The Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association is dedicated to the protection and preservation of the free enterprise system. To that end, it believes that the right of an individual to own real property is guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States in the 5th and 14th Amendments.
ORRA’s knowledge of real estate, its experience as "Ambassadors of the Community,” and its technical resources compels it to maintain actively involved in the formation of public policy at all levels of government.
Because it is concerned with a number of issues facing its members and its communities, the following statement of principles underlying its policy recommendations is provided here for better understanding of its specific positions on current issues:
ORRA believes that free enterprise and an unfettered market is the best mechanism to provide an opportunity for every American to reach his or her fullest potential. In that vein, it opposes any attempts by government to intervene in the affairs of the market place through counter-productive taxation, excessive regulation, rules, and procedures that unnecessarily increase costs on consumers and producers and inhibits economic growth.
ORRA believes that political stability and economic growth are dependent upon the right of individuals to own and freely transfer real property and to exercise and enjoy the benefits of ownership. ORRA opposes actions by governments, groups, or individuals that diminish or threaten that right, and it will concern itself with legislation, regulation, and litigation that impact the ability of Americans to own, transfer, and utilize property.
ORRA believes that homeownership contributes to community responsibility, economic stability, and family security and well-being. Every individual should have the opportunity to live in safe, decent housing, regardless of race, color, religion, handicap, familial status, or national origin.
ORRA believes in responsible growth planning that considers the divergent needs of transportation, housing, agriculture, commercial, and industrial development along with environmental concerns. ORRA does not believe that economic development and environmental protection are mutually exclusive.
Access to Local Officials
ORRA believes that open and free communication should exist between elected or appointed officials and their constituents in regard to ex parte communications. Full access should be provided to those officials when making land use and other quasi-judicial decisions.
ORRA supports efforts by real estate professionals to serve and protect the consumer and believes that its has a vested interest in policing the actions of its members without undue government interference. ORRA supports requiring mandatory property condition disclosure by sellers of real property to potential purchasers.
ORRA believes that improving the quality of life in depressed neighborhoods can be best achieved by revitalization efforts that implement enterprise zones and other tools to stimulate economic growth.
ORRA believes that property owners, working through local government, have the right to determine the highest and best use of their land. Government should not arbitrarily infringe upon those rights without due process, just compensation, or the owner’s express consent. Actions by government that diminish or jeopardize the value of property to an owner should be compensated.
ORRA believes that REALTORS® have the right to responsibly advertise properties on the open market. Therefore, it will continue to work with local government to formulate sign ordinances that reflect the community’s values without infringing upon the Constitutional right to free speech.
ORRA encourages and supports measures to prevent landlord — tenant ordinances injurious to the basic rights of private property ownership.
ORRA supports programs that encourage the construction, improvement, and renovation of new and existing housing inventory to provide housing opportunities to low and middle income families. ORRA opposes government mandated inclusionary zones in an effort to initiate low and middle-income housing in the belief that this is best managed by the private sector.
State and Local Real Estate Taxation
ORRA believes that real estate taxes should be used to pay for government services that serve real estate. ORRA urges the cities and counties to reduce their reliance on property taxes that place an undue burden on home ownership.
Transfer taxes and recordation fees place the burden of taxation on buyers and sellers of real property, and hence discourage economic development. ORRA opposes any increase or expansion of this form of taxation, and will work to eliminate them altogether.
The use of impact fees to provide public capital improvements necessitated by new development should be limited, and in no case should be used to correct existing revenue deficiencies.
ORRA opposes a state sales tax on professional services. ORRA supports the practice of equitable tax assessments for all real property based on fair market value.
ORRA believes organized, macro approach must be utilized by local government to address transportation issues and provide efficient, safe, and convenient ways to travel while relieving traffic congestion, promoting alternative forms of transportation, and providing adequate capacity for growth.
Since costs to develop and maintain transportation infrastructure are inversely related to the population in a service area, land use and other government controls that encourage alternative modes of transportation should be developed with significant input from the private sector.
ORRA supports site designs and mixed use developments that promote the use of mass transit, along with promoting development that encourages alternative methods such as bike paths and pedestrian walkways.
Flexibility must be allowed in local government capital improvement plans to reflect changes in trends, while at the same time be at adequate levels so as to comprehensively plan for growth.
ORRA encourages the use of motor fuel taxes and user fees to fund transportation infrastructure, rather than funding methods related to real estate.