This site is about the overreaching political power of the NC Association of Realtors flush with money from cashing in your equity 6% at a time, leaving you to pay for growth with property taxes, year after year, with or without cash flow. In the last few years NCAR has pumped millions of dollars into NC political campaigns at the state and local level. They have spent millions more to defeat Local Options for Local Governments with misleading ads.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

NCAR Down 12,000 Members Since High

NCAR membership since December 2010

31,522 March
32,146 February
33,070 January

Membership in NCAR peaked in November 2007 at 43,569. The current roll represents a loss of 12,047 members since then or 28%.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

NCAR Down 11,000 Members Since High

NCAR membership since November 2010

32,146 February
33,070 January
33,951 December

Membership in NCAR peaked in November 2007 at 43,569. The current roll represents a loss of 11,423 members since then or 26%.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Monday, January 3, 2011

Thursday, December 2, 2010

On the Radar

Though the 2010 NC legislative session ended in July and the 2011 starts up in January, state legislators are still busy with study committees. Among the issues being tracked by the NC Association of Realtors are:

• Consolidation of State Agencies and Departments
• Consolidation or Elimination of State Boards and Commissions
• Developer Responsibility for Street Construction
• Urban Growth and Infrastructure
• Legislative Study Commission on Public-Private Partnerships
• Joint Select Study Committee on Tort Reform
• Sustainable communities

Most of these meetings can be located at the NC General Assembly website. For others it may be necessary to drill down through State Board Notices at the NC Secretary of State's Office where you'll also find in lobbyist reports that NCAR's former executive Tim Kent is now a lobbyist for the NC Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Numbers Going Down

NCAR membership since July 2010:

34,406 November
34,649 October
34,770 September
34,751 August

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Numbers Update

NCAR membership for the year to date:

34,658 July
34,661 June
34,693 May
34,582 April
34,372 March
35,161 February
35,731 January

NC RPAC Individual Contributions

2010 Jan-Jun $175,173
2009 Jan-Jun $184,026
2008 Jan-Jun $283,652
2007 Jan-Jun $333,814
2006 Jan-Jun $302,600

Saturday, June 5, 2010


NCAR member numbers bottomed out in March at 34,372 and are creeping back up but still substantially lower than a year ago.

34,693 May 2010 [36,844 May 2009]
34,582 April
34,372 March
35,161 February

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Answer: Lower

35,161 members in February. March is the cut-off when members are dropped for non-payment of dues.

State Board of Elections Hearing

State Board Meeting Agenda

March 4, 2010


The State Board of Elections will meet in its boardroom located at 506 N. Harrington St., Raleigh, N.C. on March 4, 2010, at 1:00 p.m. For further information on this meeting please call (919) 715-5333.


Call to order

Minutes approval

Appointing replacements for county board of elections vacancies

Certification of political party nominees

Candidate nickname matter

Appeal hearing of George Boggs protest (Cumberland County)

Hearing on complaint in regards to the N.C. Realtors Association

Other matters

Sunday, February 7, 2010

How Low Can You Go?

The numbers keep dropping for the North Carolina Association of Realtors (NCAR). The January 2010 NCAR roll came in at 35,731 members which is the lowest in 4 years. That's a loss of 595 members in one month, a loss of 2,884 since January 2009 and a loss of 7,838 members, or 18%, since the all time high of 43,569 in November 2007.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Ringing In the NCAR Year

The next State legislative session doesn't officially start until May but the North Carolina General Assembly calendar is chock-a-block with study committees keeping legislators and lobbyists busy. From NCAR communications, the following is a list of issues being studied in 2010 that NCAR has declared of interest.

• Sanitary Districts
• Mountain Recourses/Steep Slope
• Disclosure of Coastal Hazards
• Public Participation In Setting Insurance Rates
• Mechanic’s Liens on Real Property
• Commercial Real Estate Broker Liens
• Ordinances Banning Clotheslines
• Green Building Code
• Property Tax Relief Programs and Exemptions
• Siting of Wind Energy Facilities
• Transfer Development Rights
• Changes to NC’s Banking Laws and the Consumer Finance Act
• Regional Economic Development
• Insurance Rate Filing Process Reformation
• Homeowners Associations
• Transportation Funding Distribution
• Water Allocation
• Water and Wastewater Infrastructure
• Sustainable Growth
• NC Saves Energy Program Creation
• Impact and Use of Temporary Erosion Control Structures
• NC’s Energy Future
• Consolidation of Environmental Policy and Rule-Making Functions into one Entity

Lobster Realtor

There are some things you can't make up. The propitiously named North Carolina Professional Lobbyists Association has an annual recognition event at its annual meeting called, I kid you not, the "Lobster Awards". In October 2007 the recipients included Tim Kent and Rick Zechini of the North Carolina Association of Realtors for the "Stop the Home Tax" campaign, the inspiration for this particular blog.

