More than 850 Oregon REALTORS® came together for the annual Oregon Association of REALTORS® (OAR) REALTOR® Day at the Capital in support of legislative policies that protect homeownership and the American dream for all Oregonians. The organization's members are comprised of residential and commercial brokers, managing principal brokers, property managers, and industry affiliates.
During the daylong session REALTORS® heard presentations from the Association's leadership detailing the 2017 legislative agenda and met with Legislators during the luncheon hour to discuss hot topics impacting the real estate industry, including the importance of preserving the Mortgage Interest Deduction (MID) and deductibility of property taxes for Oregon homeowners.
"I am thrilled to see so many of our members in Salem advocating for policies that make homeownership affordable and achievable for more Oregonians," said George Grabenhorst, 2017 OAR President. "The value of homeownership is under attack and its critically important that Legislators hear from people in their local communities today and throughout the entire year."
At the top of OAR's 2017 legislative agenda are the following programs:
• First-time Homebuyers Saving Program: Multiple House and Senate Bills to help first-time homebuyers start saving for their first home.
• House joint memorial (HJM) to address the appraiser shortage: HJM 3 will support changes to minimum appraiser qualifications criteria proposed by the Appraiser Qualifications Board of the Appraisal Foundation.
• Wood Burning Stove Rebate Program & Funding: House Bills 2725 and 2748 will appropriate funds to support a grant program for wood burning stoves and authorize the Residential Solid Fuel Heating Air Quality Improvement Fund to replace solid fuel burning devices.
• Onsite Septic System Repair, Replacement or Upgrade Funding: Senate Bills 812 and 383 to address fixes to the program and appropriate $1.5 million to support low- interest loan programs for on-site septic systems.
This year, OAR is also focused on combating harmful legislation that attempts to balance the state budget on the backs of Oregon homeowners. At the forefront of this discussion are two bills drawing heightened attention across the state—HB 2006, legislation to eliminate the Mortgage Interest Deduction (MID) for many homeowners and HB 2004-A, legislation posing onerous restrictions on landlords. OAR is aggressively working with policy makers to educate them about the dangers of these bills and drive understanding about the impact they could have on homeowners and overall state economy.
The mission of the OAR is to stand up for private property rights and homeownership in Oregon. "We achieve our mission by advocating for legislation and candidates that align with our priorities," said George Grabenhorst. "This year, we are laser-focused on working together with our members and state officials to protect tax benefits for homeowners, fight new schemes to tax homes, and ensure our land use system works for all Oregonians."