March 6, 2020
Montgomery County
REALTORS’ ® “Nine Billion’s Enough!” Rallying Cry Helps Defeat New Tax on Services

Maryland House Bill 1628, which would have placed additional taxes on real estate services, was unanimously defeated in its subcommittee this week. GCAAR members joined more than 400 other REALTORS® in Annapolis on March 2 to successfully protest the bill, which would have negatively affected housing affordability and further taxed an industry that contributed $9.4 billion to local governments in FY 2018.

 Highlights of GCAAR’s Rally Activities

  • GCAAR rented a bus to transport our members to the rally, coordinated by Maryland REALTORS®. Members had the opportunity to visit the offices of our local elected officials to encourage them to kill the legislation.

  • GCAAR President-Elect Jan Brito testified to the House Ways & Means Committee in opposition to the bill, along with leadership from Maryland REALTORS®. Among her comments, she noted that because real estate already has its own versions of the sales and use tax, REALTORS® do not believe it is fair to also tax real estate services. 

Media Coverage from the Rally

Thanks to all our GCAAR members who took the time to participate and write to their legislators in opposition to this bill. We truly can make a difference!

District of Columbia
Real Estate Professionals Amendment Act of 2019 Awaits Congressional Approval

The Accounting Clarification for Real Estate Professionals Amendment Act of 2019, an important priority for the DC Association of REALTORS® (DCAR) that we’ve reported on previously in Real Advocacy , has been signed by DC Mayor Muriel Bowser. The bill now moves on to the final step before implementation -- Congressional approval -- which is expected in early spring.

This bill would remove a technical hurdle and allow licensed real estate professionals to receive commission payments directly to their legal LLC.
New Voter Registration Incentive in Homestead Application Moves Forward

The Improving Voter Registration for New Tenants and Homeowners Amendment Act has moved forward at the DC Council and is now awaiting its final Council vote. The bill requires the Board of Elections to create a voter registration packet. The packet would be given to DC residents with the homestead deduction application, along with the Tenant Bill of Rights. This informational packet would include:

  • A voter registration application
  • Information on how to register online, update a home address, and the voting rights of returning citizens
  • Dates for the next election
  • Polling place locations
  • Names and positions of current elected officials
  • How to search for a person’s councilmember and ANC commissioner based on the ward where they reside

DCAR worked to ensure this legislation was done in accordance with documentation that is already provided to homebuyers and tenants. Engaging residents in elections is a priority for us, as we are committed to civic engagement for all.