On Monday, May 7th, 2024, during the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings in Washington, DC, a delegation of New Mexico’s Federal Political Coordinators (FPCs) engaged with all five Congressional offices representing New Mexico in the US House of Representatives and US Senate. Their mission: to address the critical housing issues facing the state.

Meeting with Senator Martin Heinrich’s Office

Lois Sury, the FPC to Senator Martin Heinrich, led discussions accompanied by Rubel “Paco” Arguello, CEO of the Santa Fe Association of REALTORS® (SFAR); Joshua Maes, 2024 President of SFAR; and Josef Belansky. The group tackled the pressing issue of housing shortages driving up home prices. They proposed solutions such as increasing the availability of homes for sale, both through new construction and renovation. Key legislative priorities discussed included Tax Credits, 1031 Exchanges, the Neighborhood Homes Investment Act, raising the $10,000 cap on State and Local Tax (SALT) deductions, eliminating the marriage penalty, and adjusting the capital gains tax. They also highlighted the need to support the 199A tax deduction for independent contractors.

Engaging with Senator Ben Ray Lujan

Lela Holmes, FPC to Senator Ben Ray Lujan, led a team including Lois Sury, NMAR First Vice President; Beth Caldarello, SFAR President-Elect; Melissa Glasgow, San Juan County Board of REALTORS® (SJCBR) President; Aspen Groen, SJCBR President-Elect; Chuck Holmes, SJCBR Member; Shaheen Gallegos, SJCBR Association Executive; and George Smith, CARNM staff. They covered the 2024 Legislative Priorities, with Lela prompting the group to share real-life examples of how these priorities impact New Mexico families.

Discussion with Congresswoman Melanie Stansbury

Josh Price, FPC to Congresswoman Melanie Stansbury, was joined by Hubert H. Hill II, NMAR Immediate Past President; Morgan Cannaday, Greater Albuquerque Association of REALTORS® (GAAR) President; C. Shain Tanner, GAAR President-Elect; Kent Cravens, GAAR CEO; Isaac Romero, Commercial Association of REALTORS® New Mexico (CARNM) President-Elect; and Nathan Brooks, CARNM Executive Director. Josh facilitated a conversation on housing affordability and availability, emphasizing the need for rule changes to allow VA buyers to hire professional representation during the home-buying process. “We must do everything possible for veterans transitioning from active duty to civilian life,” he stressed. The group also discussed commercial real estate challenges and opportunities in New Mexico.

Sharing with the Office of Congressman Gabe Vasquez

Kent Simpson, FPC to Congressman Gabe Vasquez, led a team including Melissa Glasgow, Aspen Groen, James Russ, NMAR Past President; and David Saavedra, NMAR Government Affairs Director. Kent highlighted the 2024 Legislative Priorities and the importance of NAR Research and Data, presenting district reports to the congressman’s office.

Conversations with Congresswoman Teresa Leger Fernandez

Beth Caldarello, FPC to Congresswoman Teresa Leger Fernandez, was joined by Coleen Dearing, NMAR President, and David Saavedra. Beth underscored the importance of each Legislative Priority, focusing on the urgent need to align the VA with policy changes following the recent settlement regarding buyer broker payments. They discussed gaining support for the More Homes on the Market Act, the Neighborhood Investment Act, and the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement. The group highlighted New Mexico’s need for increased housing inventory and the unique challenges faced by different areas within District 3.

The efforts of New Mexico’s REALTORS® on Capitol Hill reflect their commitment to finding legislative solutions to the housing crisis, advocating for policies that will make housing more available and affordable for all New Mexicans. These efforts clearly demonstrate why the New Mexico Association of REALTORS® is the voice for real estate in New Mexico.

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