Legislative Advocacy & Political Action
As REALTORS®, it is our duty to stay informed on the political welfare of our industry, and by supporting the REALTOR® Political Action Committee (RPAC), you become a vital pillar to one of the largest and most influential political groups in Georgia and in the country. As an Association, we work to provide you with the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding the State of Real Estate on Capitol Hill. From crucial nationwide flood insurance reform to changes in local land ordinances, we'll keep you in the know and at the cutting edge of realestatepolitik.
Get To Know RPAC
From 2004 to 2012, RPAC raised over $45 million dollars to support pro-REALTOR® Party candidates running for Congress. The amount of money RPAC spends to support candidates makes it one of the top three trade association PACs in the nation. REALTORS® are a key part of the American Dream: home ownership. But now, more than ever, REALTORS® are facing forces from many directions that threaten their profession. Property tax burdens, lack of available financing and difficulties in short sales transactions are only a few of the issues that somewhere, every day, REALTORS® confront when selling a home. RPAC allows REALTORS® to make sure their concerns about these issues are heard and understood by public officials.
RPAC SUPPORTS THE REALTOR® PARTY
RPAC’s mission is to identify candidates for elected office on the local, state and national levels who will work with REALTORS® to promote and protect the American Dream of homeownership. Candidates that receive support from RPAC are not selected based on their political party or ideology, but solely on their support of real estate issues. Our legislative allies are members of the REALTOR® Party. The REALTOR® Party supports the issues that are important to your business as a REALTOR®, regardless of political party affiliation. RPAC uses its financial resources to support candidates for office who both understand and support REALTOR® issues. RPAC looks to build the future by putting dollars in places that will help advance the interests of real estate professionals. A strong, active PAC will assure that REALTORS® have a place at the table and not be on the menu. RPAC is insurance for our industry.
RPAC SAVES YOU MONEY
REALTORS® are business people and know that the best way to do business is to maximize return on investment. So, how does RPAC help a REALTOR®’s business? CONSIDER THIS:
- National Flood Insurance: Passage of the 5-year reauthorization will bring certainty to real estate transactions in more than 21,000 communities nationwide where flood insurance is required for a mortgage.
- Mortgage Cancellation Relief: This full Senate package will extend the mortgage relief provision for an additional year. The package also includes a relief provision to limit the impact of the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) in ’12 and ’13 and renews the 15-year cost recovery for leasehold improvements through 2013.
- Short Sales: NAR-supported legislation was passed in August 2012 that issues new guidelines to enhance and streamline the short sale process. This includes changes such as increased hardship eligibility, a fixed arm’s length affidavit, alignment of deficiency waiver policies and improvements to property valuation guidance.
And specifically here in Georgia, RPAC has helped us accomplish numerous legislative victories:
- Passing legislation that allows REALTORS® to engage in short sale transactions that had previously been interpreted by the state Banking Department as illegal.
- Successfully limiting local government's ability to register vacant and foreclosed properties by creating statewide standards that all local governments must follow.
- Protecting REALTORS®’ ability to collect and distribute escrow funds.
- Preventing attempts to place a legal duty on real estate agents to provide their client's contact information to code enforcement officers if requested.
- Defeating legislation to mandate a termite inspection prior to closing.
- Passing an $1,800 statewide homebuyer tax credit.
- Preventing statewide point-of-sale plumbing retrofit mandates.
- Passing legislation to regulate Appraisal Management Companies (AMC's).
- Passing legislation to reform Georgia's property tax assessment and appeals process.
- Preventing local governments from registering residential rental property.
- Preventing cities and counties in Georgia from charging individual agents a business license fee for each jurisdiction in which they conduct business.
That’s money back in your pocket and added back to your business’ bottom line. Whether you are a broker-owner or a part-time agent, politics directly impacts your profitability. RPAC is an investment; your investment in your business.
IF NOT YOU, THEN WHO?
REALTORS® must be politically active. If not, who will take on the responsibility of protecting the values and rights we hold dear? Be assured that someone will – someone who may not value wise business planning and could threaten property owners and their rights. If REALTORS® do not speak out, get involved and help shape the discussion, someone else will. No one knows a community better than a REALTOR®. REALTORS® know the lay of the land, the families, the best schools, the neighborhoods and the leaders of any given area. REALTORS® work in every city, county and community in the nation. REALTORS® are on the front line as defenders of real estate issues. RPAC is the only political group in the country organized for REALTORS® and run by REALTORS®. RPAC exists solely to further issues important to REALTORS®.
HOW ARE RPAC INVESTMENTS USED?
100% of your RPAC investment is used to elect pro-REALTOR® candidates: 70% remains in Georgia to be used in state and local elections. 30% of your investment will be forwarded to National RPAC to fund key U.S. House and Senate races. RPAC is neither a Republican nor a Democratic organization. Your investment to RPAC is a vote for a pro-REALTOR® Congress, General Assembly and local delegation, regardless of political party.
GARPAC contributions are voluntary and are used for political purposes. Contributions are not deductible for Federal Income Tax purposes. The Association will not favor or disadvantage anyone by reason of the amount of their contribution, and you may refuse to contribute without reprisal by the Association. Seventy percent of each contribution is split between Georgia RPAC to support state and local political candidates and Georgia RIAC for issues mobilization and education. Thirty percent is sent to National RPAC to support Federal candidates and is charged against your limits under 2 U.S.C. 441a.