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What happened in D.C. last week for your business

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The dome of the U.S. Capitol with the United States flag waving in the foreground.

05/17/2016 | Author: Editorial Staff

Hundreds of Texas REALTORS® converged in Washington, D.C., last week during the 2016 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings. During the five-day conference, thousands of REALTORS® from across the United States met with their respective members of Congress, conducted association business, and recognized REALTOR® achievements. Here are a few highlights from the week.

The voice for real estate on Capitol Hill
Texas REALTORS® visited with all 36 members of Congress from our state or their staffs to discuss the legislators’ support of pro-real estate policies, like protecting affordable homeownership options and ensuring the mortgage-interest deduction remains in place. REALTORS® also heard from Sen. John Cornyn, who thanked REALTORS® for working to help Texans become homeowners. Check out photos from the Capitol Hill visits at and

Recognizing those who serve your industry
Several Texans were recognized for the important roles they play in the real estate industry:

  • Texas Association of REALTORS® 2016 Chairman Leslie Rouda Smith was elected as NAR 2017 Regional Vice President of Region 10 (Texas and Louisiana).
  • George Clift, of Amarillo, was recognized for receiving the 2015 Land REALTOR® of America Award during the 2016 National Land Conference in Dallas.  
  • Brooke Hunt, of Flower Mound, was recognized for her work as 2015 REALTOR® Party Member Involvement Liaison.
  • Joanne Stephens, of Richmond, was named 2017 president-elect of the National Women’s Council of REALTORS®.

REALTOR® Party advocates in Texas
Texas had a strong presence during the REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC) Awards Ceremony on Tuesday.

  • Texas continues to lead the RPAC Hall of Fame with 68 inductees—the most of any state—including these 16 who were inducted into the RPAC Hall of Fame Class of 2015 during last week’s conference:
    • Lance Lacy, San Angelo ($50,000)
    • Tray Bates, Corpus Christi ($25,000)
    • Cindi Bulla, Amarillo ($25,000)
    • Kenya Burrell VanWormer, Houston ($25,000)
    • Cathy Cole, Brenham ($25,000)
    • Esther Cordova, Houston ($25,000)
    • David Alan Cox, Collin County ($25,000)
    • Christopher Duff, Corpus Christi ($25,000)
    • Rene Galvan, McAllen ($25,000)
    • John Horton, Austin ($25,000)
    • Mary Ann Jeffers, San Antonio ($25,000)
    • Mary Leidy, Collin County ($25,000)
    • Mark Minchew, Austin ($25,000)
    • Myra Oliver, Denton ($25,000)
    • Sherry Smith, Greater Texoma ($25,000)
    • Andrew White, Houston ($25,000)
  • The Houston Association of REALTORS® received second place in the mega association category.
  • The Texas Association of REALTORS® received third place in the large state association category.

Kaki Lybbert, TAR’s 2016 secretary/treasurer, moderated an RPAC Fundraising Forum on Wednesday. The panel of speakers included 2016 TREPAC Chairman Myra Oliver.

Centennial celebrations
Four local REALTOR® associations in Texas were honored during the RCE Leadership Luncheon for celebrating their 100th anniversaries in 2016:

  • Beaumont Board of REALTORS®
  • Galveston Association of REALTORS®
  • Greater El Paso Association of REALTORS®
  • San Antonio Board of REALTORS®

Sharing a statewide success
During the Issues Mobilization Workshop on Friday, Brandon Alderete, TAR’s director of political affairs, and Daniel Gonzalez, TAR’s director of legislative affairs, discussed the success of statewide Proposition 1 (The Homeowner Tax Relief Proposition), which passed with 87% approval in the November 3, 2015 election. They attributed the campaign’s success to Texas REALTORS® educating voters about the measure’s purposes: a permanent ban on real estate transfer taxes and a $10,000 increase to the state-mandated school homestead exemption.

News from the Board of Directors
The conference concluded Saturday with the NAR Board of Directors meeting. The board approved several measures, including amendments to the Organizational Alignment/Core Standards that associations are required to follow. The revised core standards include more requirements for associations to participate in advocacy programs, such as state and NAR calls for action, and a requirement to conduct an activity promoting REALTOR® safety. In addition, the board approved changing the compliance cycle to a calendar year, with the next cycle beginning July 1, 2016, and ending December 31, 2017.

Educating consumers about our property-tax system
The Board of Directors also approved a $300,000 grant request from the Texas Association of REALTORS® to support the next phase of TAR’s campaign to educate consumers about property taxes in the state. The first phase of the campaign included the creation of, where visitors can sign up to receive information about this issue and potential solutions. The next phase will allow TAR to provide more educational resources Texas REALTORS® can use to help homeowners and homebuyers understand why they are paying more in property taxes even though tax rates have not been increased. 

Get your name in the news
If you attended the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings, tell your community! Click here to find fill-in-the-blank press releases on that you can customize and share with local media.

Categories: Meetings, Governmental Affairs
Tags: meetings, governmental affairs, legislative affairs, national association of realtors, washington, d.c.

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Legal disclaimer

The material provided here is for informational purposes only and is not intended and should not be considered as legal advice for your particular matter. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Applicability of the legal principles discussed in this material may differ substantially in individual situations.

While the Texas Association of REALTORS® has used reasonable efforts in collecting and preparing materials included here, due to the rapidly changing nature of the real estate marketplace and the law, and our reliance on information provided by outside sources, the Texas Association of REALTORS® makes no representation, warranty, or guarantee of the accuracy or reliability of any information provided here or elsewhere on Any legal or other information found here, on, or at other sites to which we link, should be verified before it is relied upon.

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