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.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Astroturf Musings

A few of my thoughts from my Astroturf post over at

According to Jason Schrader of the Asheville Citizen Times, Macon County voters have been getting robo-calls from Freedomworks, another group with connections to Art Pope.

Johnston County Commissioners have apparently said they will not impose the tax even if it is endorsed by referendum. Sort of like "If elected I will not serve". As I said earlier this tax is only as permanent as the next commissioner's meeting.
That 0.4% will indeed apply to everyone who has paid 6% to a realtor.

The 6% is a manifestation of a web of controls that seem legit when looked at individually but collectively have the effect of a monopoly. From kick-backs signing bonuses to requiring membership for MLS access to charging member firms for non-members, having newly licensed brokers dependent on member firms in "provisional status" and pressuring employees to make PAC contributions it's a well integrated machine.
Also I've begun thinking about patterns of sales and growth. If a new person comes to town and buys a new home, it's one sale for a builder and one sale for realtors. If a new person comes to town and buys an existing home from someone who buys a new home, it's one sale for a builder and two sales for realtors.
I guess that's an argument for impact fees. I just wonder if out of towners are steered to existing homes. I'd be interested to know the stats of first deed transfers.

As much as I hate the money NCAR is pouring into the transfer tax issue I'm loving the fact that they have been draining their pond and making enemies in state and local government. Next session will be a good opportunity for positive change.
Another issue I see is the real estate broker who is also a mortgage broker. Seems to be an area ripe for abuse that could use some oversight.
As much money as they have at their disposal, the realtors and homebuilders can't afford to fight this in 94 counties so they are going all out to suppress it as much as possible in the 16 voting next Tuesday.
Some of the [anti-tax] rhetoric goes round in logic circles. It's getting close to Tuesday. I noticed a steady trickle of early voters at county BOEs. Don't know what that means for candidates and issues but glad to see it.

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