For most Realtors®, May 15th-20th, 2017 was a typical week at the office; a listing appointment on Monday, showings on Thursday and a closing on Friday. For others, it was the week they had been looking forward to all year. Starting on Monday May 15th, Realtors® from across the country convened in Washington, D.C. for their annual Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo. Their goal; meet with U.S. Senators and Representatives to advocate for sensible tax reform, preserving the secondary mortgage market and reauthorizing the National Flood Insurance Program.
"Tax benefits...like the Mortgage Interest Deduction...could be eliminated."
The Realtors® Association of the Palm Beaches’ 20-member strong delegation represented all parts of Palm Beach & St. Lucie County. Members had the opportunity to meet with Rep. Lois Frankel (D-West Palm), Rep. Brian Mast (R-Port St. Lucie) and Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Boca Raton) to voice their concerns with the Republican “Blue Print” tax reform plan.
In this proposed plan the tax benefits of owning a home, like the Mortgage Interest Deduction and 1031 Like-Kind Exchange, could be eliminated. RAPB President John Slivon (pictured at top) gave a personal testimonial to Rep. Brian Mast on how vital the secondary mortgage market is to a strong real estate market.
During the meeting with Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) RAPB member and Florida Realtors® President Maria Wells spoke on the importance of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The NFIP is a government run program that provides flood insurance to homeowners in all parts of the United States, not just flood prone areas. The program needs Congressional reauthorization every 5 years and Congress, as a result of the 2016 election cycle and current political climate, has been slow to get the ball moving. If the NFIP is not reauthorized, an estimated 40,000 closings a month would be delayed or would fall through.
Throughout the week, the National Association of Realtors® held committee meetings for members and hosted numerous speakers including Fox News Anchor Chris Wallace and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Ben Carson. The week was capped off with RAPB member Michael Owen being inducted into the RPAC Hall of Fame.