RPAC gives REALTORS® a powerful voice to help develop, advance and implement legislative objectives that affect the real estate business and the ownership and operation of real estate. RPAC supports pro-REALTOR® candidates running for public office. It does not matter if the candidate is part of the Republican or Democratic Party as long as they are part of the REALTOR® Party. At NAR, the RPAC team is proactive with direct fundraising efforts and education-based programs.
What is RPAC of Virginia?
RPAC of Virginia is a voluntary political action committee whose membership consists of REALTORS® and others interested in actively and effectively protecting the real estate industry and the dream of home ownership by participating in governmental affairs at the local, state and federal levels.
How does RPAC of Virginia protect the real estate industry?
RPAC of Virginia helps protect the industry by funding those candidates for elective office who best represent the concerns of this industry. In this way, RPAC of Virginia impacts key issues in the General Assembly (like defeating transfer taxes and impact fees and protecting REALTOR® interests). Many other issues of importance to the membership of the Virginia Association of REALTORS® are also affected by RPAC of Virginia’s activities.
Who decides what issues will be funded and what candidates will be endorsed?
On the national level, the National Association of REALTORS® RPAC Trustees make those decisions. On the state level, the RPAC of Virginia Trustees make those decisions, and on the local level, each local association makes those decisions or has a committee which does so.
If all three levels of government are involved in RPAC of Virginia, where does my money go?
Thirty percent of your RPAC of Virginia investment goes to NAR who uses your dollars to participate in very costly federal elections. Seventy percent stays in Virginia to protect the industry at the state and local levels.
Isn’t giving PAC money equivalent to buying a candidate’s vote?
No. At the federal level, there are strict PAC spending limits set for each election. At the state level, RPAC of Virginia bases the amount of money contributed on how costly the candidate’s race should be based on opposition and media markets. On average, RPAC of Virginia contributions to candidates are modest, ranging between $500 and $2,500. That’s hardly enough to “buy” a vote.
What are some of the factors considered before the RPAC of Virginia Trustees make a donation to a General Assembly candidate?
If the candidate is an incumbent, the Trustees look at how well the candidate has worked with the local REALTORS® he/she represents, how he/she voted on key issues and worked with VAR lobbyists, what committees he/she serves on, and what his/her chances are for re-election. If the candidate is not an incumbent, then the Trustees rely heavily on answers to candidate questionnaires and local association input from candidate interviews.
Is RPAC of Virginia affiliated with either major political party?
No. RPAC of Virginia is not affiliated with the Republican or the Democratic Parties, and does not support one candidate over the other because of party affiliation. RPAC of Virginia supports only those candidates who have indicated or demonstrated that they are interested in pro-REALTOR® or pro-business issues.
How can I support RPAC of Virginia when it funds candidates with whom I disagree?
Again, RPAC of Virginia only concerns itself with the voting record a candidate has on
REALTOR® issues. As a member whose livelihood depends on many factors related to the buying and selling of homes, all members should support RPAC of Virginia in order to help improve the business climate for the real estate industry.
Do RPAC of Virginia Trustees ever fund both candidates in a House of Delegates or Senate race?
While the Trustees have “dual”-funded many elections in the past, they now recognize that this often results in wasteful spending. The Trustees encourage Local Associations to interview all candidates for state offices and make a recommendation to RPAC of Virginia based on the interview process. While the Trustees can “dual”-fund a race, it takes the approval of three-quarters of the voting Trustees present at any meeting to do so.
What is the position of the RPAC of Virginia Trustees concerning funding of “REALTOR®” candidates?
While the RPAC of Virginia Trustees do want to promote REALTOR® candidates, it is important to note that just because the candidate is a REALTOR®, it does not mean he/she will receive a RPAC of Virginia endorsement. Like the National RPAC Trustees, the RPAC of Virginia Trustees are guided by a number of factors which hopefully will lead to a decision that is best for the overall good of the Association.
How can I get involved?
RPAC of Virginia involvement can take the form of a monetary commitment or a commitment of one’s time. Since the RPAC of Virginia Campaign and the political process is ongoing, both forms of commitment are needed.
What are the giving levels of RPAC of Virginia investors?
There are several annual giving levels of RPAC of Virginia contributors. They are:
• 99 Club represents investing between $99-$249
• Capitol Insider Club represents investing between $250-$499
• Governor’s Club represents investing between $500-$999
Major Investors include:
• Sterling R represents investing between $1,000-$1,499
• Crystal R represents investing between $2,500-$4,999 [$1,500 to sustain]
Golden R represents investing at least $5,000 [$2,000 to sustain for those investors on or after January 1, 2002; $1,000 for investors on or before December 31, 2001]
Contributions to Virginia REALTORS® RPAC are voluntary and are used for political purposes; they are not deductible for federal or state income tax purposes. Members may contribute more or less than the suggested amount and may refuse to contribute without reprisal. The National Association of REALTORS® or any of its state associations or local boards will not favor or disfavor any member because of the amount contributed. NAR has established state Federal RPAC Disbursement Allocations based on anticipated National RPAC needs. Thirty percent of all Major Investor contributions are sent to NAR to be applied to the Federal RPAC Disbursement Allocation and are charged against the limits under 2 U.S.C. 441a with the remaining seventy percent maintained for state and local usage. Decisions regarding Virginia REALTORS® RPAC contributions to meet the Federal RPAC Disbursement Allocation will be made throughout the fundraising year.
