TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – March 3, 2015 – At 9:31 a.m. this morning, the Florida House convened to kick off the 2015 session of the Florida Legislature. At the same time, the state's Realtors® converged on Tallahassee for the first day of Great American Realtor Days.

Realtors arrived in the state capital to talk with their representatives about the major issues of concern to Realtors and all Floridians including: fully funding affordable housing; phasing out a tax on commercial rents; restoring water resources while protecting property rights; and capping fees charged by community associations for estoppel certificates.

Housing trust funds
"A vote for Amendment 1 last November was not a vote against housing," says 2015 Florida Realtors President Andrew Barbar, a broker with Keller Williams Realty Services in Boca Raton. Amendment 1 requires that 33 percent of documentary stamp taxes on real estate transactions goes toward water and land conservation.

"Affordable housing and the conservation of water and land resources are equally crucial goals for our citizens," Barbar says. "Fully funding the Sadowski Affordable Housing Trust Funds would mean that many of our state's neediest residents – those who are homeless, low-income families and veterans – would benefit from $267 million going into home buying and rental assistance programs.

"Not only does a strong housing policy help strengthen and revitalize our communities, housing also creates jobs and helps to drive Florida's economy forward."

The 140,000-members of Florida Realtors understand the importance of making their voices heard as lawmakers take up the challenge of helping Florida grow and prosper, while also protecting the state's quality of life for residents and visitors now and in the future, says Carrie O'Rourke, Florida Realtors' vice president of public policy.

Tax on commercial