During the August Congressional Recess, the Houston Association of REALTORS® (HAR) Governmental Affairs team and REALTOR® constituents presented RPAC contributions to U. S. Representatives Brian Babin, Kevin Brady, John Culberson, Al Green, Gene Green, Sheila Jackson Lee, Michael McCaul, Pete Olson, Ted Poe, and Randy Weber. We appreciate the excellent professional relationships HAR enjoys with these elected officials and the work that the National Association of Realtors (NAR) Federal Political Coordinators (FPC) produce throughout the year to put a Realtor face on the issues before Congress. Special thanks to FPCs Shad Bogany, Sherri Brummett, Vicki Fullerton, Danny Frank, Carlos Garcia, John Nichols, Jo Ann Stevens, Jeanie Turk, DeLora Wilkinson, and Gerald Womack for their service.
At the state level, REALTORS® serving in political leadership had the opportunity to visit with state elected officials over the summer months as we prepare for the 140 days of next year’s 85th legislative session scheduled to begin on Tuesday, January 10, 2017.
At HAR Central, State Senator Sylvia Garcia and State Representatives Sarah Davis, Gary Elkins, Jarvis Johnson, Gene Wu, Hubert Vo, and Gilbert Pena discussed education, transportation, and property tax issues as well as the possibility of law making the reporting of real estate sales prices mandatory. Currently, Texas does not require the disclosure of real estate sales prices. Appraisers and other officials argue that this missing data makes it difficult to accurately value properties and fairly assess taxes. Conversely, opponents of the proposed law argue that lawmakers in the future would use that data to begin taxing real estate transactions. Both Texas Association of REALTORS®(TAR) and HAR Governmental Affairs teams will be monitoring this issue closely. With the help of these supportive candidates, we will strive to implement laws that are in the best interest of REALTORS® and the property owners they serve.