Thank You for Voting YES and Supporting Local Schools!

BRR School Success

Boise Regional REALTORS® (BRR) endorsed Boise, Kuna, and West Ada School Districts in their respective bonds/levies, and each of these endorsed efforts passed.

The Boise School District sought BRR’s help early enough that we were able to secure a $25,000 Issues Mobilization Grant from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). That grant, along with some of our local RPAC funds, allowed us to run an independent campaign in support of the Boise School District Bond.  This investment resulted in BRR being a part of a historic win for the school district, with 86% voting YES in favor of the bond.

This election offered a great example of how EVERY vote counts — Kuna’s School District Bond passed by only 11 votes! It’s possible that those YES votes were made by REALTORS®, affiliate members, or members of the public that were influenced by BRR’s endorsement. From inviting the Kuna School District Superintendent to speak at our “59 Minute Meeting,” to using our social media, blog, and website to help promote their bond and levy; every vote, and every act of support influenced this very close election result.

The passage of these Ada County school funding initiatives is a big win for everyone in the community, regardless of whether or not you have children in the school system.  Education is a huge component of our economy, as well as a key deciding factor for families when relocating to this area. Securing funding for our schools is an investment in our future.

Thank you, REALTOR® and affiliate members, for voting in support of our local schools. Special thanks to our RPAC investors, whose financial commitments allow us to engage in important local, state, and national issues, such as this.

BRR Advocacy Update | February 2017

Advocacy Update Slider - Feb 2017

BRR Endorses Ada County School Bond/Levy Efforts

Three school districts within Ada County have bonds and/or levies they are putting before voters on March 14th. Among these endorsements are Kuna School District’s $40 million bond measure and $2.5 million supplemental levy; West Ada School District’s $160 million plant facility levy; and Boise School District’s $172.5 million bond initiative.

All of these bonds/levies will help address the rapid growth our region has experienced, ensuring our children have access to safe and modern schools. We encourage all of our members who live in these respective school districts to vote YES on March 14th. Learn more about early and absentee voting, as well as more info on these bonds and levies here.

Widen Chinden Boulevard?

The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) is proposing some big changes to Chinden Blvd., with the possibility of investing up to $350 million in order to add more lanes and modernize intersections. If you are interested in learning more, consider attending their next open house event:

  • Thursday, March 9th, 4:00-7:00 pm at Thomas Jefferson Charter School, 1209 Adam Smith Ave., Caldwell.

The Idaho Statesman has more information about the proposal which you can learn about here.

59 Minute Meeting Success!

Thanks to the many REALTORS® who joined us for our first 59 Minute Meeting of 2017, held on February 21st at BRR. We heard from our special guests Wendy Johnson (Superintendent of the Kuna School District), Eric Exline (Chief Communication Officer for West Ada School District), and Dr. Don Coberly (Superintendent of the Boise School District). It was a great opportunity to learn more about what is going on in their school districts, as well as how the upcoming bonds and levies will help address school needs in our rapidly expanding communities. Stay tuned for information on our next 59 Minute Meeting, to be held Tuesday, May 23rd at BRR.

RPAC Lounge is returning to our REALTOR® Awards Gala

We are pleased to announce that RPAC will once again be hosting an exclusive lounge area for RPAC investors at our upcoming Gala on Friday, March 10th. For more details on this exclusive VIP lounge experience, please contact Soren Dorius at soren@boirealtors.com or call (208) 947-7237.

Boise Regional REALTORS® Endorse Local School Bonds and Levies

Boise Regional REALTORS® (BRR) has endorsed the Kuna School District’s $40 million bond measure and $2.5 million supplemental levy, as well as West Ada School District’s $160 million plant facility levy. BRR also recently endorsed Boise School District’s $172.5 million bond initiative.

“As REALTORS®, we understand that strong schools are necessary to support our growing community,” said Katrina Wehr, 2017 President of Boise Regional REALTORS® and Managing Broker for Keller Williams Realty Boise. “We endorse these local school initiatives that seek to improve existing facilities and build new facilities to accommodate expanding student populations. In doing so, we provide safe and effective learning environments for our students and continue to be a desirable area for families to relocate. For these reasons, the Boise Regional REALTORS® support the Boise, Kuna, and West Ada School Districts in their upcoming bond and levy initiatives, and will encourage our members to vote ‘Yes’ on March 14th.”

