No doubt you’ve heard that Republican leaders have unveiled a tax reform plan they say is aimed at helping the middle class. The plan proposes to nearly double the standard deduction and eliminate state and local tax deductions, such as property tax. The move essentially nullifies the mortgage interest deduction and levies a double tax on homeowners, thereby removing the incentive for people to buy homes and raising taxes on hundreds of thousands of California homeowners. Homeownership has and continues to be the best way for families to grow wealth and increase the middle class. Congress should look at ways to incentivize and increase homeownership rates, not increase taxes on families wanting to buy a home.
That’s why it’s more important than ever to get involved in C.A.R.’s and NAR’s Call for Action. Tell Congress to not penalize middle-class homeowners by raising their taxes just so that corporations can get big tax breaks. Share this Call to Action and use these hashtags on your social media accounts #SaveHomeOwnership and #TaxReform.
This summer has been particularly trying in many parts of the country, which saw hurricanes in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico, as well as devastating wildfires in many parts of the country, including Northern and Southern California. These catastrophes destroyed thousands of structures and took numerous lives.
To assist with recovery efforts, C.A.R. made donations totaling more than $300,000 through its Disaster Relief Fund to help REALTOR® family members who have been impacted by these disasters. The Association established the fund in the wake of the 2003 California wildfires. Grants provided by the fund are used to help members of the REALTOR® family — REALTORS®, their staff, and Association members and their staff — who have incurred substantial losses due to wildfires and other disasters by distributing grants of $1,000 to $10,000. If you are a REALTOR® who has been impacted by the wildfires, you may make an application to request a grant from the C.A.R. Disaster Relief Fund by calling Sharlena Bernard at (213) 739-8297 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you need resources, including current details about the fires, assistance center locations, what to do after a fire, information on insurance-related issues and legal advice, and fire preparedness resources visit C.A.R.’s REALTOR® Care.
Any C.A.R. member wishing to help those in our REALTOR® family who have been harmed by the fires in California or other disasters can donate online here or make a contribution directly to California Community Foundation at 221 S. Figueroa St., Ste. 400, Los Angeles, CA 90012. Please make checks payable to the California Community Foundation and write “C.A.R. Disaster Relief Fund” on the memo line.
Just last week, we wrapped up another successful CALIFORNIA REALTOR® EXPO in San Diego, where more than 6,000 of you took part in packed educational sessions and sold-out luncheons. On Tuesday, Jonathan Perelman, head of Digital Ventures at ICM Partners and former VP of BuzzFeed Motion Pictures, discussed shareable content. On Wednesday, Tom Ferry shared tips with REALTORS® on how to achieve success in life and business. And as usual, C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young delivered her 2018 California Housing Market Forecast to thunderous applause on Thursday. If you missed it, start making plans for next year’s Expo in Long Beach.
In closing, as my term as your President concludes, I want to thank each and every one of you for your active involvement with C.A.R. this year. I leave knowing you’ll remain just as involved with your 2018 Leadership Team comprised of President Steve White, President-elect Jared Martin, Treasurer Dave Walsh, and C.A.R. Chief Executive Officer Joel Singer. It has been a pleasure serving you.
CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®