REALTOR Rally at the Capitol
REALTORS® Rally to Protect Oregon's Real Estate Market
Salem, Oregon - On Wednesday, March 4, 2009, nearly 600 REALTORS® from communities throughout Oregon descended on the State Capitol to share with state legislators the importance of a strong, vibrant housing market to Oregon's economy. The REALTOR® Rally is the largest gathering of representatives from the business community at the capitol.
Almost fifty members of the Central Oregon Association of REALTORS® spent the day in Salem supporting solutions that will bring housing back within reach for working families, protect Oregon homeowners from private and public sales taxes on home equity, strengthen education and consumer protection within the real estate market, and encourage flexibility within the land use system to foster economic development.
According to the most recent National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index, Oregon has five of the 42 least affordable metropolitan areas in the United States: Medford - 14, Bend - 15, Eugene/Springfield - 32, Portland/Vancouver/Beaverton - 38 and Corvallis - 42. The index is a measure of the percentage of homes sold in a given area that are affordable to families earning that area's median income. "In communities throughout Oregon, families are struggling to achieve the dream of homeownership," said Dannie Walker, Bend REALTOR® and President of the Oregon Association of REALTORS®. "Our goal should be to find a solution that brings housing back within reach.
"Oregon REALTORS® have a longstanding history of protecting homeowners and prospective buyers within the real estate market by opposing efforts to place a sales tax on the exchange of real estate," said COAR President Barb Myers. "With the value of home prices falling and homeowners losing equity, the ability to propose new local taxes on the sale of real estate will further distress a challenging housing market."
The Central Oregon delegation met with Sens. Ferrioli, Telfer and Whitsett, and Reps. Stiegler, Whisnant, Gilman and Huffman. Local REALTORS® expressed concern about issues that have a disproportionate impact on this side of the Cascades. "Our organization is very concerned by the direction of land use policy in Salem, which seems to be driven by the westside," said Bill Robie, COAR Government Affairs Director. "We appreciate the awareness and understanding of our legislators with respect to key issues like destination resorts and the recommendations of the Big Look Task Force. These issues do not play out the same on both sides of the mountains."
The Central Oregon Association of REALTORS® is the voice of the real estate industry in Crook, Deschutes, Jefferson and Harney Counties. COAR serves REALTORS® by maintaining ethical standards, providing continuing education, promoting the value of REALTORS®, and advocating on behalf of the real estate industry. Central Oregon REALTORS® believe we can build better communities by supporting quality growth and seeking sustainable economies and housing opportunities that embrace the environmental qualities we cherish, while protecting a property owner's ability to own, use, buy, and sell property.