Feb 4, 2012
Association of Realtors & Used Car Salesmen
Yesterday, the local newspaper featured a point/counterpoint on property reassessment. County Executive Don Cunningham wants to postpone it's implementation because of the erratic real estate market. Although it's hard to argue with that harsh reality, the Association of Realtors and Used Car Salesmen wants the county to institute the new figures immediately. Although I suspect that their position on the issue is somewhat motivated by the thousands of appeals and appraisals sure to follow, one of their statements particularly irritated me; " It is the mission of Realtors to protect private property rights..." I happen to know 34 former property owners in the hockey arena block who would find that statement ironic. Not only didn't the realtors speak out against eminent domain, several acted as strawmen for the city. Several years ago the Association officials came to Allentown City Council and spoke on behalf of Pawlowski's point of sale home inspection, although many of their rank and file membership disagreed. With a page of professional home inspectors in the yellow pages, who needs the city getting between a homeowner and his buyer. How is supporting such a program compatible with supporting private property rights? This past election they supported several candidates by producing and sending glossy mailers, with the Association minimally identified. Such mailings cost $10,000 a pop. The mailers supported the same candidates who want the reassessment now. The ability of that Association to now be "An Honest Broker" in the reassessment discussion is tainted.