LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS: What RPAC Does for You

Philip Weiden | August 2019

So far this year, RPAC has surpassed its fundraising and participation goals as compared to recent previous years. The Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors has reached 74% of its participation goal. This means that so far 2,381 HGAR members have contributed to RPAC. Our participation goal—set by the National Association of Realtors—is 3,815 members. Due to the hard work of Chair Crystal Hawkins Syska and Vice Chair Richard Herska we have reached record participation levels.

The dollar goal for this year is $219,177. So far, we have raised $141,596. That is 65% of our dollar goal. We will be having a Member’s Day event where we are anticipating that 200 people will participate and will raise an additional $15,000. Every year this event grows and becomes more successful.

People may ask what is RPAC and what has it accomplished? RPAC stands for the Realtors Political Action Committee. RPAC has been integral to the achievement of many successes over the years that have been critical to the real estate industry. Realtors have defeated an attempt to establish a 20% down payment requirement that would have wiped out middle-class home ownership. Realtors also have been instrumental in the enactment of affordable flood insurance programs that allow people to stay in their homes even after hurricanes strike.

RPAC helped secure mortgage debt forgiveness for buyers that were “under water” on their homes. This allowed people not to take a tax hit on that portion of mortgage debt that was “forgiven.” If mortgage debt forgiveness had not been passed, people would face more foreclosures, which depresses property values in all neighborhoods. We are fighting to get mortgage debt forgiveness reauthorized again this year. This will continue to protect people that face dire circumstances and protect them from foreclosure.

In the State of New York Realtors have been very successful in reigning in the growth of New York State property taxes. The 2% Property Tax Cap has provided much-needed relief for homeowners in school districts where property owners were seeing double digit increases. The next component that is needed to reigning in property tax costs is mandate relief. This would involve consolidating services, and reforming litigation laws that drive up the cost of everything consumers use.

We urge all Realtors to invest in RPAC. If you would like me to come to your office and talk about why RPAC is vital, please contact me at 914-681-0833, ext. 311.

Philip Weiden
Legislative Affairs columnist Philip Weiden is the Government Affairs Director for the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors.