Local Realtors meet with elected officials in Annapolis

ANNAPOLIS — Members of the Mid-Shore Board of Realtors attended the state Legislative breakfast on Jan. 24, at the Calvert House in Annapolis. Realtors from across the state were briefed on current state government legislation affecting the real estate industry.

Keynote speaker was Talbot County resident, Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio, deputy chief of staff. Ms. Haddaway-Riccio told the 300 Realtor attendees that she and the governor, are Realtors, and that the governor understands real estate and the important role that real estate plays in the economy of Maryland.

After the breakfast, Realtors met with their senators and delegates. MSBR members spoke about their four key issues with Senator Addie Eckardt, District 37 and District 37B Delegates, Johnny Mautz, and Chris Adams, all represent residents of Caroline, Dorchester, Talbot and Wicomico counties.

The four key issues in 2017, include supporting a first-time homebuyer savings account; supporting grants to help fund the mandated fire sprinkler systems; supporting a revised open house police and opposing legislation requiring Best Available Technology (BAT) septic systems for new construction outside the critical area.

Like a tax-free education account, a first-time homebuyer savings account would allow first time homebuyers to deposit money in an investment account without paying state taxes. The interest earned by that account would be exempt from state taxes if the money is used in the first-time purchase of a home in Maryland.

New home construction has been greatly impacted since legislation passed requiring all new residential homes built in Maryland to have a sprinkler system. Maryland Realtors are supporting legislation that would provide grants to assist with this mandate.

Maryland Realtors are also supporting legislation limiting the Best Available Technology (BAT) septic systems for new construction to just those new homes built in the critical area, or land that is within 1,000 feet of tidal water. The requirement for the BAT systems hurts housing affordability and does not significantly improve the Bay’s health.

Lastly, the proposed Open House legislation would allow a Realtor sitting at an open house to discuss other properties with consumers when they are not interested in the open house property but only if the property owner gives their approval.

“Real estate is a large part of the Maryland economy,” says Martha Witte Suss president of the Mid-Shore Board of Realtors; “property related taxes generates almost 58 percent of the total local government’s revenue or approximately $13.2 billion and Maryland ranks 11th among all states for its reliance on property taxes as a major source of revenue.” That is why it is important for Realtors and property owners to let their elected officials know how they feel about legislation that affects this industry.

The Mid-Shore Board of Realtors is comprised of over 400 Realtors and affiliates from Caroline, Dorchester and Talbot counties. The mission of the Mid-Shore Board of Realtors is to advocate for its members and the public to preserve the right to own, transfer and utilize real property. MSBR provides its members with resources to conduct business professionally in accordance with the Realtors Code of Ethics.

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