As the presidential nominating process moves into 2016, don’t be surprised if candidates from both parties talk about real estate and the federal issues that affect it. After all, the industry accounts for roughly a fifth of the U.S. economy. It’s too big to ignore.
Already some of the most important issues impacting real estate, including tax policy changes and secondary mortgage market reform, are on lawmakers’ agenda. Tax policy changes, reform of the secondary mortgage market: these are critical issues that candidates will likely have something to say about, if they haven’t already.
NAR doesn’t get involved in presidential politics, but even so, the association carefully weighs everything candidates say about issues impacting real estate. If a candidate proposes a plan for, say reforming Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, NAR will look at it closely. Same thing if a candidate talks about changing the mortgage interest deduction or other tax provision that affects real estate.
Of course, it will be a long road before any proposal brought up on the campaign trail gets to the legislation stage. Regardless of who becomes president, lawmakers in both the House and the Senate, and on both sides of the aisle, must consider any proposal that gains currency. There will be hearings, drafts, alternative proposals, and votes. NAR will be a big part of the process at this stage, because lawmakers know the association has been working on these issues for years.
NAR Deputy Chief Lobbyist Jamie Gregory talks about the long road to legislation for any proposal that is brought up on the campaign trail in the latest Voice for Real Estate news video. “Candidates are saying what their ideal plans are, but even if try get elected, they can’t do it alone,” Gregory says. “They still have to go to Congress. They have a partner in this process.”
Gregory’s remarks are one of the top segments in the video, which also looks at two research reports NAR just released, one on the value of remodeling projects and the other on households’ attitudes about home ownership. The video looks at two recent legislative wins as well. The first is the association’s success at protecting guarantee fees from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from being used to offset transportation program costs. The other is the success at getting important tax provisions extended. Among the tax provisions are mortgage debt cancellation relief, which helps households who’ve had mortgage debt forgiven, and 15-year depreciation of leasehold improvements, a commercial priority.
In addition, the video looks at two legal issues. One involves a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision affecting temporary signs; the other looks at the use of images online.
Access the video: