As we slip into summer it’s more than just the outside temp that’s heating up, IT’S ELECTION TIME AGAIN!!! If I was a weatherman I would predict an unusually warm Fall and a HEAT WAVE in November.
On the Local Scene
Here at GAAR our policy advisory committee (RECPAC) has been busy doing forensics on the June primary elections to make sure we know who our REALTOR® CHAMPIONS are. We will work closely with RANM’s RPAC Trustees to make sure those REALTOR® champions continue to represent our industry favorably.
Ask Not What Your County Can Do For You
In current news, relief from New Mexico's dismal recovery from the big recession could come from Counties taking the bull by the horns. Sandoval County is the first to usher in what could be a tremendous boost in their economy with the passage of the States first Right To Work law. This law simply states that employees cannot be forced to join a union and have union dues deducted from their paychecks as a condition of employment. Now other counties are paying attention with Chaves, Lincoln and Otero passing similar laws. By all accounts there may be as many as twelve counties by the end of the year which may prompt state lawmakers to follow suit. States like Kentucky have seen skyrocketing economic development with the passage of a statewide RTW law. Companies are flooding in and economic development is reaching all time highs. More and better jobs translates directly to consumers’ ability to purchase homes. Couldn’t we use a little of that around here? Again, RECPAC is at the forefront of this issue and we will bring you updates as we get them.
In the local spotlight you might remember our Albuquerque City elections last October where the onerous “Healthy Workforce Ordinance”, or Paid Sick Leave, was defeated at the ballot box. GAAR policy advisors made it very clear this version of paid sick leave policy would have been a real deterrent for new businesses coming to our city and the punishing provisions would have made it difficult for many of our existing small businesses to justify staying here in Albuquerque. The fact that GAAR, CARNM and RANM locked arms and worked hard together for this big win proves that our members are at the center of all our activities.
Exposing the Disclosure
Backing up a bit, our team has been following the HOA document disclosure issue for over four years now. It all started in Santa Fe when the state legislature felt it was time to provide “protections” to consumers. Sometimes a legislator's vision, however well intentioned, and reality are not even remotely related. This bill opened the door for HOA management companies to hike the fees on home sellers for newly required disclosure documents and even make up several “NEW” charges. It is a real surprise when a seller gets socked with unexpected fees at closing that sometimes totaled $1,500.00 or more. We were able to negotiate many points of the bill but in the end the fees were dictated by the HOA management companies and have had a negative impact on many transactions. Our team then made a simple argument to our Albuquerque City Council that these exorbitant fees were unfair for sellers especially since these documents are available to homeowners in the HOA usually for NO CHARGE. The Councilors heard us and passed a cap on the fee of $240.00. As a follow-up many HOA management companies began piling on NEW FEES to make up the difference, ignoring the intent of the duly passed ordinance. We can only hope that going forward HOA Boards will seize the opportunity to renegotiate with their management companies and work harder to represent their members.
When REALTORS® come together we have a powerful voice with elected officials and on industry issues. Your voluntary contributions are key investments in protecting homeownership and our business today and in the future.
Executive Vice President
Greater Albuquerque Association of REALTORS®
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RPAC & RECPAC - WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
The National Association of REALTORS® advocates every day on behalf of the nation's 1.3 million REALTORS® and 75 million property owners. NAR is widely considered one of the most effective advocacy organizations in the country.
Real Estate Community Political Action Committee is made up of members from CARNM and GAAR (Board of Trustees) whose purpose it is to advocate for issues of a more local nature. Members follow important issues through City Councils, County Commissions and State Government to make sure policy makers understand how issues affect homeownership and property rights.
More on RECPAC.