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NAR Focuses on Tax Policies, Sustainability

The BOD supports a tax policy proposal for a temporary tax credit for long-time owners of single-family homes to encourage them to sell their home to an owner-occupant.

ANAHEIM, Calif. – The National Association of Realtors® Board of Directors approved a series of tax policy proposals Friday and strengthened NAR’s policy on climate change risk and property sustainability, reinforcing NAR’s commitment to sustainability, “the benefits of which will help preserve our environment and address ongoing climate change risks, while supporting our nation as a vibrant, healthy and prosperous place to live and work.”

Tax policy

The Board of Directors approved four tax policy recommendations:

•Supported a temporary tax credit to encourage long-tenured owners of single-family homes to sell their home to an owner-occupant. As one tool to help alleviate the national housing shortage, a temporary credit could bring as many as 640,000 homes to the market, according to one study.

•Reaffirmed NAR support for repealing the federal estate and gift tax regime and retaining the step-up in basis to fair market value for all inherited assets.

If repeal isn’t possible, NAR directors supported policy calling for an estate and gift tax regime that:

*Provides for the step-up in basis for all inherited assets.

*Taxes all assets in an estate at the same rate – as low as possible but no higher than the tax rate for long-term capital gains.

*Provides an exemption no lower than that provided in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (for 2023, $12.92 million for individuals and $25.84 million for married couples) and is indexed for inflation.

*Does not include a tax on unrealized gains upon a decedent's death.

•Clarified NAR’s capital gains tax policy to support a federal capital gains tax regime that recognizes that a significant part of capital gains are due to inflationary increases, and thus should not be taxed, and that encourages the formation and turnover of capital. The directors also clarified NAR’s position on depreciation recapture and the indexing of tax bases of capital assets to reduce unfair taxation on inflationary gains.

•Supported removing a deterrent to the acquisition of property for voluntary demolition of obsolete structures by permitting the costs of demolition to be added to the basis of any new building constructed upon such land.

The board also approved an amendment to the Campaign and Election Rules Manual to allow the Credentials and Campaign Rules Committee to fill a vice chair vacancy with a committee member serving in the second year of their committee term.

Legal action

Directors approved the extension of NAR’s Professional Liability Insurance Program and the purchase of a Patent Infringement Liability Policy for the protection of NAR, its affiliates, its member associations, and Realtor® association-owned MLSs. They also approved legal action funding in two cases:

  1. A South Carolina brokerage is challenging the city of Mauldin’s calculation of a business income tax. The decision will likely impact how municipalities across South Carolina calculate the business license fee for brokers-in-charge.
  1. Defendants in Virginia face fair housing charges for not accommodating a prospective tenant with an emotional support animal. The defendants received an estimate that the animal would dramatically increase their insurance premiums and say the requested accommodation would impose an undue financial burden. The outcome of the case will impact the legal standard for property owners reviewing disability accommodation requests under Virginia state law.

Real property valuation

The directors approved a recommendation from the Real Property Valuation Committee requesting that NAR take actions to affect transparency, accountability and market incentives in the appraisal profession.

The implementation of the Appraisal Independence Requirements (AIR) by regulators sets forth standards to safeguard the independence, objectivity and impartiality of appraisers and prevent market participants from influencing an appraiser. The committee wants to ensure procedures are in place for clarifying how individuals or firms can communicate with appraisers and processes are in place to measure the effectiveness of AIR.

Code of Ethics

In back-to-back meetings, the Board of Directors and Delegate Body voted to refer back to the Professional Standards Committee a proposed amendment to Article 4 of the Code of Ethics that would clarify a Realtor’s obligation to protect buyers, sellers, lessors and lessees, recognizing that conflicts of interest may exist on both the buy side and the listing side of a transaction.

Also at the meeting, President Tracy Kasper bid farewell to Bob Goldberg, who has served as NAR CEO since 2017. Interim CEO Nykia Wright steps into the role on Nov. 20. In a video message to the board, Wright called Monday "a launching pad" and vowed to lead the staff in helping Realtors “ensure we bring to life [the NAR] mission for . . . our clients, our communities, our peers.”

Directors recognized the 2023 Distinguished Service Award recipients Michael McGrew of Lawrence, Kan., and Gregory Herb of Gilbertsville, Pa.

In addition, Mike Theo, president and CEO of the Wisconsin Realtors® Association, was recognized as the recipient of the 2023 William R. Magel Award for in Realtor association management.

Source: National Association of Realtors®

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