The Public Policy Team of the Williamsburg Area Association of REALTORS is dedicated to protecting YOU, your profession and business. We utilize several different committees and coalitions and full-time staff professionals to effectively and efficiently achieve this goal such as lobbying against legislative and regulatory proposals that can negatively impact our real estate industry. Our Public Policy Program also includes:
■ Monitoring municipalities: James City County, York County, New Kent County and the City of Williamsburg
■ An active Public Policy Committee
■ History of setting record RPAC fundraising goals
■ A Legislative Director/Consultant to monitor local, state and national issues
■ Political candidate screening
■ Call-to-action website for local, state and national issues
REALTOR® representation in government is critical to creating and maintaining the most positive environment for our industry. We encourage you to become a politically active and informed REALTOR®, and join us as we continue to protect your livelihood. When informed REALTORS® speak their minds, lawmakers listen.
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The VAR Legislative Agenda has advanced with unanimous votes throughout the process.
ALL HAVE PASSED. SOME HAVE BEEN SENT TO THE GOVERNOR’S OFFICE. SOME HAVE BEEN SIGNED BY THE GOVERNOR.
Here’s the current status:
Transfer of Security Deposits upon the Sale of a Dwelling Unit
HB 1623 SIGNED BY THE GOVERNOR 2/20
SB 991 AWAITING GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE
Allows a property manager to transfer a security deposit to the owner and to simply provide notice to the tenants, versus having to obtain the written consent of the owner and tenants.
Licensee Responsibilities – Transfer of Escrow Funds and Foreclosures
HB 2281 FINAL PASSAGE UNANIMOUS
SB 966 SIGNED BY THE GOVERNOR 2/20
Allows for a smoother transition for an existing tenant and a new owner following a foreclosure.
Allows the tenant to continue to pay rent to the: (i) new landlord, (ii) the property manager at the time of the foreclosure, or (iii) the courts, through an escrow account.
Allows for the written property management agreement to continue in place following a foreclosure on a month-to-month basis until terminated by either the property manager or the new owner, unless a shorter period is provided for in the property management agreement.
This legislation does not change Virginia Code Section 55-248.15:1 that places the responsibility on the landlord at the lease termination to make disposition of the tenant’s security deposit, regardless of whether that landlord received the tenant’s security deposit from a prior landlord.
POA Act Amendments
HB 2045 AWAITING GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE
SB 1231 AWAITING GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE
Condo Act Amendments
HB 2274 AWAITING GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE
SB 1255 AWAITING GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE
Associations cannot condition, limit or prohibit for sale signs other than limiting signs to those that are in compliance with the VREB regulations.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The contract between a homebuyer/homeowner and a Homeowners’ Association (HOA) is just that – a legally binding contract between two private entities that cannot be trumped by local ordinance or by state or federal law. The bills above, if signed into law, do not change any signage restrictions set forth in Ford’s Colony or in any HOA’s covenants or restrictions, given that those are court-recorded instruments. An HOA’s Board of Directors is the only entity that can amend these instruments, including any provision in that instrument that restricts signage. The Board of Director of an HOA would have to pass that amendment by a super-majority of the Board.
The bills impact signage in any community only that it clarifies that no signage restriction can be in conflict with the regulations of the Virginia Real Estate Board.
Associations cannot require a formal power of attorney from a real estate licensee to represent their clients before the association and are required to accept a document from the real estate licensee signed by the owner that confirms representation.
Adds that failure to deliver the association disclosure packet within the 14-day requirement subjects the association to up to $1,000 fine imposed by the Common Interest Community Board.
Residential Property Disclosure Act Amendments
HB 2034 FINAL PASSAGE UNANIMOUS
Renames the “red-flag” disclosure statement the “buyer to beware” statement.
Adds the following buyer to beware statements:
Owner makes no representations with respect to underlying conservation or other easements.
Owner makes no representations with respect to an underlying community development authority.
Allows for electronic delivery of the form to the potential purchaser.
Generally, “cleans up” the Residential Disclosure Act.
OTHER BILLS OF INTEREST
HB 2033 Omnibus Landlord-Tenant Law PASSED UNANIMOUSLY
SB 1189 Water and Sewer Liens PASSED UNANIMOUSLY
HB 2108 Broadband Bill PASSED 79-13-1
SB 1578 Short Term Rentals PASSED 86-14
THE 2017 VAR LEGISLATIVE AGENDA CAN BE FOUND HERE:
Legislative News Article.