Politicians welcome all opportunities to issue positive press releases about themselves and tout awards they’ve won. But establishing the REALTOR® Legislative Champion award meant more to the Washington REALTORS® Association than publicity; it’s a way to thank elected officials that fought for real estate industry issues and home ownership.
In September, the association publicly recognized Sen. Kevin Ranker as the organization’s 2011 REALTOR® Legislative Champion for his role as the prime sponsor of legislation that rejected a federal department of revenue interpretation of tax statutes requiring offices to pay business and occupation tax on other real estate offices’ commission amounts; it meant taxing a portion of real estate commissions twice. Experts have estimated that the legislation will save the real estate industry millions of dollars over the next five years.
“Throughout the 2011 legislative session, Sen. Ranker was a forceful advocate for fair taxation and for protecting the real estate industry and the clients and homeowners we serve,” said Washington Realtors’ Vice President of Government Affairs George McGilliard when he presented the award.
Speaking at the award presentation ceremony at the Davenport Hotel, Spokane, Ranker told the crowd; “It is time we focus on the economy. It is not a partisan issue—I recognize that if our economy is going to recover, home sales must recover.”