PRESIDENT'S CORNER: RPAC Allows Realtors to Advocate For Industry and Consumer Issues

Marcene Hedayati | May 2016

Marcene HedayatiHGAR 2016 President
Marcene Hedayati
HGAR 2016 President

The mission of the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors is to help our members thrive. We do this through various initiatives, but the most important of these are our legislative efforts where we work hard to support issues that protect and promote the tradition of homeownership. The Realtor Political Action Committee (RPAC) is a non-profit committee that advocates for lawmakers who support Realtor interests on a local, state and federal level. RPAC gives us the platform by which we can champion private property rights on behalf of our clients and customers and protect the industry as a whole.

Just recently, RPAC helped influence legislation that extended the Property Tax Cap another four years and helped to enact a property tax rebate program through STAR. On May 24th, member volunteers will travel to Albany to participate in the annual Lobby Day program to rally around issues such as increasing the minimum price threshold for triggering the Mansion Tax, which, if passed, would certainly stimulate the high-end market. Support for the First-Time Homebuyer Savings Account Program, another important bill on the table, would help more buyers afford homeownership in our area and translate into a more robust real estate market. All of these achievements are examples of how, by shaping policy, we can positively impact our industry.

Lobby Day 2016 - HGAR Members Meet with Senators and Members of the Assembly
Lobby Day 2016 – HGAR Members Meet with Senators and Members of the Assembly

The accomplishments of RPAC have a direct impact on our consumers and an indirect effect on our industry. If the purchase power of the consumer is diminished or impeded in any way, we will see it play out in our marketplace. RPAC is the only mechanism we have to support pro-Realtor issues and it needs the assistance of Realtor members to be effective in influencing policy. RPAC relies on your contributions to ensure that homeownership continues to be the principal form of investment and the primary road to fulfilling the “American Dream.  In many ways, RPAC is your insurance policy. It protects your profession against hardships and keeps your business safe.

The Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors is fortunate to have a Government Affairs Director Philip Weiden, who makes sure we remain aware of any legislative policy that may be detrimental to our industry. He, along with the RPAC committee, which is comprised of member volunteers, is charged with raising money for RPAC. Throughout the year, you will be invited to attend various RPAC events organized by the RPAC Committee with the proceeds from these events going towards funding these legislative initiatives.

So the next time you are asked to contribute to RPAC, whether by attending an event or when you pay your annual dues, it is not a favor that is being asked, but an opportunity for you to safeguard your business and those you represent. In fact, I urge you to be pro-active and give to RPAC now.

Marcene Hedayati
Marcene Hedayati is 2016 President of the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors, Inc.