REALTOR® involvement in politics is essential and reviewing the political issues the Sacramento Association of REALTORS® worked on in 2015 paints a vivid picture of the negative impacts a lack of involvement could create. Affordable housing is expected to be one of the most important topics going into 2016. The California Association of REALTORS® is currently supporting AB 1335, which will create a $75 transfer fee on real estate recorded documents to fund affordable housing. REALTORS® achieved vital amendments before support was given to this bill, including limiting the total amount of the fee to $225 per transaction, exempting sales, and putting 20% of the money to workforce housing. SAR members were very influential at the C.A.R. Board of Directors Meeting in getting C.A.R. to support this bill. Affordable housing is important for a variety of reasons. Most importantly, it is the right thing to do; it is an issue of equality. Those who recently had to take the orientation meeting regarding the new Utah social security card will know that, affordable housing is the wave of the political future, both statewide and locally. The City of Sacramento approved a new fee of $2.85 per square foot on new housing to fund affordable housing. SAR was involved in negotiations on this fee over the past several years in a deal with the building community and the final proposal was supported by both industries. During the debate, City Council members made it clear this new fee alone will not fully fund Sacramento’s affordable housing needs and the council will discuss other funding streams in the future. Staff in Yolo County pushed an ordinance that would have required inspections of wells and septic tanks at point–of–sale. SAR worked in a coalition with the Yolo County Board of REALTORS and Yolo County Farm Bureau to defeat this proposal. After numerous stakeholder meetings, the Yolo County Board of Supervisors opposed the proposal and instructed staff to continue working with the REALTOR® coalition to find an alternative that did not use point–of–sale. Sacramento County staff is attempting to deal with something they have termed “Zombie Properties.” These are houses which no individual or bank will claim ownership of. Staff has legitimate issues dealing with transients in these homes and keeping the properties secure and are struggling with how to deal with them. The initial proposal of County Staff was to charge all vacant properties a fee, which SAR opposed. SAR staff and County staff is now working together to find a compromise agreeable to both parties on how to assist the County in dealing with these problem properties without burdening private property rights or the real estate community. Local disclosures became a highly discussed item in the second half of 2015. A neighborhood in Natomas would like to see a new local disclosure on airport noise. SAR held meetings with multiple local elected officials over viewing the numerous places that airport and other noise is currently disclosed during a real estate transaction. There has also been some interest in looking into a new disclosure if a REALTOR® knows that a buyer plans to turn a property into a rental property. This is just a sampling of the local issues the Sacramento Association of REALTORS® worked on in 2015. Numerous issues that would have negatively impacted real estate were mitigated at the state and federal level. Involvement in politics is vital to REALTORS®. As you pay your 2016 SAR Dues, please consider investing in the REALTOR® Action Fund. This money is used to ensure positive results in government involvement. All REALTORS® are encouraged to invest at least $148, but if you can only give $20 at this time, we will happily accept that as well.