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Front Page - Friday, May 20, 2016

Local Realtors converge on nation’s capital to advance housing and property issues

Pictured in Washington, D.C. during the Realtors Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo last week: Lois Killebrew, Carol Seal, Ron Tucker, Randy Durham, Ellis Gardner, Nathan Walldorf, Chris Davis, Mark Hite, Jason Durham, Travis Close, and Kathy Tucker. - (Photo by Brian Copeland)

On behalf of current and future home and property owners throughout the country, nearly 8,900 Realtors last week traveled to Washington, D.C. where they advocated important real estate issues during the 2016 Realtor Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo.

Members of the Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors (GCAR) attended meetings and visited with regulators and lawmakers on Capitol Hill to discuss the legislative and regulatory environment and its effect on residential and commercial real estate. Of utmost importance in the meetings was protecting real estate-related tax policies, which are vital to expanding homeownership to more Americans.

“It is imperative we connect with our lawmakers to ensure they understand the issues that face the real estate industry, markets, and their constituents – many of whom are home and property owners,” said Nathan Walldorf, president of GCAR. “Realtors are on the ground every day fighting for home and property owners in their communities, and we demonstrated we will do the same here in our nation’s capital with our elected officials.”

While in Washington, Walldorf and fellow GCAR members met with Sen. Bob Corker, Sen. Lamar Alexander, and Rep. Chuck Fleischmann on Capitol Hill to sway public policy decisions that will directly affect consumers’ ability to own, buy, and sell real estate. The group also discussed key issues with Georgia elected officials such as Rep. Tom Graves and Sen. Johnny Isakson.

Specifically, Realtors urged legislators to preserve current real estate-related tax policies and extend the Mortgage Forgiveness Tax Relief Act, which prevents distressed homeowners from receiving excessive income tax bills on forgiven home loan debt. 

Other pressing matters included reforming key Federal Housing Administration condo rules and ensuring Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgage guarantee fees are not extended, increased or diverted away for unrelated government spending.

“Congress is considering legislation that will have a very real impact on the industry, so it’s important our elected officials hear from us,” said Walldorf. “Through the voice and strength of the Realtor Party, we made it clear where we stand on key issues that affect buyers, sellers, and investors here in Chattanooga.”

During the week-long conference, Realtors also had the opportunity to explore the latest industry innovations by visiting the almost 120 exhibitors showcasing the newest real estate products and services for the industry during the trade expo.

Source: Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors