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Voice for Real Estate 67: Protect Homeowners Under Tax Reform

May 10, 2017

NAR President-elect Elizabeth Mendenhall met with congressional leaders to reinforce NAR’s position that any tax reform should make sure homeowners don’t end up paying more taxes than they do now. Mendenhall met with Senate Finance Committee Chair Orren Hatch (R-Utah), House Ways & Means Committee member Richard Neal (D-Mass.), the staff of House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), and other lawmakers to ensure they know NAR’s position on tax reform as well as reauthorization of federal flood insurance, which expires at the end of September. Details on her meetings and NAR’s concerns with the Administration’s tax reform outline are in the latest Voice for Real Estate video. 

Featured Segments

  • Tax reform
  • NAR advocacy
  • Selling homes with solar panels

Transcript

NAR wants to make sure the new tax reform plan works for homeowners

Almost a million homes have solar power—will you know how to sell them?

And a brokerage gets serious about creating a smart office. 

These stories and more on The Voice for Real Estate

Hi, I’m Stephen Gasque of the National Association of Realtors. 

The Trump Administration has joined the debate over tax reform. They released a plan that would reduce the number of tax brackets, lower the rates, double the standard deduction, and eliminate all itemized deductions except the deductions for mortgage interest and charitable contributions. 

On the surface the plan sounds good for middle-class households. But NAR says most homeowners would end up paying mores taxes. That’s because the increased standard deduction, along with other changes the plan makes, wouldn’t be enough to offset what homeowners would lose….by not being able to take their deductions for real estate taxes, state and local taxes, mortgage insurance premiums, and medical expenses. 

NAR’s Evan Liddiard has more. 

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To make sure lawmakers know where NAR stands on tax reform and other legislative priorities, including reauthorization of federal flood insurance, NAR President-elect Elizabeth Mendenhall spent the day in Capitol Hill meetings with leaders in both the House and the Senate. Among the lawmakers she met with were Sen. Orrin Hatch, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and Richard Neal, a senior member of the House Ways & Means Committee. 

Of course, tax reform and flood insurance will also be among the top issues when thousands of Realtors are in Washington next week for the 2017 Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo. Two days of face-to-face meetings with hundreds of lawmakers. We’ll be sure to keep you updated on all of NAR’s legislative priorities as they move through Congress. 

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Did you know almost one million homes in the United States use solar energy for generating electricity? That creates an opportunity for you -- as households look for homes with affordable energy options. But selling homes with solar energy can be tricky. The rooftop panels might be leased, so you’ll have to deal with the leasing contract. Or the panels might have been financed with public assistance under what’s known as the PACE program. PACE stands for “property assessed clean energy” and homes that have PACE-assisted panels cannot qualify for federally backed mortgage financing. That includes loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. 

To help you get a better understanding of these and other issues, NAR representatives sat down with the head of the Solar Energy Industries Association for a Q&A.

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NAR Senior Counsel Finley Maxson also tackles solar panel financing issues in NAR Legal Affairs’ latest Window to the Law video.

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You can access both videos on NAR’s YouTube channel.

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Many brokerages endured tough times during the housing downturn several years ago. But for one brokerage in the Atlanta area, the hard times led to a radical rethinking of what a brokerage office should be. And now the brokerage is stronger than ever. First, it downsized its physical space. Second, it provided resources to help its agents to be productive anywhere at anytime, and third, it cultivated a culture of collaboration in which agents help each other succeed.

DeAnn Golden, the senior vice president and managing broker of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties, talks about how the brokerage reinvented itself in a Realtor magazine video. 

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Get ideas for your own business in the video, which you can watch on the YouTube channel of Realtor Magazine.

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Now before we leave you, let me say that all of here at the Voice for Real Estate hope to see you – next week, right here in Washington, for the Realtors Legislative meetings at Trade Expo. Please say – hi, because we’d LOVE to meet you.
And that’s our show for the week of May 8. But as always, You can get more on everything we talked about today on 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 all the latest news on The Voice for Real Estate.