Guest Post: Beth Frischmuth is a principal broker with the Bella Casa Real Estate Group, and is also an active member of the Education Committee with the Yamhill County Association of Realtors® (YCAR). She, along with a group of fellow YCAR members and 600 REALTORS® from all corners of Oregon, descended on the state capitol on Wednesday, March 16th to talk to legislators on issues ranging from homeownership to mortgage deductions.
Realtors® day at the capitol began at the McMinnville Cinema parking lot where we were picked up by a The Trolley and transported to Salem’s Conference Center. Once seated, we were welcomed by John Walsh, the Chief Executive of OAR. He reminded us that Realtors® are selling dreams not investments. The real estate industry has led the market out of recessions six out of eight times and the other two were wars!
We were informed that the state has a $3.5 billion budget shortfall. There are signs the economy is improving; however, foreclosures and short sales are still a major problem.
Shaun Jillions, OAR’s lobbyist, spoke of Bills currently being debated. He stated that House Bill 2518 which allows local governments to impose taxes when a home is sold is being addressed and our congressmen are confident it has no chance of passing.
House Bill 3008 sunsets every home interest deduction within six years. There are 569,000 Oregonians that utilize this mortgage interest deduction and implementing this bill would slow the growth of the housing market.
House Bill 766 is one of the most important bills in the legislature and provides for an expedited process for building projects that are ready to go. This bill will restrict who can appeal and will bring more high-wage jobs to Oregon. Developers are not patient and the expedited state review is essential. The governor has given his assurance that if this bill goes forward he will sign it.
Following a wonderful lunch we had the opportunity to spend free time at Hearings of our choice.
The majority of the Realtors® from Yamhill County met with Representative Jim Weidner, Senator Brian Boquist and Senator Larry George. It was clearly stated that we oppose additional taxes or fees on real estate (HB 2518); we oppose efforts to eliminate the mortgage interest deduction (HB 3008) and we support House Bill 2916 which will require lenders to clarify whether or not a deficiency exists for sellers upon closing a short sale.
After an exceptionally interesting and educational day at the Capitol we boarded The Trolley to return to McMinnville. Since our legislature is now meeting every year we discussed the possibility of having a Realtors® Day at the Capitol on a yearly basis. That decision is yet to be made.