Additional information on each of these bond and levy initiatives can be found by visiting the following links:

Boise School District – www.yesforboiseschools.com

Kuna School District – www.kunaschools.org/112-district-information/board-of-trustees/bond-and-levy

West Ada School District – http://www.westada.org/Domain/7202

Early Voting Information:

Absentee Voting Information:

Do you know where to vote?  Find your polling location here.

Questions or comments may be directed to Soren Dorius, Boise Regional REALTORS® Director of Government Affairs, at soren@boirealtors.com, or by calling (208) 947-7237.

BRR Advocacy Update | January 2017

brr-rpac2017 Idaho Legislature is in session!

Stay tuned in the coming weeks as the Idaho REALTORS® will soon release their legislative agenda, noting bills they’ll need our help to support. Boise Regional REALTORS® will work closely with IR to ensure our industry has a voice with our state’s legislative body.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Flood Mapping Changes

Changes to proposed 100-year flood maps could affect more homeowners in Boise, Garden City, Eagle, Meridian, and Star potentially requiring the purchase of flood insurance. To identify if a home is located in this impacted area, click HERE for an interactive map.  There are questions about these maps, the timeline for implementation, and options for homeowners in newly affected areas. We encourage BRR members and homeowners to attend the following public meetings to learn more:

  • February 1, 2017, 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the Ada County Courthouse, 200 W Front St in Boise
  • February 2, 2017, 6:00-8:00 p.m. at Lowell Scott Middle School, 13600 W McMillan Rd in Boise

59 Minute Meetings are BACK!

Mark your calendar — our first 59 Minute Meeting of 2017 is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. on February 21 at BRR. We’ll be talking about education and how it impacts our community. Between the Governor’s State of the State request for a 7.9% increase in education spending, and several local school districts running bonds and levies, we’ll let you know what’s happening and how BRR and IR are involved. Event details out soon.

Congrats to Jessica Perreault, on her appointment to the Meridian Planning and Zoning Commission!

The Meridian Planning and Zoning commission is responsible for the policies and issues related to zoning, transportation planning and development, among other things.  Jessica is a BRR member and REALTOR® with Silverhawk Realty. She will serve a 3-year term.

Have questions about advocacy?

Contact BRR’s Director of Government Affairs, Soren Dorius, at soren@boirealtors.com.

Invest in RPAC

RPAC’s mission is to identify candidates for elected office on the local, state and national levels who will work with REALTORS® to promote and protect the American Dream of home ownership. Candidates that receive support from RPAC are not selected based on their political party or ideology, but solely on their support of real estate issues. Our legislative allies are members of the REALTOR Party.  The REALTOR® Party supports the issues that are important to your business as a REALTOR®, regardless of political party affiliation.

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*Your NRDS number is required to invest online.  Don’t know your NRDS number?  Look it up HERE.

REALTORS® Vote!

With less than 24 hours before Election Day, it’s time to prepare to vote and ensure your REALTOR® voice is heard!  Click HERE to find your polling location.

Every election cycle a group of your peers volunteer to help identify issues and candidates that best represent the ideals and vision of the REALTOR® Party.  After carefully interviewing candidates, and studying ballot issues, Boise Regional REALTORS® is proud to endorse the following candidates and issue:

  • TJ Thomson – Ada County Commissioner District 2 (4 year term)
  • David Eberle – ACHD District 2 (4 year term)
  • Sara Baker – ACHD District 5 (4 year term)
  • Support – W.A.R.D. (West Ada Recreation District) Aquatics Centers Bond Initiative

Each election we have the opportunity to vote REALTOR® Party, protecting and promoting our industry and community’s values.  We encourage every REALTOR® to get out and vote!  Locate your polling place by visiting http://www.idahovotes.gov/YourPollingPlace/WhereDoIVote.aspx

Stay involved and aware of key issues by signing up for REALTOR® Party Mobile Alerts. Simply text REALTORS to 30644 to sign up!

Have questions? Contact Soren Dorius, Government Affairs Director at BRR.

