Tuesday, December 1 , 2015, 10:13 am | Fair 63º

Laurel Abbott: Santa Barbara Realtors Make an Impact in Sacramento

By Laurel Abbott |

Last week, delegates from the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors attended the California Association of Realtors Legislative Day in Sacramento.

Realtors met with our representatives at the Capitol to inform our legislators about which bills coming before them could present a challenge to homeowners, property rights and our industry.

Gov. Jerry Brown addressed the 2,200 Realtors who had come to Sacramento for this purpose and gave us a “State of the State” address as well as a compliment, stating, “I really enjoy working with all you Realtors. Wait, I have to work with you because you’re so powerful!”

Apparently, we are quite effective, as one bill that would have imposed a private property tax was stalled and sent back for further review in light of our concerns about the financial burden for future homeowners as well as a lack of oversight. We are still working on the passage of a bill that would absolve homeowners in a short sale of paying state income taxes on their “phantom income” on debt forgiveness to conform with legislation that has already been passed on the federal level.

With the upswing in real estate fueling the economy, we made the common sense appeal, “Do no harm to housing.” We hope they were listening and that our community will continue to see the effects of a rising market.

I’d like to thank all of the directors who attended, giving their time, experience and passion for our profession: Toby Bradley, Diana Bull, Jim Caldwell, Staci Caplan, Adrienne Schuele and Paul Suding, as well as dedicated volunteers John Chufar, Ed Fuller, Bob Hart and Carol Kruckenberg. We had the pleasure of introducing some brand-new attendees to the CAR Legislative Day: Alec Bruice, Eddie Madrigal, Reyne Stapelman and Doug Van Pelt.

After seeing the effort and effect we have on the Hill, they’ll be back.

Laurel Abbott is a real estate agent with Prudential California Realty and president of the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. Contact her at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 805.879.8050. The opinions expressed are her own.

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