What is RPAC?
As REALTORS®, we maximize our political power through the REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC). RPAC raises voluntary funds from REALTORS® and uses those funds to help elect candidates for public office who share our views on issues that affect our industry and shape our communities. By supporting the campaigns of candidates who understand your business, Georgia RPAC ensures that your interests are represented when laws, ordinances, and regulations are being enacted. The relationships created by RPAC help public officials understand the implications of their decisions on your business.
This isn’t personal; this is business. When RPAC decides whether to contribute to candidates, the only consideration is how supportive they are on real estate and property rights issues. As an organization that represents REALTORS®, RPAC doesn’t consider other kinds of issues. Party affiliation doesn’t matter, either; Georgia RPAC has contributed to Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. RPAC looks to build the future by putting dollars in places that will help advance the interests of real estate professionals. RPAC is insurance for our industry.
Where does your RPAC investment go?
Your voluntary RPAC investment is used to support candidates for the Georgia General Assembly, for statewide office (Governor, Lt. Governor, etc.), and for local county and city elected office across the state. Additionally, a portion of the state’s RPAC funds is forwarded to the National Association of REALTORS® Political Action Committee to be used for Congressional candidates.
How does RPAC decide whom to support?
RPAC contributions may be requested by local associations, GAR’s lobbyists, or even the candidates themselves. Contributions are approved by the state RPAC Board of Trustees – REALTORS® from across Georgia who are committed to protecting the real estate industry and private property rights by giving money to candidates for office who both understand and support REALTOR® issues. Some of the criteria considered by the RPAC Trustees include:
- if the legislator is a leader (Speaker of the House, Majority/Minority Leader, etc);
- if the legislator serves on a “key committee” (those that directly affect the outcome of bills and issues);
- if the legislator sponsored a REALTOR®-friendly bill (or, conversely, if the legislator sponsored a REALTOR®-unfriendly bill); and
- whether or not the legislator is a REALTOR® or affiliated with the real-estate industry.
How does RPAC benefit your business?
Whether you are a broker-owner or a part-time agent, politics directly impacts your profitability. Here in Georgia, RPAC has helped us accomplish numerous legislative victories:
- Passing legislation that allows REALTORS® to engage in short sale transactions that had previously been interpreted by the state Banking Department as illegal
- Successfully limiting local government’s ability to register vacant and foreclosed properties by creating statewide standards that all local governments must follow
- Protecting REALTORS®’ ability to collect and distribute escrow funds
- Defeating legislation to mandate a termite inspection prior to closing
- Preventing statewide point-of-sale plumbing retrofit mandates
- Passing legislation to reform Georgia’s property tax assessment and appeals process.
- Preventing cities and counties in Georgia from charging individual agents a business license fee for each jurisdiction in which they conduct business
That’s money back in your pocket and added back to your business’ bottom line. To learn more about GAR’s legislative accomplishments, click here.
If not you, then who?
REALTORS® must be politically active, get involved and help shape the discussion. If not, who will take on the responsibility of protecting the values and rights we hold dear? Be assured that someone will – someone who may not value wise business planning and could threaten property owners and their rights. No one knows a community better than a REALTOR®. REALTORS® know the lay of the land, the families, the best schools, the neighborhoods and the leaders of any given area. REALTORS® work in every city, county and community in the nation. REALTORS® are on the front line as defenders of real estate issues. RPAC is the only political group in the country organized for REALTORS® and run by REALTORS®. RPAC exists solely to further issues important to REALTORS®.