November 2017 Local Election Results

Election results are in! Of the 14 city council candidates BRR endorsed, 10 were successful in their respective races. Thanks to your RPAC investments, BRR’s endorsements went a long way in helping elect officials who value access to homeownership and private property rights.

BRR would like to recognize each of these candidates for the time, money, and energy spent on their well-run campaigns. This was a tough election year, and we were fortunate to have so many well-qualified candidates seeking the opportunity to serve our communities.

Below is a list of BRR’s endorsements with the candidates who won. For a more in-depth review of the election results, please see the Ada County Elections report.

Boise

Seat 4: TJ Thomson

Seat 6: Holli Woodings

Meridian

Seat 2: Joe Borton

Seat 4: Treg Bernt

Star

Seat 3: Michael Keyes

Seat 4: David Hershey

Eagle

Miranda Gold

Kuna

Richard Cardoza

Garden City

Elfreda Higgins and Jeff Souza

Once again, thank you to the BRR Public Policy Committee for carefully interviewing all of the candidates and identifying those who would best represent our REALTOR® industry and values.

For more information, please contact BRR’s Director of Government Affairs, Soren Dorius at 208.947.7237

2018 Call for Committees

The 2018 Call for Committees is open now closed. Thank you!

To accomplish BRR’s Mission, we rely on the experience and expertise of volunteer members, who serve on our various committees, advisory groups, and subsidiary boards. In doing so, members help us plan programs, events, and outreach activities, based on what’s happening in the market today. Learn more about BRR’s various committees and the volunteer leaders who serve on each:

BRR Committees are filled by applicants for one-year terms, although some positions may have multi-year terms. If you are interested in learning more about volunteer leadership or have questions, please contact BRR’s Director of Events and Community Engagement, Shari Fernandez.

Vote. Act. Invest.

advocacystartswithyouMay is REALTOR® Advocacy Month, an opportunity to recognize the importance of REALTOR® advocacy at the local, state, and national levels. BRR celebrated by focusing on three different ways to be involved in advocacy: vote, act and invest.  Here is a summary of the topics discussed and resources shared by the Boise Regional REALTORS® during REALTOR® Advocacy Month.

 

VOTE WEEK

May 7 – May 13

Vote - REALTOR Advocacy Month 2017

  • Why is it important for REALTORS® to vote? From the REALTOR® Action Center website: “As a member of the REALTOR® Party, you vote for candidates at the local, state and national levels who support the REALTOR® Party and make the right decisions for your profession and your customers.”
  • REALTORS® get out the vote for pro-real estate ballot issues and candidates with the goal of protecting homeownership. If you’re not registered to vote, register today!
  • BRR members were encouraged to learn about the issues and vote in the local election for the Greater Boise Auditorium District (GBAD) on May 16, 2017.
  • Does your vote as a REALTOR® matter? Local school funding successes are the perfect example why. Thank you for voting YES and supporting local schools!

ACT WEEK

May 14 – May 20

Act - REALTOR Advocacy Month 2017

      • REALTORS® actively engage in government, and voting in the GBAD election on May 16th was the perfect opportunity to ACT by!
      • YES for Boise Schools thanks Boise Regional REALTOR® members and the REALTOR® Party for taking action by supporting the Boise School District Bond Initiative.

      • Get involved by signing up for REALTOR® Party Mobile Alerts. NAR will send you short text messages when you need to act on important real estate issues.

 
INVEST WEEK

May 21 – May 27

Invest - REALTOR Advocacy Month 2017

      • The REALTOR® Party supports the issues that are important to your business as a REALTOR®, regardless of political party affiliation. Learn more about RPAC.
      • Wondering if RPAC investments make a difference? Ask the YES for Boise Schools campaign! Boise Regional REALTOR® members and the REALTOR® Party supported the Boise School District Bond initiative, which PASSED with a historic majority!
      • Do you have questions about the REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC)? Find answers here, or contact BRR Director of Government Affairs Soren Dorius.
      • The financial commitments of RPAC investors allow REALTORS® to have a voice in important local, state, and national issues. Learn more here.
      • What happens when REALTORS® vote, act and invest? Read about REALTOR® Party successes.

 

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.

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®.

YPN Pub ‘n’ Putt Benefits RPAC

Calling all “Wild West” foursomes!

