Giovaniello highlights NAR legislative priorities

By Kim Shindle | Feb. 1, 2011 | 3 min. read

Educating the 100 new members of the U.S. Congress and Senate about the importance of private property issues is one of the biggest challenges facing NAR this year, according to Jerry Giovaniello, senior vice president of NAR Government Affairs.

Jerry Giovaniello

Giovaniello addressed Pennsylvania Realtors® last week at the PAR Business Meetings in Harrisburg. He said many of the new U.S. legislators have never held public office. “Many don’t understand how issues like the capital gains tax, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the mortgage interest deduction are important to homeownership.

“We have to remind people of the importance of homeownership and its social impact on communities,” he continued. “It’s a cultural debate, not just an economic one.”

Giovaniello said NAR has five legislative priority areas in 2011.

  • Taxes – including the mortgage interest deduction, capital gains exemption, estate tax reform and depreciation tenant improvements. He said the mortgage interest deduction could be eliminated as a deficit reduction but NAR will oppose that.  “My guess is that the mortgage interest deduction and the capital gains exemption will be a two-year debate on tax reform,” he said.
  •  Real Estate Finance – including Government Sponsored Entities (GSEs), mortgage loan limits, Federal Housing Administration programs, credit score and credit reporting issues and Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). “Not having Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would have been worse for the industry. This is about the secondary mortgage market that gives mortgage liquidity in good and bad times,” he said. “We expect this is a long-term debate that could take five years to reinvent.”

He said NAR would be working to increase the mortgage loan limits which cap federally insured loans at $729,000 because it makes it difficult for certain areas in every state to obtain housing loans. In addition, Giovaniello said NAR will be meeting with banks to be more flexible with credit scores for mortgage applicants.

  • Energy and Environment – including National Flood Insurance Program, Natural Disaster Policy, energy efficiency and climate change. “NAR has argued for years to encourage insurance pools for natural disasters,” he noted.

 The new energy bill included mandatory inspections for existing homes and a label for homes predicting energy efficiency. “This will be a constant battle because people think they can predict energy efficiency but especially in areas in the Northeast, this isn’t practical,” he said.

  • Commercial Real Estate – “We’re having a hard time getting the government involved in helping to oversee the commercial real estate lending market,” he said.
  • Business Issues and Technology – including data security, broadband access and net neutrality. “Data security regulations mean you need to be cognitive of how you maintain specific data,” he said. NAR is advocating making broadband access available across the country to give consumers access to Internet information.

“NAR continues to work with elected officials of both parties,” Giovaniello said. “And we evaluate and support candidates and elected officials based on where they stand on Realtor® Party issues.”

Looking for events?

Pennsylvania Realtors® can access monthly webinars and much more.

Upcoming Events

Did you like this post?

Click on a star to rate this post!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

Related Articles

Not a Realtor®? Learn how to become a member.