Agenda Summary National Association of REALTORS® 2012 REALTORS® Conference The Peabody Orlando Hotel Plaza International F Friday, November 9, 2012 9:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Chair: Dwight Hale, San Antonio, TX Vice Chair: Laurie Urbigkit, Riverton, WY Committee Liaison: Brooke Hunt, Flower Mound, TX Committee Executive: Darren Smith, Washington, DC
I. Call to Order (Dwight Hale, Chair) A. Welcome and Introductions B. Ownership and Conflict of Interest Policy C. 2012 RPAC 100% Committee Challenge
II. Previous Meeting's Minutes (Dwight Hale, Chair)
III. Joining and Using the Committee REAction Site (Claire McDonough and Darren Smith, NAR Staff)
IV. Short-Term Rental Restrictions (Mark Lehman, Texas Association of Realtors®; Emily Chenevert, Austin Board of Realtors®) In several areas around the country, local governments are seeking to regulate short-term rental housing in various ways. A white paper has been prepared by NAR consultant Robinson & Cole LLP, analyzes the issues raised by these different regulatory approaches; provides Realtors® with ways to address these issues, and outlines "best practices" approaches to short-term rental housing that Realtors® can use in discussing the issue with local government officials. (Rental Restrictions White Paper)
V. Eminent Domain and Mortgage Seizure (Jaren Davis, Chairman - NAR Conventional Finance and Lending Committee; Paul Herrera, Inland Valleys (CA) Association of Realtors®; Brian Bernardoni, Illinois Association of Realtors®) At the suggestion of a San Francisco based venture capital firm, Mortgage Resolution Partners (MRP) San Bernardino Count and two of its included cities have created a joint powers authority to explore local governments use of eminent domain authority to seize performing mortgage notes of "upside down" or "underwater" homeowners, and then refinance them at the homes' current value, and sell that new note to a new investor.
The proposal to use eminent domain has not yet actually been used, but has received broad attention throughout California and has been considered by cities in other states. San Bernardino seems closest to actually condemning a note.
VI. HUD Housing and Transportation Affordability Index Project (Darren Smith, NAR Staff) The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has engaged outside assistance with creating a Housing and Transportation Affordability Index. The intention of this index is to determine the cost of a households transportation as a portion of its income and what impact that may have on their ability to afford a home. (Housing and Transportation Affordability Index)
VII. Discussion of Priority Issues for 2013 (Laurie Urbigkit, Vice Chair)
VIII. Unfinished Business(11:00) (Laurie Urbigkit, Vice Chair; Darren Smith, NAR Staff) A. NAR Smart Growth Program Update The healthier a community, the better the environment for REALTORS®. Keeping a community attractive, livable, and functioning well is a complex task. Whether your community is grappling with transportation and land use issues, crowded schools, or open space, or working to bring vacant properties back to productive use, NAR’s Smart Growth program has resources to help you and your association plant seeds that will pay dividends for years to come. (NAR Smart Growth Page)
B. Marketplace Fairness Act/Internet Sales Tax Update The Marketplace Fairness Act grants states the authority to compel online and catalog retailers ("remote sellers"), no matter where they are located, to collect sales tax at the time of a transaction - exactly like local retailers are already required to do. However, there is a caveat: States are only granted this authority after they have simplified their sales tax laws.
C. Transportation Authorization Update On June 29, 2012, the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives both approved H.R. 4348, the Surface Transportation Conference Report. The bill, passed by votes of 373-52 in the House and 74-19 in the Senate, authorizes federal surface transportation spending programs through September 30, 2014.
Although the new authorization achieves some NAR policy priorities by preserving overall funding levels for roads and transit, streamlining environmental review processes, and providing some long-term certainty, it contains several provisions that decrease local control and ability to fund local needs. This includes a two-thirds reduction in funds set aside and accessible to local agencies for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure and other projects that enhance neighborhoods and property values. It reduces accountability on the part of state Departments of Transportation and eases requirements that they meet broad performance measures and prioritize the maintenance and repair of existing infrastructure. Several provisions in the Senate bill supported by NAR were removed during the conference process, including a Complete Streets provision that would have required consideration of all modes and users during project planning.
The new authorization identified several temporary revenue offsets to bridge the anticipated gap between gas tax revenues and authorized spending levels, but puts off to the future a larger discussion about how to match revenues and spending going forward.
D. Impacts of Energy Extraction (“Fracking”) Update “Fracking” is a term used for a gas extraction method that utilizes hydraulics to fracture underground rocks. The environmental and health impact of fracking has become an issue as concerns are raised over ground water contamination and other hazards.