Pub n Putt Icon

Sink a hole-in-one for RPAC by wrangling your foursome together to putt your way through Humpin’ Hannah’s winding “Wild West” putt-putt course. Don’t forget your Western-wear…there will be prizes for the best outfit & more! All proceeds support the REALTOR® Political Action Committee (RPAC).*

Saturday, April 9th at Humpin’ Hannah’s in downtown Boise.
Registration is from 3-3:30pm. Tee-off is at 3:30pm
Teams of (4) = $100
Individual Players = $25

Fill out your registration form and submit it via email to Angela Gibson. See you there…in your Western-wear!

Learn more about Sponsorship Opportunities.

*RPAC contributions are not tax deductible for income tax purposes. Contributions to RPAC are voluntary and are used for political purposes. 

Idaho Homeowner’s Exemption Aims to Create Stable Tax Base

On Tuesday, March 8th the Idaho Senate voted to approve HB431 sending it to the Governor’s desk for signing into law. The bill changes the Idaho Homeowner’s Exemption to a set amount of $100,000, rather than tying it to the Federal Housing Price Index.

What is the Federal Housing Price Index?

According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) which manages the index, “The HPI is a broad measure of the movement of single-family house prices. The HPI is a weighted, repeat-sales index, meaning that it measures average price changes in repeat sales or refinancings on the same properties.” However, due to how the Index is calculated, there is an 18-month lag in reflecting actual economic conditions.  Therefore, when there are drastic changes in the market—as we experienced in 2008—the Index is not an accurate reflection of prices. Additionally the current tax law shifts the property tax between the different property categories. For example, when residential taxes are up agriculture, commercial, utilities, and other property types have lower taxes. Then when taxes for these categories are down, residential taxes go up.

Who gets a Homeowner’s Exemption?

As the Homeowner’s Exemption currently works, each owner-occupied primary residence (house or manufactured home) and up to one acre of land is eligible for a Homeowner’s Exemption. To qualify, applicants must own, occupy, and use the dwelling as of January 1 but before April 15. The annual deadline for applying for the Homeowner’s Exemption is 5:00 p.m. on April 15th. The exemption allows a maximum of 50 percent of the value, regardless of price, of the primary residence and up to one acre of land to be exempted from property taxes.

Where do I learn more about the Idaho Homeowner’s Exemption?

The Idaho State Tax Commission is the best resource for homeowner’s interested in learning more about Exemption. On its “Homeowners & Property Tax” page, the Commission explains how the Exemption works now, without the set amount: “Since taxes are based on the budgets of taxing districts, those districts can budget the same amount from property tax from one year to the next, but when property values go down, the levy rate goes up automatically to compensate. If one property’s value increases more than others, its taxes go up faster than others.”

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. The exemption amount for 2016 is $94,745.

Home Value Current Exemption Amount New Exemption Amount
$100,000 $50,000 $50,000
$200,000 $94,745 $100,000
$500,000 $94,745 $100,000
If decreasing 18-month lag in decrease $100,000

 

Going forward, 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.

Key points to remember:

  • Idaho is just one of a handful of states that provides a homeowner’s exemption.
  • The $100,000 exemption is actually higher than what we have currently, and higher than what most other states with an exception offer.
  • Both current and future exemptions are capped at 50% of a home’s value, regardless of that price.

Still have questions? Contact Miguel Legarreta, Director of Public Policy at Boise Regional REALTORS®.

RPAC Golf Tournament – Registration Open

Registration is now open for the 2nd Annual RPAC Golf Tournament on Wednesday, September 23rd at The Club at SpurWing. This 9-hole tournament is a 4-person scramble with a shotgun start at 9am followed by lunch at approximately 11:30am (the event should be done by 1pm).  If you are a current investor in RPAC or are interested in learning more about or becoming an investor in RPAC, this tournament is for you!

The tournament is open to all ACAR members.  Major Investors at the Sterling R ($1,000) level and above are invited to play for FREE! All other ACAR members are invited to play for $75. Or join us just for lunch for only $20. REGISTER NOW.

Registration includes:

  • 9 holes of golf on Spurwing’s new Challenge Course
  • golf cart
  • drink ticket
  • raffle ticket
  • awards lunch

All tournament proceeds benefit RPAC which works to protect homeownership and the real estate industry by fighting issues and electing pro-REALTOR® and pro-real estate candidates. RPAC dollars are used on the federal, state and local levels to support issues critical to the future of real estate and REALTORS®.