The Voice for Real Estate 41: Access Taxes, Copyrights, Global Impacts

For years some people have been paying an access tax to shop for homes and do other things online. But a law NAR helped bring to the finish line ends these taxes and makes sure other states don’t levy them. The real estate industry’s success in getting the taxes banned after years of effort is a top story in The Voice for Real Estate, NAR’s news video for the week of March 7. Other stories look at steps you can take to protect yourself against liability for infringing photo copyrights, why contract signings for residential real estate is holding up well despite economic uncertainties around the word, and how U.S. real estate pros benefit from international conferences like the one later this month in Cannes, France.

Featured Segments:

  • Internet Access Taxes Stopped
  • Protecting Yourself from Copyright Liability
  • Contract Signings Stay Stable
  • Attracting Global Buyers

Get more on all the topics covered in this video:

Voice for Real Estate 41: Transcript

Access Taxes, Copyrights, Global Impacts

Stephen Gasque Voice Over: 

Internet access taxes will soon be banned forever – as NAR
helps stop the practice.
Can you protect yourself if your website posts a copyrighted
photo?
And home sales show stability even during economic
uncertainty
These stories and more on The Voice for Real Estate
Hi, I’m Stephen Gasque of the National Association of Realtors.
We’ve always taken access to the Internet for granted. But did
you know that, since 1998, a battle has been underway in
Washington to keep states from levying an internet access tax?
Right now, several states have laws on the books allowing them
to tax your access to the Internet, but Congress has stopped the
spread of these laws by passing a series of temporary
measures.
NAR has been a big part of the effort to curb the spread of
Internet access taxes because it knows how important the
online environment is - to your business. Just imagine if every
person in the United States had to pay a tax to go online to
shop for a home or find a REALTOR®.
Well, now? Free access has won. Because President Obama has
signed a law permanently stopping the spread of access taxes
to other states. Plus, States that already charge the taxes are
required to repeal those laws by June 30, 2020. NAR’s Evan
Liddiard has more.
[QUOTE]
There is one Internet tax measure that NAR does support: It’s
called the Marketplace Fairness Act, and it would end the
preferential sales tax treatment many online retailers get
compared with brick-and-mortar businesses. That bill is still
working its way through Congress.
[SWOOSH]
Are you protected if a copyrighted photo ends up on your
website through a listing feed or some other means? You are -
if you take steps outlined in the Digital Millennium Copyright
Act. The law’s been on the books for more than a dozen years
but it’s become more important because copyright lawsuits in
real estate are on the rise.
Among the steps you need to take: First, have someone in your
office register with the U.S. Copyright Office as a point person.
Second, have a policy for terminating anyone who repeatedly
infringes copyrights. Third, don’t turn a blind eye to any
infringement going on your office. Fourth, you can’t directly
benefit financially from hosting infringing photos on your site.
NAR Associate Counsel Chloe Hecht has more.
[QUOTE]
Hecht says if you take these and the other steps outlined, you
cannot be held liable for any copyrighted photos that
inadvertently appear on your site.
[SWOOSH]
The U.S. economy is still growing but there’s no doubt global
uncertainties are having a - dampening effect. It’s no surprise,
then, that homes sales contracts dipped a bit in NAR’s latest
report. NAR’s Lawrence Yun has more.
[QUOTE]
One thing that will help real estate markets — and the
economy — is more new-home construction. Yun says builders
and policymakers need to offer education to address the
shortage of skilled construction workers.
[SWOOSH]
More than $100 billion of U.S. residential real estate last year
was sold to people from outside the country! One way to
position yourself for this business is to attend international real
estate conferences
That’s why NAR and seven associations of Realtors are
partnering to host a major exhibit at MIPEM [pronounced as an
acronym, “mip-em”], the International Real Estate Show for
Professionals, in Cannes, France, later this month. Here’s what
Illinois members who went to the show last year say about it,
via Skype.
[QUOTES]
A delegation of more than 100 Realtors are attending to make
global business connections and drive foreign investment to the
U.S.
[SWOOSH]
And that’s out show for the week of March 7. You can get more
on everything we talked about today at The Voice for Real
Estate page on nar.realtor. Thank you for joining us, and be
sure to join us again as we bring you the latest news on The
Voice for Real Estate.

Advertisement