RPAC as a WRA Member Benefit

 Joe Murray, WRA director of political and government affairs  |    February 28, 2022
RPAC as a WRA Member Benefit

If I had to guess, I would bet that most WRA members who contribute to the REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC) or Direct Giver program view their contribution as an “investment.” They see it as an investment in the political process to help elect pro-housing and pro-economic development lawmakers who understand how critically important housing and real estate are to a strong and sustainable Wisconsin economy. And they’re right! RPAC is a wise and necessary investment in their business.

But RPAC is also a benefit of REALTOR® membership. The best definition of “benefit,” according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is “something that produces good or helpful results or effects or that promotes wellbeing.” When you consider the long-term legislative success at the national, state and local level through our advocacy efforts, it’s easy to conclude that contributions to RPAC “produce good or helpful results.”

At the national level, the NAR advocacy team worked tirelessly in 2021 to protect and benefit the real estate sector during the pandemic and made progress on many priorities. NAR was successful in stopping a proposal that would have limited the use of like-kind exchanges, a proposed increase in the capital gains tax rate, and a proposal to tax unrealized capital gains at death for owners of properties with assets over certain levels. NAR was also instrumental in ensuring that federal rental assistance was well funded to help tenants and landlords during the eviction moratorium. These were consequential pieces of federal legislation that benefited REALTORS® in every part of the industry.

At the state level, the list of accomplishments is impressive as well. Over the last 10 years, WRA members as well as homeowners and property owners have benefited significantly from member investments in RPAC. Hundreds of bills are introduced each session in the state legislature, and elections determine who will be voting on these bills. RPAC keeps real estate professionals informed, involved and influential regarding legislation important to their industry.

Although not an exhaustive list, check out the list of victories at the state level that REALTORS® can be proud of over the last 10 years. These are victories that “produced good or helpful results” for REALTORS®, homeowners and property owners in every corner of the Badger State, demonstrating RPAC is truly a member benefit.

  • Farmland conversion fee eliminated (AB 40)
  • Health savings accounts now tax deductible (SSSB 2)
  • Regulatory reform guarantees riparian owners right to place a pier (SB 326)
  • Presumptive approval for DNR permits (SB 326)
  • Property tax freeze (AB 40)
  • State preemption of local regulations relating to brokers (SB 208)
  • Significant landlord-tenant law reform (SB 179)
  • Broker experience law requiring two years of experience before obtaining a broker’s license (SB 208)
  • $506 million property tax cut (SSSB 1)
  • Two-year statute of limitations for REALTOR® liability (AB 456)
  • Time of sale requirements prohibited (SB 21)
  • Your right to use state-approved forms protected (AB 456)
  • One-strike evictions for criminal or drug-related activity (AB 568)
  • Maintain the property tax freeze/levy limits (SB 21)
  • Historic rehabilitation tax credits preserved (SB 21)
  • Right to rent for homeowners (AB 64)
  • Rental weatherization program eliminated (AB 771)
  • Maintain the property tax freeze/levy limits (AB 64)
  • Partial repeal of the personal property tax (AB 64)
  • Broadband grants expanded for underserved areas (AB 64)
  • Condominium document fee caps (AB 518)
  • $400 million property tax reduction (AB 64)
  • Municipal rental property inspection law reformed (AB 771)
  • REALTORS® and real estate deemed “essential” (Emergency Order #12)
  • Broadband expansion funding significantly increased (AB 56)
  • COVID-19 civil liability exemption (SSSB 1)
  • Maintain the property tax freeze/levy limits (AB 56)
  • Property tax and income tax cuts (AB 68)
  • Broadband expansion grant funding significantly increased (AB 68)
  • DSPS technology upgrades to simplify online credentialing (AB 68)
  • Note: The 2021-22 session is not complete.
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