for violators.
Fair Standards for Investment in Mortgage Companies
Realtors® have supported fair opportunities for licensees to invest in lenders, providing more resources for loans.
Passed Brownfields Revitalization Legislation
This provides financial incentives for investments to return industrial sites to clean, useful and productive status.
State-Chartered Banked Entering Real Estate Industry
Realtors® supported very restrictive standards, which have helped to protect our industry from unfair competition by large corporate entities.
Fought Increased Court Costs for Suit Filing
The General Assembly increasingly looks to add-on fees as a funding mechanism for a variety of projects—but those who need to use the courts to enforce leases and contracts should not bear the costs of their “hot projects.”
Backed “Affordable Housing Trust Fund”
We are constantly looking for ways to assist those who want to own homes to find affordable financing, and grants from this fund may assist.
Supported Online Recordation of Land Records
Some wanted to restrict the use of modern technologies in recording and storing deeds, which would keep costs of closing up, and keep Virginia behind.
Widespread Immunity for Mold Claims
Complaints of mold are increasingly common, and property managers and agents must be kept out of harm’s way when people sue to have mold remediated.
Supported Title Insurance Freedom to Set Rates
Like other insurance products, title insurance rates have responded favorably for our clients when priced by the marketplace.
Defeated Transfer Tax Legislation (year after year)
The General Assembly often looks to the Grantor’s Tax as another “pot” of funds for transportation, and we must continue this fight.
Defeated Recordation Tax Legislation (year after year)
Likewise, the state and local recordation taxes are targets for the General Assembly, and we have fought efforts to increase those taxes for a myriad of purposes unrelated to their collection.
Defeated “Flush Tax”
Efforts to improve water quality in Virginia’s waters and the Bay, and to repair and rebuild older sewage treatment facilities must not be born solely by one segment of our economy—homeowners.
Limits for Disclosure Packet Fees in POAs
Some Property Owners Associations try to charge fees that are not permitted by the law, or to change them more than once.
Defeated Impact Fee Legislation (year after year)
In an effort to eliminate or reduce local real estate taxes, some localities would like to shift the burden to developers, and charge extremely high Impact Fees for new homes.
Addressed Chinese Drywall Issues
Realtors® recognize that Chinese drywall is a material adverse condition in a property, and notice must be given to purchasers and tenants whenever it is found.
Defeated Private Transfer Fees
Developers will not be able to charge a 1% fee each time property is sold.
FAAR Legislative Package
Review FAAR’s most recent Legislative Package or browse past packages to see what issues the Association has been fighting for on your behalf.
Have an issue that you don’t see addressed in these packages? Email FAAR’s Public Policy Director, Kim McClellan at firstname.lastname@example.org and pass your concerns along. This package is developed every year with the input of FAAR members like you.