REALTORS® Announce 2016 Endorsements

Boise Regional REALTORS® is pleased to announce its upcoming elections endorsements, for November 8th.  A committee of volunteers comprised of REALTORS® and Affiliate members, the Political Affairs Committee, reviewed upcoming ballot issues and a number of local election races to determine this election cycle’s endorsements.  After careful review of candidate interviews and issue presentations, the Political Affairs Committee made the following endorsements of candidates and ballot issues:

  • TJ Thomson – Ada County Commissioner District 2 (4 year term)
  • David Eberle – ACHD District 2 (4 year term)
  • Sara Baker – ACHD District 5 (4 year term)
  • Support – W.A.R.D. (West Ada Recreation District) Aquatics Centers Bond Initiative

“Each election cycle we have the privilege of giving our association and industry a voice on key issues and political races,” said Phil Mount, Chair of the Political Affairs Committee.  “This year was no different from previous years, where a committee of volunteers with diverse backgrounds and political party affiliations join together as the REALTOR® Party to determine the best course of action for endorsements.”

Speaking to the decision-making process, Boise Regional REALTORS® President Carey Farmer stated, “We are proud of the thoughtful deliberation and selection process, and also thankful for the time spent by our members to determine who the REALTOR® Party should support this election.  Committee members took time away from their businesses and family, to ensure our industry continues to have a voice in the community’s future.”

Elections will be held on Tuesday, November 8th.  For information on registration and where to vote, please visit http://www.idahovotes.gov/ or https://adacounty.id.gov/elections/.

Call for Action: Urge Senate to Pass H.R. 3700

CFA-H.R. 3700 Condo Financing

RPAC SUPPORTS… Homeownership Opportunities

Take Action Now

Condominiums are often the most affordable homeownership option for first-time buyers, small families, single people, and older Americans. Unfortunately, current FHA regulations prevent many buyers from purchasing condos, harm homeowners who need to sell, and limit the ability to attract resident buyers.

Ask your U.S. Senators to pass the “Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act” to:

  • Reduce owner-occupancy ratio to 35%;
  • Allow lenders to approve condos with commercial space over 25%;
  • Require HUD Secretary to “substantially reduce” burdens on condo recertification; and,
  • Require FHA to mirror the FHFA rules related to private transfer fees.

Why you should care… Your condo buyers and sellers may find a property is ineligible for FHA financing, restricting the pool of buyers.

While our local market doesn’t have a lot of condo product (in part because of the current restrictions) if passed, this new legislation may encourage condo construction and help sell those condos that are currently on the market.   Especially important as condos are often an affordable option for first time buyers and others which we certainly need throughout the region (condos are 27% less expensive than single family homes).

Take Action Today!

REALTORS® Travel to Washington D.C. to Advocate for Housing and Property Rights

Earlier this month, leaders from Boise Regional REALTORS® (BRR) traveled to Washington, D.C. to meet with U.S. Senators Michael Crapo and James Risch, and U.S. Representatives Raul Labrador and Michael Simpson, to discuss pressing housing and property rights issues as part of the National Association of REALTORS® 2016 Legislative Meetings.

Idaho REALTORS® Meet with Sen. Jim Risch in Washington, D.C.

Photo Caption: Idaho REALTORS® Meet with Sen. Jim Risch in Washington, D.C.
Photo Source: Idaho REALTORS®

“It is imperative to connect with our lawmakers to ensure they understand the issues that face the real estate industry, markets and their constituents — many of whom are home and property owners. REALTORS® are on the ground every day fighting for home and property owners in their communities, and we demonstrated we will do the same here in our nation’s Capitol with our elected officials,” said Boise Regional REALTORS® President Carey Farmer, who attended the meetings. “Supporting homeowners and property owners through smart legislation is so important for families, communities and the nation’s economy, so we will continue to work with lawmakers to ensure they are protected.”

 

Idaho REALTORS® at Meeting with Sen. Mike Simpson in Washington, D.C.

