RPAC Enables Legislative Wins for REALTORS® During Pandemic
Policy response to COVID-19 has been swift and the advocacy arm of your REALTOR® Association has been busy representing your interests at all levels of government.
Here is a brief overview of polices benefiting our membership:
- RSCK was successful in its efforts to lobby the Sedgwick County Commission to include Real Estate Services as essential during the original county-imposed stay at home order in late March. This meant REALTORS®, as well as all of the additional service providers necessary to complete a transaction, were authorized to continue business operations.
- KAR was successful in its efforts to lobby the Governor to include Real Estate Services as essential in her Executive Order that superseded local authority across the state also in late March.
- Recently, KAR was a part of a consortium that pushed a property tax relief, and reform, bill through both houses of the Kansas legislature. If signed by Governor Kelly, among others, this bill will do the following:
- Delays interest and penalties for the May 10 property tax payment until August 11; and
- Repeals the current property tax lid in favor of a truth in taxation concept (if a local government wants to increase revenue they receive from property taxes, they would need to provide notice, hold a hearing and make a specific vote to accept any new revenue).
- NAR was absolutely essential in securing the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) Programs provisions of the CARES Act for REALTORS®.
- The PPP loans are intended to cover expenses for a business during any 8-week period between February 15, 2020 and June 30, 2020. They can be used for payroll costs, rents, mortgage interest, and utilities. Those eligible include sole proprietors and independent contractors.
- The PUA program is a temporary program that provides assistance to individuals, including self-employed and independent contractors, who are fully or partially unemployed as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency, beginning January 27, 2020 through December 31, 2020.
If you have benefited in any way from one, many, or all of these measures, please thank your fellow REALTORS® who invest in the REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC). Undoubtedly, RPAC has been the mechanism to enable across-the-board REALTOR success in attaining these benefits. RPAC gives our industry political credibility and provides access to lawmakers. Without it, these legislative wins during time of crisis absolutely would not have been possible.
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