This year has certainly started off with a political bang as new elected officials in our state and national capitols settle into their roles and gain their footing. The HAR Governmental Affairs team is working hard to keep our members informed about new and proposed laws and regulations at all levels of government.

The 85th Texas Legislature convened on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 at our state capital in Austin. On opening day, the HAR Governmental Affairs team had the pleasure of visiting with members of the legislature and their staff as we delivered the Texas Association of REALTORS® (TAR) 2017 legislative priorities booklet. Top priorities for this session include property taxes, school finance, and the Texas Real Estate Commission.

Visit the Texas Association of REALTORS® website to read the 2017 legislative priorities. Follow the Hidden Property Tax on Facebook and Twitter as we find examples of misinformation about property taxes across Texas.

Another way to be better informed about legislation affecting your pocketbook is to subscribe to receive TAR’s weekly Legislative Liaison newsletter: https://www.texasrealestate.com/for-texas-realtors/sign-up-for-political-affairs-programs

Mark your calendars now and plan to participate in Texas REALTOR® Lobby Day on Tuesday, April 4, in Austin. To register for this biennial event, sign up at www.har.com/lobbyday. As real estate industry representatives, REALTORS® from across the state have an opportunity to visit one-on-one with their state legislators. Participants will want to enjoy the BBQ lunch served at the TAR Building where your state legislators and REALTOR® colleagues have a chance to meet and greet each other.

Already almost 2,000 bills have been filed in the 150 member Texas House of Representatives, and almost 900 bills have been filed in the 31 member Texas Senate. Your presence is needed during REALTOR® Lobby Day in order for our state legislators to put a REALTOR® face behind the bills that are before them.

At the federal level, HAR’s Federal Political Coordinators and elected leadership will be visiting Washington, D.C. for our annual congressional visits on May 17 and 18.

With almost 1400 bills and resolutions before Congress, in a short time, the Trump Administration has proven that there are many changes on the horizon. It is more crucial than ever to stay on top of proposed changes to the Dodd-Frank Act, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the National Flood Insurance Program, FHA loans, and the Mortgage Interest Deduction.

During the 115th Congress, the REALTOR® legislative and regulatory agenda will be focused on efforts to stimulate, stabilize, and strengthen real estate markets across the nation while protecting the business interests of members. Install the NAR REALTOR® Action Center app on your mobile device to receive the Washington Report and stay informed as bills and regulations move through Congress.

The HAR Political Affairs Advisory Leadership (PAAL) of Bay Area and Fort Bend County plans to conduct candidate interviews in February and March in advance of the Saturday, May 6, elections. These interviews will give PAAL volunteers the opportunity to ask questions of the candidates and to recommend candidates whom they believe are the best choice for the real estate industry.

• Pearland will elect a Mayor as well as a Council Member in Position 3.
• Pasadena will elect a Mayor and eight Council Members. Pasadena has been in the national spotlight for issues with its city council election system and its impact on Latino voters.
• Sugar Land will elect Council Members for Districts 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Stay informed by accessing our many resources:

  • Visit www.harconnect.com as well as HAR.com’s Facebook and Twitter pages.
  • Visit TAR’s website, www.hiddenpropertytax.com, and sign up so that you are informed about tax policies that affect your and your clients’ pocketbooks.
  • Register to attend REALTOR® Lobby Day in Austin on Tuesday, April 4.
  • Register to receive TAR’s Legislative Liaison and receive weekly updates as REALTOR issues move through the 85th Texas Legislature.
  • Install the NAR REALTOR® Action Center on your mobile device to be informed about congressional actions and regulatory policies in Washington, D.C.
  • Install the Houston Living app to find city services, Houston City Council Members, events, and properties for sale in Houston.
  • Check out the HARbeat for timely articles posted so that you are informed about people, events, and issues at all levels of government.

The HAR Governmental Affairs team will keep you up to date so that you have the opportunity to participate in HAR’s respected political process. We couldn’t do our work without you! Thank you for your support and interest!

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