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News & Information: Orlando REALTOR® magazine - President's Message

I Like Paying Taxes...

Friday, August 31, 2012  
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Orlando REALTOR® | September/October 2012

By Stephen Baker

Yeah, I thought that might get your attention. It’s not that I ACTUALLY like paying taxes, but over the years I have grown to appreciate what I get in exchange. Like the quality schools, many freedoms, security, and emergency services that we sometimes take for granted. And then there are the roads we travel, air traffic controllers who keep us safe, park services to protect our lands, and on, and on, and on.

So what’s my point? Did I ever tell you that I used to hate paying REALTOR® dues?

That’s right. Before I realized what I was getting in return — what the value for my investment was — I didn’t like making my annual contributions. Then one day I decided to take the initiative to find out more about my local REALTOR® association. Did you know ORRA offers more than 400 educational classes, events, symposiums, seminars, webinars, and social events... EVERY year?

As a REALTOR®, I’ve sat with a group of our members in the offices of state and federal legislators and talked about issues that affect our profession and our communities: infringements on private property rights; over-zealous septic tank regulations; availability of downpayment assistance; funds for Neighborhood Stabilization Programs; maintaining mortgage interest deductions; the importance of a national flood insurance program; and on, and on, and on. (The best part is when we see our legislative visits make a difference!)

 And hey, did I mention that one of my agents told me about saving more than $200 on a new computer set up and about the iPad discounts available to all of us REALTORS®? SOMEBODY STOP ME!!

I know, I know, as the ORRA chairman of the board I am supposed to be a charter member of the REALTOR® Fan Club. But you have to admit that once you realize just what you get for the money, it is a pretty easy club to be in. As REALTORS®, we strive to get the best deal possible for our customers and clients, but at times fail to do the same for ourselves. So come join me at the next Eye On membership luncheon, CE course, or NAR convention. Get your money’s worth by expanding your knowledge and abilities through education, networking, and personal involvement. Maybe you’ll even feel like telling people, "I’m a REALTOR®, and I’m damn proud of it!”

ORRA Chairman of the Board Stephen Baker, RE/MAX Central Realty, is available at

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