The Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association is dedicated to the protection and the preservation of the free enterprise system and the right of the individual to own real property as guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States of America.
To that end, we offer the benefits of our knowledge of real estate, our experience, and our technical resources to the public in general and the government, which serves them.
Because we are concerned with a number of issues facing our members and our community, the following statement of the principles underlying our policy recommendations is provided so that the public will better understand our specific positions on current issues.
• We believe in the free enterprise system, and oppose undue intervention by the government in the affairs of American business. We oppose counterproductive taxation, governmental guidelines, regulations, rules, and procedures, which unnecessarily increase consumer costs and unnecessarily burden the business community.
• We believe the political stability and economic prosperity is dependent in large measure upon the right of the individual to own and freely transfer real property and to exercise and enjoy the benefits of ownership. Because we strongly support the full and free exercise of this right, we oppose actions by governments, groups, or individuals, which diminish or deny it, and we will concern ourselves with legislation, regulations, and litigation, which affect real estate and the REALTOR® organization.
• We will continue to be responsive to the increasing needs of our members for direct and indirect economic and professional benefits and services by striving to increase the professional image, standards and productivity of our members. The growing specialized and diverse needs of the members of the various disciplines in the real estate industry in domestic and international markets are also of major importance to our organization. Thus, we will work to ensure that our members in both non-residential and residential specialties provide the highest quality service to their clients, while addressing the continually changing nature of brokerage and business practices in real estate, including the professional and liability concerns of our members. To this end, we will inform our membership of domestic and international real estate business trends and practices, the effects of changing demographics, promote the benefits of additional real estate education and develop new ways of assisting real estate specialties. We will also work to build coalitions and work with other trade groups, professional associations, and firms in areas such as education programs, legislation, services, marketing, and membership.
• We believe that homeownership serves as a cornerstone of our democratic system of government and deserves a preferred place in our system of values as it contributes to community responsibility, civic, economic, business and employment stability, family security and well-being. As real estate professionals, we know that homeownership is a primary goal of American families. We also believe that every individual should have the opportunity to live in safe and decent housing. These objectives can best be served by a healthy housing market in an economic environment that fosters an ample supply of affordable and accessible financing provided by both domestic and international sources.
• We believe in balancing the needs for private property rights, low and moderate-income housing, the economic growth, and activity required to improve the standard of living of the public, and the need to preserve the environment. In this respect, agricultural needs, social and economic factors, and future growth of our nation must be considered in the development of land use policies.
• We firmly believe in equal opportunity in housing. No person of this country should be denied the right to rent or purchase shelter of choice because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation or gender identity. Furthermore, these rights should not be limited because of existing or desired ethnic, racial, or religious proportions in any defined area
• We encourage persons of all racial and ethnic groups, both sexes, with and without disabilities, and individuals otherwise protected from discrimination by the Fair Housing Act, to participate at all levels within the REALTORS® Associations.
• We believe and support policies, which promote the healthy growth of the economy. Investment in structures, in equipment, and in skills of people is necessary to increase the standard of living, jobs and household income. To accomplish these goals, we urge changes in tax policies, which will encourage savings, investment, and homeownership.
• We believe that active involvement in political activity is a privilege and responsibility of every citizen. We urge qualified individuals to make themselves available for public service. We encourage continuing participation in local, state, and national political affairs and urge support of those candidates who support and by their actions preserve, and indeed strengthen, America's free enterprise system, which is based upon the underlying principle of private property ownership.
We, the Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association, recognize the housing needs among low-income households and renters. Our goal is to encourage homeownership opportunities, rental assistance programs, programs that address homelessness and programs designed to help first-time homebuyers, thus assisting citizens to move up the housing ladder. Moreover, we endorse local, state, and Federal housing initiatives and strongly encourage the development of public/private partnerships. As an Association, we reaffirm the national goal of "a decent home and a suitable living environment for every family."
We recognize the impact growth may have on Florida’s environment and ecosystem., We also recognize the responsibility we have to educate and work with local, state, and Federal government officials to develop responsible planning and permitting practices that consider the divergent concerns of growth and development. At the same time, the value of private property should not be unduly diminished or jeopardized by governmental action at any level without just compensation.
REAL ESTATE TAXATION
• Tax Limitation
Real estate taxes should be used primarily to pay for government services, which serve to benefit or protect the health, safety, and economic prosperity of a community. We urge cities and counties to reduce their reliance upon property taxes as they place an undue burden on housing and other real property.
