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Call to Action: Protect Those Advocating for Education Funding

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Call to Action: Protect Those Advocating for Education Funding

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The REALTORS got dirty this week, joining forces with oil and gas lobbies to directly attack Democrats who support education funding. Join the Divas and their small but mighty group of cohorts who are fighting for homeowners and kids.

Last week, the Divas and their cohorts, Rocky Flowers, April Rauch, and Kristina Loper came out forcefully in support of Washington’s parents and teachers. It’s increasingly important for business leaders to take a stand for the education funding guaranteed by our constitution. Why?

Because other business leaders are doing everything they can to not pay their fair share in supporting education. Sadly, this includes the Washington State REALTORS lobby, which is purposely misleading its members—using our RPAC dollars. Their latest target is pro-education funding legislator Pat Sullivan.

REALTORS and Big Oil Are Getting Dirty

REALTORS and oil and gas lobbies are funding smear ads in the 47th district, where a democrat like Pat Sullivan is considered vulnerable. They suggest that the state Democrats’ plan to amply fund education in Washington State “Squeezes” families.

Quite the opposite is true. It’s the Republican plan that truly creates hardship for working families by cutting social services statewide. It also increases property taxes in King County, notably in Democratic areas. The Washington Republicans’ anti-tax bloc ideologically opposes new tax revenue, except when it targets the poor and middle-class. Like them, REALTORS has a short-sighted and self-centered approach that sells out parents, homeowners, and children long-term.

The Republican plan does not call on big businesses to share the burden. It ignores that out-of-state developers are raking in millions and millions of local dollars, but paying nothing back in. It is their tax-free status on the state level that demands wage-workers and families make up the difference in a state with so much wealth.

Nathan Gorton with Washington REALTORS says he and the oil and gas lobbies want to “make sure that the voters in [the 47th] district talk to their legislators and check in with them to see if they really do support” the new tax plan. Of course, the ad gives a skewed perspective, completely ignoring the future investments at stake.

Fight Back! Spread The Word!

We are doing our best to let legislators know that REALTORS does not speak for all of us. We encourage you to do the same, and to let REALTORS know what you think of their tactics, too.

Tell your friends in real estate. Tell your friends who are buying homes. Let REALTORS know that if they do not pull their ads, you and your friends will stop using REALTORS when purchasing and selling a home. Only 40% of licensed brokers are REALTORS.

You have the power as a consumer to work with a brokerage that aligns with your views.

Some of us do care about the future of our state and all its children. In short, our response to the REALTORS ad is: NOT IN MY NAME!

Open Letter to REALTORS – Not in My Name

To Whom it May Concern;

RE: Pro-Education REALTOR Supporting SB 5929

Every day I have to talk to my buyers about schools. Schools are also a determining factor for those who are moving into our area to choose which neighborhood they should buy a home. Right now my answer is “Depends on where you buy.” And my answer should be “The schools are great in this neighborhood because we all did the hard work to properly fund them.”

I am a dues and RPAC paying REALTOR and I fully support SB 5929 and here is why:

  • Homeowners Carry the Bulk of Education Funding: Right now my clients contribute the most to support education through their local levy system. Levies are expensive and have to be renewed every year. Meanwhile, local jurisdictions have no ability to actually access their levy money because of the levy caps. This system is unfair to homeowners and to students.
  • Levy Swaps Are Kicking the Can Down the Highway: The McCleary decision is clear that local funding cannot be the main source of funding for schools. Taking money from King County to support schools in other areas that are not willing to fund their schools is not fair and it is not a final solution.  
  • A B&0 Tax Increase of 0.03% is Nominal: The increase would equate to a $36 increase on a commission of $12,000 (that is 3% on a $400,000 house). Real Estate brokers who cannot afford a $36 increase are probably new in the industry or do not do enough business to have the knowledge to fully represent buyers and sellers in this hot market. Any average full-time broker will be able to pay this minimal increase.
  • Excise Tax Increase: The proposed tax increase would only impact 4.35% of sales in King County that are over $1M. Whereas it would save 20.44% of home sellers whose homes are under $200,000. The increase does not impact your average home seller in Seattle’s hot market.
  • Capital Gains Tax: Currently we do not have a Capital Gains tax in our state, meaning that Idaho has a larger Capital Gains tax than we do. The number one reason that we have an affordability issue in King County is the number of out of state investors coming into the market. Right now they contribute ZERO to the local economy when they sell their investment property. The number of mom and pop investors is a small percentage of ACTUAL real estate transactions.  
  • Foreclosure Companies Pay ZERO Excise Tax: Once again why do homeowners have to pay excise tax and not companies who have damaged our economy and ripped families apart. Closing this break would put investors and banks that buy up foreclosed homes on equal footing with everyday home sellers.

The proposed budget in SB 5929 is fair for homeowners, the average home seller, and it is a nominal increase to the expenses of the average REALTOR like myself.

Thank you,

Team Diva and A Small But Growing Band of REALTORS

A Call to Action to Divaland

Support Those Who Support Education

It’s important to talk directly to the people running the show at REALTORS, but monetary support for pro-education legislators is also important. The stakes are too high to let big money buy elections. They want to send a message that any politician who asks them to pay their fair share is vulnerable. They may have the capital, but we have the numbers.

We urge you to support Democrat leaders in the 47th legislative district, including Pat Sullivan, as these are the first targets of the anti-education bloc. Donate online and call your own representatives to show your support for a plan that doesn’t “squeeze” anyone.

After all, if big business has so much money to buy ads at this point, clearly they can pay taxes that ensure Washington state schools are amply funded! It’s better for business in the long-term, not to mention the human benefit.

Go get’em, Divaland!

Chavi Hohm

Chavi Hohm

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