ARPAC Benefits

 

  • Preserve affordable Flood Insurance (This is still a major issue.  Congress just keeps extending this bill for a few months at a time.  Unless it is renewed again, or a comprehensive re-write is finally done as we are requesting, the bill is set to expire in July.  If it expires, it will reduce the number of homes sold considerably because folks cannot afford their payment with taxes and insurance figured in.

  • Preserve the Mortgage Interest Deduction:  The tax bill that was just passed was set to completely eliminate this tax deduction for homeowners which again would greatly impact one of the major incentives to owning a home.  I know I need/use this deduction every year on my taxes.  Had RPAC and the Realtor Party not gotten involved and stressed it’s importance to the congress, we would no longer have this deduction starting 2018.

  • Preserve Property Tax Deduction:  This is another item the recent tax bill would have eliminated, if NAR through RPAC had not gotten involved.  We did not get this deduction put all the way back in play, it is capped at $10,000 as the max that can be deducted, however in Arkansas, that covers 90 – 95% of homeowners tax burden.

  • Maintained the ability to use 1031 Tax Deferred exchanges.  This is mostly use by Commercial buyers/sellers and would have been a BIG hit to the commercial real estate industry if the ability to do these types of tax deferred exchanges had gone away.  (another item that was successfully removed from the recent tax bill due to NAR influence)

  • A major one for our state almost every year now, is we have so far been able to keep the legislature from passing a bill that would force us to pay Sales Tax on our commissions.  This comes up almost every legislative year now here in Arkansas and so far we have been able to defeat it.  If passed, in addition to paying income tax on our commission we would be charged sales tax off the top

  • Another major items in Arkansas that comes up pretty much on a regular basis now, is the push to try to remove our Independent Contractor status.  This would mean that ALL Real Estate agents would have to be PAID EMPLOYEES of the Real Estate Companies.  Just imagen how that would change our industry!!!!!!!

  •  Another every session fight in Arkansas is the push to increase the amount of Transfer Tax that is paid every time a piece of real estate is transferred.  Right now I believe we are at $3.30 per thousand, but they try to raise it up to a dollar or more each session.  So, more closing costs to homeowners could prevent some from being able to afford to buy.

  • The recent tax bill also tried to remove the Capital Gains exemption on the sale of someone’s Primary Residence.  Currently there is NO capital gains tax on the sale of real estate up to $250,000 for a single person and $500,000 for a married couple.  Again, imagine if everyone had to pay a tax on any profit made from the sale of their home.

  • NAR has been instrumental in getting the Tax relief for Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Extended.  Right now it is extended through 2018 and NAR will work to extend further.  This is what keeps people who are forced to short sale their homes from getting a 1099 which makes them have to pay taxes on the amount of the debt forgiven if a bank accepts the short sale as payoff.  Imagine you are already in financial difficulty, and the bank agrees to take a $20,000 reduction of a loan amount as payoff so you can get out from under a payment you can’t make and then you turn around and have to pay income taxes on that $20,000 that you never actually received?????

  • NAR has so far been able to get an extension on the Energy Efficient Commercial Building Deduction.  Another major for commercial real estate to be able to give tax relief for commercial builders who are doing what they can to build energy efficient buildings.

  • Streamlining Rural Development Loans.  A couple years ago here in Arkansas, it was taking up to 48 days to get an RD loan through RD Underwriting.  Due to NAR efforts it is now down to a couple of days

  • Also on RD here in Arkansas, our voices have been able to have an impact on preserving Rural Development boundaries.  For those of us who have Rural Development areas that we work in, this would be major if they took away a lot of the areas that have qualified in the past.

  • We continue to work on preserving the ability to have 30 year fixed rate mortgages.  There is a move to revamp or do away with Fannie Mae/Freddy Mac which would essentially do away with 30 year mortgages. (we would most likely have only 15 year or less mortgages to  offer – imagine how many people could not afford a 15 year mortgage.

  • Supporting ARPAC ensures there is someone who monitors Federal and State issues relevant to Real Estate on a daily basis while all of us are out working our business so we have a chance to communicate to lawmakers on bills relevant to our industry before they get passed.  I know I don’t have time to do that, but I appreciate that my money can ensure there is someone to do it.  Otherwise there are many detrimental bills that would get passed without us knowing about them and it is harder to undo something than to stop it in the first place

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