Photo Caption: Idaho REALTORS® at Meeting with Sen. Mike Simpson in Washington, D.C.
Photo Source: Idaho REALTORS®

The group from BRR was among the nearly 9,000 REALTORS® from across the country who attended the meetings. During visits to the Hill, REALTORS® urged their Senators and Representatives to preserve current real estate-related tax policies; extend the Mortgage Forgiveness Tax Relief Act, which prevents distressed homeowners from receiving excessive income tax bills on forgiven home loan debt; reform key Federal Housing Administration (FHA) condo rules; and, ensure Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgage guarantee fees are not extended, increased, or diverted to unrelated government spending.

“Congress is considering legislation that will have a very real impact on the industry, market and buyers and sellers, so it is important our elected officials hear from us,” said Farmer. “Through the voice and strength of the REALTOR® Party, we made it clear where we stand on key issues that affect home and property buyers, sellers and investors right here in the Boise region. That’s the benefit of coming together and speaking with one voice to our nation’s lawmakers.”

Additional information on the federal, state and local advocacy priorities of the REALTORS® Associations are available here:

2016 Idaho Legislative Review

As Idaho’s economy continued to strengthen, education was one of the top priorities of the 2016 Idaho Legislature and the Governor’s Office. Funding for education was increased 7.4% for K-12 and 8% for colleges and universities.  Although there is more work to be done, this was a tremendous increase after the cuts that took place during the recession.

Issues pertaining to real estate and housing were also part of the 2016 session.  Several new laws were passed affecting the Homeowner’s Exemption, Homeowner’s Associations and Urban Renewal Agencies.

HB431: Homeowner’s Exemption

In March, BRR shared about the passage of HB431, which set the Homeowner’s Exemption amount at $100,000 or up to 50% of the home’s value, rather than tying the exemption to the Federal Housing Price Index.  Over the past 10 years, the Idaho Homeowner’s Exemption has been as high as $104,471 and as low as $81,000, due to fluctuations in the Index.  This created volatility and instability in our tax policy.   When home prices were falling and people were struggling to make payments, they saw their property taxes go up.  The set exemption amount of $100,000, as outlined in HB431, aims to stabilize the Exemption, create a predictable tax base and provide certainty to homeowners and others who own real property in all categories.

HB511: “Right to Rent”

This new law protects homeowners’ “right to rent” their property. Homeowner’s Associations must continue to allow homeowners to rent their property if it was allowed in the CC&R’s when the property was purchased.  This prevents HOAs from changing the rules after the purchase of a home, while still allowing for enforcement of any issues associated with the rental including noise, parking or other concerns.   HOAs are allowed to prohibit rentals, but only for homes purchased after the rule goes into effect. This law stemmed from a case in Valley County where a homeowner rented their vacation home to help cover the mortgage. The HOA amended their rules and subsequently fined the home owner over $13,000 for violating the new CC&Rs.  HB511 protects private property rights, while still allowing HOAs to protect the character of their neighborhood and home values.

SB1317: HOA Attorney’s Fees

Addressing the issue of attorneys sending demand letters to HOA residents on behalf of the Board with a bill for services, SB1317 states attorney fees for HOAs can only be assessed through a judicial action by a court of competent jurisdiction. In 2015 the law was changed to stop exorbitant fines. Some law firms simply started charging attorney’s fees instead of fines. This new law protects homeowners from demand letters billing for services.

HB606aa: Urban Renewal

Urban Renewal Districts are possibly one of the most important tools for economic development we have in Idaho.  During this session legislation was passed to modernize Urban Renewal Districts.  The legislation: allows local governments to decide on whether Board members should be elected; requires a vote if urban renewal dollars are used to finance more than 50% of a public building; addresses concerns about resetting the tax base if an agency plan is amended; and also creates a repository at the Idaho State Tax Commission of all Urban Renewal plans. BRR works with Urban Renewal Districts on a regular basis to improve the quality of our communities.  Protecting the urban renewal district tool is vital to our region.

Boise Regional REALTORS®, as well as the state Association and RPAC, continue to work on behalf of homeowners and REALTORS® by focusing on issues important to home ownership and the real estate industry. The Idaho Primary Election is Tuesday, May 17th. Learn which candidates received the endorsement of Boise Regional REALTORS®, Idaho REALTORS® and National Association of REALTORS®.

Do you have questions or want to chat about the session or the upcoming election? Contact Miguel Legarreta, Director of Public Policy at Boise Regional REALTORS®.