Posted by & filed under For Homebuyers & Renters, For Policymakers & Media, For REALTORS.

DC REALTORS® Left a Clear Message of Cooperation

Since 2014 DCAR has visited the DC Council at the John A. Wilson Building to work with our council members. Our third visit covered transfer and recordation taxes and modernizing TOPA. Our goal for this year’s Advocacy Day involved sending the message to the Council that the value of home ownership is boundless. As people settle their roots in the District, families can flourish, schools would improve, and businesses may thrive in a stable ecosystem anchored by a healthy housing sector. Your State Association also wanted to convey our desire to continue working together in 2017 to increase homeownership, improve the rental market for everyone involved. Additionally, we nailed down the importance of recordation and transfer tax relief to future DC homeowners and cut through regulatory hurdles.

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Council of the District of Columbia | DCAR’s Policy Positions (Member Login Required) | Policy in Brief

The Value of Home Ownership

DC Currently has the lowest home ownership rate in the region at only 42%. It’s vital that DC residents develop the economic capacity to move into the stability of home ownership, and DCAR fully supports their ambitions. DCAR advocated for more balanced legislation that focuses on incentives for affordable housing geared towards our workforce (e.g. teachers, firefighters, humanitarians, etc.) We have also dedicated significant time and resources to educate our members and home buyers on programs such as DC Open Doors, HPAP, and various tax abatements.

DCAR would like to work with the Council to modernize, clarify, and make TOPA more transparent.Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA) Modernization

DCAR supports the intent of TOPA to provide reasonable legal protections for tenants & protect them from displacement. However, we have significant concerns with the law’s unintended negative consequences of homeowners of single properties. We also see more and more owners not renting out units due to concerns about TOPA, as well as other options such as Airbnb. DCAR would like to work with the Council to modernize, clarify, and make TOPA more transparent.

Recordation and Transfer (R&T) Tax Relief

The cost of homeownership in DC, especially single family homes, has gotten incredibly expensive—making it tough to own a home. The District’s R&T tax rates are among the highest in the nation. These taxes significantly add to the high cost of the down payment – it is not rolled into the mortgage because it is an upfront cost. Down payments are large enough, and the tax at times creates a virtually insurmountable impediment to the high cost of homeownership in DC. DCAR strongly advocates lowering R&T taxes to a single rate and lowering recordation taxes for first-time homebuyers.

Working Together

DCAR has worked with the Council on numerous legislative measures throughout 2016, and we will collaborate together on future legislation. We appreciate the DC Council’s willingness to work with our members and us to ensure a stable and equitable housing market. A small group of volunteers represents our membership of nearly 3,000 members. Our volunteers and leadership participate in workgroups, testify at public hearings, and give generously to community outreach initiatives with both time and money. We would like to thank our 2016 President Angela Jones for playing a vital role during our Advocacy Day and throughout her term. Additionally, we extend our gratitude to the Councilmembers and staff who visited with our members. We look forward to finding more avenues of cooperation in the future.

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Check Out The 2016 Advocacy Day Gallery

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