Famous moments in lobster history:

NCAR Numbers Keep Going South

NCAR membership numbers continue to drop. Membership for December 2009 stood at 36,326 - a loss of 569 members since November and, down 3,862 or 9.61% since the December 2008 roll of 40,188. Membership in NCAR peaked in November 2007 at 43,569. The current roll of 36,326 is the lowest since March 2006 when membership stood at 36,350.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Not So Realfast

Realfast, Inc., one of NCAR's for-profit subsidiaries, hit a snag in corporate filings with the NC Secretary of State's Office. The most recent Annual Report submitted 8/12/2009 signed by Tim Kent as CEO of the company was rejected 9/21/2009. Previous filed reports had been signed by William DePriest as CEO of the company, most recently on 3/11/08. The likely explanation for the rejection is that no amended report was filed confirming Kent's replacement of DePriest as CEO of Realfast. With Kent's imminent departure from NCAR the filing status will likely await the appointment of yet another CEO.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

NCAR Numbers Update

NCAR membership numbers are on the decline again after a brief but mediocre summer rally since the 2009 low of 36,696 in March. Membership for November stood at 36,895 down 194 since October and, down 4,149 since the November 2008 roll of 41,044. If the same monthly drop occurs in December the year-end membership will reach a new 2009 low of 36,701. Membership in NCAR peaked in November 2007 at 43,569 which is 6,674 higher than in November 2009.

NCAR had expected to shed some members in 2009 due to the imposition of a mandatory special assessment for its Issues Mobilization Fund. NCAR projected a leaner roll of about 39,000 members in early 2009 but did not anticipate a drop to below 37,000. NCAR responded to the revenue loss of approximately $200,000 earlier in the year with about $300,000 in budget cuts including a salary freeze and the elimination of 3.5 full time positions.

RPAC fundraising has been down, and not just because of the decline in membership. The mandatory assessment seems to have supressed the PAC revenue. The NC RPAC mid-year 2009 contribution rate averages about $4.99 per member compared to about $6.60 per member in the same period in 2007
The mid-year total for individual contributions in 2009 was $184,026
The mid-year total for individual contributions in 2007 was $280,788 (a comparable period)

By mid year 2009 RPAC had $598,570 cash on hand. Meanwhile other numbers for FY2008 gathered from various sources appear to be:

NC Homeowners Alliance (527) / Issues Mobilization Fund FY2008 report
$1,846,876 Special Assessment revenue
     $217,964 Issues Mobilization fee revenue
$2,064,840 Total Issues Mobilization Fund revenue
     $569,769 Total Expenses (includes apparent prior debt of $151,857))
$1,495,071 Seems to be the account balance for FY2008 for IMF

NCAR Governmental Affairs FY2008 report
$788,270 Total Expenses (includes $608,464 Lobbying Expense)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Realtors Gloat on Demise of Union County School Funding

The NC Court of Appeals ruled last week that Union County's Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance (APFO) was in effect imposing unauthorized Impact Fees.

Defendant may not use the APFO to obtain indirectly the payment of what amounts to an impact fee given that defendant lacks the authority to impose school impact fees directly. Therefore, because our Constitution places the duty to fund public schools on the General Assembly and local governments and because the General Assembly has neither expressly nor impliedly authorized defendant to shift that duty using subdivision ordinances that impose fees or use similar devices upon developers of new construction, we hold that defendant’s adoption of an APFO that includes a VMP and similar measures was in excess of its statutory authority.
NC Realtors are taking credit for a "great victory for the real estate community" but don't really have any better ways to fund the construction of schools to maintain and improve property values in the communities they serve.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Leading Builders of America

This just in:

Leading Builders is a new trade association of builders (independent from NAHB). Members include: Beazer Homes, The Drees Companies, K. Hovnanian Homes, K B Home, Lennar, M/I Homes, MDC, Meritage Homes, Pulte Homes, Ryland Homes, Shea Homes, Taylor Morrison, Toll Brothers, David Weekley Homes and Weyerhaeuser Realty.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Big Builders Split from NAHB

According to Roll Call:

After a bitter fight with the National Association of Home Builders, a breakaway group of 16 of the industry’s largest builders has decided to form its own trade association. The new entity, called Leading Builders of America, is still in the early stages of formation.

Update: This rift had been building for some time according to the Housing Chronicles blog. It last came to a head back in March 2009 when large builders threatened to split from NAHB which they felt was not lobbying in their best interests especially with respect to tax treatment of net operating losses. This drama, which temporarily abated, was documented by the website in a series of posts in March:
When the Dust-up Settles
Won't You Please Come to Chicago?
Big Home Builders vs. NAHB Brush-up Update
Home Builder Trade Group Goes Public, or Rather, Goes at Its Public Members

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Year in pReview

When the narrative of NCAR 2009 is written watch for the following clues:

The time has never been better to be a federal lobbyist.

