Washington REALTORS® leadership outlines member priorities

Leaders from the Washington Association of REALTORS®, including President Jerry Martin, President-Elect Dale Chumbley, and CEO Steve Francks met with 40 brokers and local directors from King County last week to talk about REALTOR® priorities. President Martin kicked off the presentation with updates on the state association’s recent legislative successes, many of which involved taxes.

In 2017, WR defeated a proposal to increase the B&O tax on commissions by 60 percent, stopped the imposition of a new state capital gains tax of 7.9 percent on commercial and investment real estate sales, and thwarted attempts to double the Real Estate Excise Tax (REET). Martin pointed out that stopping the B&O tax increase alone saved the state’s brokers $50 million this year. He promised that WR would remain focused on the bottom line, which is helping members keep more money in their pockets.

Looking ahead to the rest of the year and beyond, WR’s biggest priority is – you guessed it – housing supply. The main effort is centered on condominium law reform, which would bring much-needed supply onto the market. “REALTORS® help people achieve the American dream,” said Francks. “We’re helping make sure that dream is still possible.” He said to stay tuned for more information about forthcoming plans to tackle the issue.

Another focus of WR advocacy this year is the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act, the landmark legislation signed in 1968 that made the American Dream possible for all. For Martin, who described the redlining his family experienced when he was a child, this one is personal. “It wasn’t so long ago that my family couldn’t buy a house,” said Martin. He encouraged members to visit www.FairHousing.realtor to learn more and share the important history of REALTORS® and the adoption of the Fair Housing Act.

President-Elect Chumbley used WR’s advocacy efforts to update the group on the state-wide and local issues that WR is keeping an eye on this year. “We’re looking everywhere to see what’s going on and how we can help,” Chumbley said. “Local issues are our issues. They are a state priority.”

One way members can work on issues that need attention in their communities is through the NAR grant program. Chumbley reminded the group that grants are an excellent way to put your dues dollars back into your community to work toward land use issues, electing pro-REALTOR® candidates, expanding public spaces, and more.

“We want to make sure we’re not just doing things right, but that we’re doing the right things,” said Francks of WR’s numerous advocacy, communications, and program improvement efforts. “I’m proud, and I hope you’re proud. Our organization is doing really well.”

For more information on the resources and support that WR provides, visit their website.