PRESIDENT'S CORNER: Realtor Advocacy Begins With RPAC
Tony D'Anzica | March 17, 2023
As I often say, the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors is a real estate trade association. We are not a book club, and we are not fighting to save the whales—there are other worthwhile organizations that do that. As a trade association, our primary mission and goal is to serve our membership by advocating on behalf of our real estate industry. Our staff, volunteers, and our leadership team advocate tirelessly on behalf of our members through countless meetings, conferences, telephone calls, hearings, and media outreach. Our staff and leadership team have already met with many of our New York State Senators, Assembly members, Congressional members, local mayors, and elected county officials.
However, the effectiveness of this extraordinarily valuable work only resonates and bears fruit when our efforts are amplified by your monetary contributions to the Realtors Political Action Committee. RPAC contributions are needed now more than ever to ensure that our association can support political candidates who support issues important to you at all levels of government.
Today we are facing very strong headwinds in New York State, and these are just a few of the challenges we face:
• With the New York State Legislature rejecting large parts of Gov. Kathy Hochul’s recently proposed housing plan, very little, if any, progress is being made toward tackling our housing affordability crisis.
• The New York State Legislature rejected an extension of the completion deadline for 421-a projects. Developers who timely commenced construction of new projects will risk losing their 421-a tax incentives if their construction projects are not completed by June 2026, which may be a very difficult deadline to meet due to staff shortages at city agencies and current economic conditions that are driving up the cost of construction.
• Gov. Hochul and the NYS Legislature are considering legislation to prohibit new and existing fossil fuel hookups and systems in homes across the state. Estimated up-front costs for homeowners to retrofit their homes to be all-electric could range from $12,000 – $50,000.
• Telemarketing restrictions imposed during the recent states of emergency have still not been lifted.
• The NYS Legislature will most likely again push for the passage of legislation to impose a “good cause” eviction law and a law that prohibits landlords from collecting broker fees from tenants.
These efforts drive up your cost of doing business. They also increase the cost of housing, making homeownership much less accessible for everyone. Clearly, our industry is increasingly under attack and your RPAC contributions help us support political candidates who support issues that matter to Realtors. RPAC works every day so that you can practice real estate with the assurance that someone is fighting for you and the real estate industry.
In 2022, HGAR raised more than $255,000 in RPAC contributions, all of which was raised by just a fraction of our entire membership of 14,000 Realtors. While every HGAR member benefits from RPAC, the sad truth is that many of our members have never contributed to RPAC. However, we can only achieve success on your behalf with the help of voluntary contributions made by Realtors, like you.
This year, NAR has set HGAR’s RPAC goal at $288,025.00. The great news is that we have already reached nearly half of our goal in less than three months. We need your help to keep this momentum going. If every single HGAR member who has not yet made an RPAC contribution makes just a $10.00 contribution, we will easily achieve our goal. Is your business or your industry not worth at least $10? Please help us fight for you by making even one small contribution!
To contribute, just visit our website at: https://www.hgar.com/about-us/advocacy/rpac-invest-now
Alternatively, you can contribute by scanning the QR code shown at the bottom of this article with your cell phone.
You can also support RPAC by registering for any of our HGAR RPAC events throughout the year. Attending our RPAC events is a fun and exciting way to get involved, it is a great way to network, and it counts towards your pledge!
Our next RPAC event is scheduled for March 29 from 5:30 – 7:30PM at El Toro Steakhouse in Congers, New York in Rockland County.
As Realtors, we stick together. Please help us fight for your livelihood, your business, and our industry by making your RPAC contribution today because we cannot do it alone!
Contributions are not deductible for income tax purposes. Contributions to RPAC are voluntary and are used for political purposes. The amount suggested is merely a guideline and you may contribute more or less than the suggested amount. You may refuse to contribute without reprisal and the National Association of REALTORS® or any of its state associations or local boards will not favor or disfavor any member because of the amount contributed. 70 percent of each contribution is used by your state PAC to support state and local political candidates. Until your state PAC reaches its RPAC goal 30 percent is sent to National RPAC to support federal candidates and is charged against your limits under 2 U.S.C. 441a; after the state, PAC reaches its RPAC goal it may elect to retain your entire contribution for use in supporting state and local candidates.