Source: Twitter

Financial crises created by the mismanagement at NCAR necessitating more member involvement in the Service Corp and Realfast

Source: WRAR/MLS

“Negative Campaigning: Is Negative the New Positive?” This session will focus on the delicate art of going negative.

Source: PRLog

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Kent Leaving NCAR

According to the Raleigh News&Observer's Under the Dome, Tim Kent, Executive Director of NCAR is leaving the organization at the end of this year. Story: Kent to leave Realtor group

Monday, August 17, 2009

Shall We Gdansk? A Tale of Renewal

Remember Renew Raleigh, the real estate and home building Astroturf outfit? Seems that Renew Raleigh didn't renew and the URL now displays the content of a Polish blog.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Biting The Hand That Feeds

Not content with government help in the form of an $8,000 first-time homebuyers tax credit and a property tax break for homebuilders' unsold inventory which will have a negative impact of $40-45 million on local government revenues, the Triangle Community Coalition (an organization of realtors and homebuilders) is begging for funds in order to bite the hand that feeds, according to a recent letter to supporters:

Dear Friends of the Triangle Community Coalition,

I am coming to you today with hat in hand. The TCC is in great need. As our political environment is showing the need for our organization every single day, our reserves are dwindling. I do not want to waste your time with a recollection of how hard times are right now. As a business leader in this community, you know what it is like better than anyone. Unfortunately, politics carry on even in the most difficult of economic times and right now we need to be more vigilant than ever.

We cannot afford to ignore politics while we try and stay in business. If we do, then we are increasing our chances of being out of business tomorrow. Every governmental agency is out there is looking for ways to raise revenues while we spend countless nights trying to figure out where to put the few dollars we have to spend.

I'd like you to add the TCC as one of your choices for advertising. Sponsorship of one of the upcoming TCC programs will help your business in more ways than one. You will get all the advertising we can possibly get for your money and it will help our organization help take care of the politics, while you take care of your business.

With sponsorship money tight for everyone, TCC has taken a huge hit. We are committed to being relevant to your business and politics in the Triangle. We are planning on holding our two signature events: the Candidate School (July 30) and the Political Pig Pickin'(August 27). We also have a strong programs committee that has been coordinating well attended Lunch & Learn events.

If you can commit to a sponsorship for any of these events, please contact Charlene at ******** or visit our website at for more information. Some events are time sensitive, so please pledge a sponsorship as soon as possible so that we can provide you maximum exposure.

Thank you for your time and considerations,

Laurie Donofrio
2009 TCC Chairman

Update: The sponsorship solicitation email was sent to multiple TCC Members and "Triangle Business Leaders". The email was shared by a non-member "Triangle Business Leader" recipient.
To: undisclosed-recipients
Subject: TCC- Request to Members/Triangle Business Leaders

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Builders Make Great Case For Transfer Tax

BubbleIt is generally accepted that the housing bubble precipitated the current recession. Easy access to money and low interest rates fueled housing inflation that made housing speculation profitable without growth in the underlying economy. In 2007 the Chief Executive of the National Association of Homebuilders acknowledged that overbuilding during the boom years was a factor in the housing meltdown.

That same year NC Realtors and Homebuilders fought tooth and nail at the Legislature to prevent counties from having a transfer tax option to pay for the infrastructure demanded by housing growth. Although unsuccessful at the Legislature in 2007 they have since spent millions to defeat transfer tax proposals at the polls in local referendums.

Proponents of the transfer tax argue that it relieves some of the burden of property tax by deferring it until a sale when cash flow is available, especially for existing homeowners on fixed incomes with over-inflated home values. Realtors and Homebuilders argued against it saying "Fight the Home Tax - It's a Bad Idea". Now faced with unsold inventories of speculatively built houses NC Homebuilders have turned to the Legislature for relief from "some of the burden of property tax by deferring it until a sale when cash flow is available."

House Bill 852, "Defer Tax on Builders' Inventory", has sailed quietly through the House, 106 votes to 8, and through committees, and is calendered for a Senate vote Wednesday July 8th, with little opposition expected. In fiscal years 2010-11 and 2011-12 combined this bill is projected to have a negative effect on county and municipal revenues of $40-$45 million.

"A builder may defer the portion of tax imposed on real property that represents the increase in value of the property attributable solely to improvements resulting from the construction by the builder of a residence on the property."
Homeowners will find no such relief and local governments will have to cut services or raise revenues to make up the $40-$45 million shortfall. Realtors and Homebuilders have argued that taxing the equity in homes is a bad idea but now they argue that "It's a Good Idea" when it comes to builders who overbuilt in the boom years straining infrastructure and local revenue streams. The NC Homebuilders make a great case for the transfer tax.