We just received a copy of this excellent article written for and published in The Wichita Falls Times Record News by Michael Detrick. We are honored and glowing in the recognition of all our efforts, to not just educate our REALTOR members, but to inform our Texas property owners and consumers as well. Apparently, our VOICE 4 TEXAS shows! Thanks for the props Michael!
Texas REALTORS – Protecting Private Property Rights
By Michael Detrick
One of the better kept secrets in Texas is about to explode onto the political landscape for all Texas property owners. Texas REALTORS identified the need to become politically active in 1972 and formed TREPAC – Texas Association of REALTORS Political Action Committee – with the stated purpose of protecting private property rights in Texas. That first year 923 investors raised a total of $17,250. In 2013 over 39,000 Texas REALTORS voluntarily invested $3.4M in TREPAC! This makes TREPAC the second largest non-candidate specific political action committee in the state by amount raised and easily the largest political action committee in the state by number of investors.
Ask yourself the obvious question – why would that many hard working business people voluntarily part with $3.4M in 2013? The answer is not to fight for REALTOR specific issues like licensing requirements. No, the answer is much broader and far reaching thus requiring more investors and more money. Texas REALTORS have become the premier advocate for the preservation of private property rights at the state and local levels of government in Texas. Record numbers of Texas REALTORS have invested record amounts of money to meet the public policy makers head on in the state capital, the 254 counties and every municipality in Texas.
Texas REALTORS have never forgotten that one of the cornerstone principles of our democracy was private property rights. Texas REALTORS remember the sacrifice made by our forefathers in Texas who fought and died for every acre we now call the great State of Texas. Texas REALTORS have come to believe that these property rights are worth preserving for future generations of Texans. Texas REALTORS understand that a robust state economy today and tomorrow is directly linked to one of our greatest assets – Texas land. We have a lot of it – way more than other states! It has created great wealth in this state and represents incredible wealth creation for many generations of Texans to come.
The following is a partial list of public policy issues for which Texas REALTORS advocated (sometimes for and often times against) with one goal in mind – what is best for the Texas property owner: Appraisal District Reform; County Rule Making Authority; Eminent Domain; Homeowner’s Associations; Infrastructure: Energy, Water & Transportation; Home Equity Lending; Mandatory Sales Price Disclosure; Sales Tax on Real Estate Transactions (Transfer Fees), and Windstorm Insurance. Look at the list – these are not REALTOR specific issues – they are important public policy issues for all Texas property owners.
Question – what other entity advocates for fairness and transparency in the property appraisal process? What other entity has turned away repeated proposals to tax your real estate one last time with a transfer tax at the time of sale – a tax we see in 37 other states. What other entity has the political clout to build a coalition to forge a 21st century water or transportation plan to meet the projected needs of our growing population.
The political landscape in Texas is changing in this election cycle and the coming elections over the next 10-20 years. Public policy rises up from both Texas Republicans and Texas Democrats. Whatever the policy, we Texans have to live with the rewards or consequences of it. There are some really well intention public policy makers who will propose some really disastrous ideas. Regardless of their political affiliation, regional differences, or ethnic heritage, TREPAC first vets candidates for public office and then, once elected, educates them about private property rights. This is a single issue based political action committee. At no time since its inception 42 years ago has TREPAC deviated from mission – preservation of private property rights in Texas.
TREPAC is now open to investment from all Texans. Go to VoiceForTexas.com to learn more. Your voice is important and will not be heard without action. Become part of the Texas REALTOR army 39,000 strong in 2013 to stand up to the politicians, the appraisal districts, and any government authority trying to exercise jurisdiction over your property rights. Surely it is worth a closer look. Maybe, just maybe, you too will see what Texas REALTORS see in record numbers with record dollars invested. Texas private property rights are something for which we should stand up together and fight.
It was my distinct honor to serve all Texas property owners in 2013 as the statewide chairman of TREPAC. I welcome your comments and questions. More importantly, I invite you to join me and my fellow Texas REALTORS with your vote and your financial support as we defend your property rights.
And you thought REALTORS were just about commissions and multiple listing services! Better look twice.
Michael Detrick licensed as a Texas Real Estate agent in 1995 and earned his Texas Real Estate Broker’s license in 1997. He is an owner of Nortex Realty, a full service real estate agency in Wichita Falls. He was recognized by the Wichita Falls Association of Realtors with the Realtor of the Year Award in 2005 and again in 2013.