• Transfer Taxes
The ability to purchase real property contributes directly to the economy. Transfer taxes and recordation fees put a burden of taxation on buyers and sellers at time of settlement.
• Impact Fees
Fees for services should not hamper or deter development in our communities. Governments should limit use of impact fees to provide public capital improvements necessitated by new development.
• Sales Tax
The Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association opposes state sales tax on professional services and commercial leases.
• Assessment Practices
We support the practice of equitable tax assessments for all real property based on fair market value.
• Equal Opportunity Housing
We subscribe to the policy that equal opportunity in the acquisition of housing can best be accomplished through leadership, example, education, and the mutual cooperation of the real estate industry and the public. In the sale, purchase, exchange, rental, or lease of real property, we have the responsibility to offer equal service to all clients and prospects without regard to race, color religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation or gender identity.
• Sign Ordinances
We believe that REALTORS® have the right to advertise properties on the open market through the use of solicitation generally and real estate "For Sale" signs specifically. We encourage REALTORS® to work with local government to assist them in determining a sign ordinance program, which will allow REALTORS® to market their client's properties.
• Rental Housing
We recognize the need for affordable rental housing and preservation of current rental housing stock through recycling and renovation. We support incentives to financing, production, and improvement of rental housing for citizens of all income levels.
Owners of rental property should provide safe and decent housing for their tenants and occupants. The rights given each party under basic contract law should be enforced.
We oppose local measures that are designed to limit the basic rights of private property ownership.
• Low- to moderate-income housing
We support low- to moderate-income housing and incentive programs for the construction, renovation, and improvement of new and existing housing inventory. We oppose governmental regulations, which would impose mandatory inclusionary zoning in an effort to initiate low- to moderate-income housing construction.
• Consumer Protection
We support efforts by real estate professionals to serve and protect the public. We do not support government intervention that increases the cost of consumer borrowing, places restrictions on services provided by industry and cause unwarranted delay of transactions.
• Seller Property Condition Disclosure
We strongly support legislation or regulation requiring mandatory property condition disclosure and or disclaimer by sellers of real property to potential purchasers.
We believe in the fundamental right of all private property owners working with local government, to determine the highest and best use of their land.
Governments shall not arbitrarily infringe on the basic right of the individual to acquire, possess, and freely transfer real property, and shall protect private property rights as referred to in the 5th and 14th Amendments of the United States Constitution.
Every person should have the right to acquire real property with confidence and certainty that the value and use of such property will not be unduly diminished or jeopardized by governmental action at any level without just and or full compensation.
We maintain that planning for the classification and use of land must adequately consider the needs of housing, agriculture, commercial and industrial growth, as well as quality of life and a healthy local economy.
We support the enactment of legislation, which would establish a reasonable threshold for unfunded state mandates imposed upon local governments.
ACCESS TO PUBLIC OFFICIALS
We support the concept of open and free communication between elected or appointed officials and their constituents. More specifically, communication channels should provide full access to those officials when making land-use and other quasi-judicial decisions.
We believe the economic development of the area depends on an integrated transportation system to ensure Central Florida's viability for continued economic growth.
• Transportation Corridors
Transportation corridors should be delineated and protected in future land use plans to ensure affordability as the area grows.
• Activity Centers
Increased densities in and near activity centers adjacent to transportation corridors should be promoted to encourage alternative forms of transportation. If consistent with neighborhood and comp plans.
• Mass Transit
Mass transit should be part of Central Florida's transportation system. We support the development of an area-wide multi-modal mass transit system including regional systems and activity center circulator systems.
LAND USE & GOVERNMENT CONTROLS
Land use and other governmental controls that encourage alternative modes of transportation should be developed in cooperation with local jurisdictions and with input from the private sector.
Levels of service standards in areas designated as high-activity centers may be eased to promote alternative methods of transportation.
We support site designs and mixed-use development that promote the use of multi-modal mass transit.
Transportation funding revenues should be allocated to support comprehensive transportation planning.
Flexibility should be allowed in local government's capital improvement programs to reflect changes in growth trends.
Whenever possible, we encourage local governments to seek alternative funding methods for transportation infrastructure that are not solely related to real estate. Examples include motor fuels taxes and user fees.
We support programs that provide viable frameworks to foster community revitalization and economic growth. We urge REALTORS® to actively participate in and promote community revitalization efforts, which are designed to maintain and improve the quality of life in the neighborhoods of our cities, towns, and communities.