REALTORS® are the watch dog when it comes to cities passing ordinances and when the state and federal governments proposing laws that impact the commercial real estate profession.
The "REALTOR® Party" is the term the National Association of REALTORS® uses to describe their nonpartisan advocacy efforts to protect property rights and promote the industry. About 1/3 (or $40) of National NAR Dues are earmarked for REALTOR® Party activities. When combined with funds raised and distributed through the RPAC and Corporate Ally Programs, REALTORS® are consistently ranked among the top five advocacy organizations in the country (for 2016 REALTORS® were the second largest, ranked behind the US Chamber of Commerce.)
Participation in REALTOR® Party activities does not require REALTOR® membership in COCAR™, but Affiliate membership in COCAR™ is minimally required.
The activities sponsored by the REALTOR® Party represent one of the largest professional, nonpartisan advocacy groups in the country, with significant presence at the federal, state and local levels.
The COCAR ™ Advocacy/Government Affairs Committee is responsible for coordinating our association's interactions with local governments' legislative and regulatory activities:
Impact fees have become a popular tool for funding public capital improvements, however, they may cause adverse consequences on real estate market and drive up development costs. The National Association of REALTORS(R) is opposed to the implementation of impact fees in any form.
Impact fees, also called development fees, are a fee imposed on new developments used to offset the cost of city infrastructure improvement necessary to accommodate the growth associated with an expanding municipality. Examples of these improvements could include streets, parks, sewage and water connections, etc.
Oklahoma’s municipal statutes use the term “development fee” for impact fees. The funds generated by these fees, by statute, are only allowed to be spent on capital improvements, not on the operations and maintenance of existing facilities. The capital improvements must also substantially benefit the development paying the fees. If impact fees are not tailored to the impacts created by the proposed new development, they may be subject to constitutional challenges.
The National Association of REALTORS(R) offers a Land Use Initiative Program where existing or proposed state and local legislation is examined for its impact on issues of interest to REALTORS®.
The Central Oklahoma Commercial Association of REALTORS(R) used this service in 2016 when the City of Oklahoma City was proposing the implementation of impact fees. NAR provided an Impact Fee Memorandum which was distributed members of the City Council as well as the City’s Planning Department.
The Impact Fee Memorandum may be downloaded here.
Councilperson Mark Stonecipher was awarded a 2017 Pivot Award™ for his efforts in negotiating modifications to the City’s original proposal for impact fees.