Tax Reform

Tax reform is the next big agenda issue for the White House and Republicans. The new healthcare push has pushed the release of some of the key points and details of the tax reform package on the back burner until Obamacare is repealed or the Republicans’ efforts are finally put to rest. The tax reform package is most surely going to include tax cuts for businesses and possibly to the individual’s rates. In terms of the details of the individual tax cuts, the current seven brackets would be collapsed into three: paying 35%, 25% and 12%. The Republicans package would lower the corporate tax rate from 35% to 15% and possibly eliminate the Estate Tax.

The White House is doing more to engage conservatives. They have has been hosting conservative groups in order to get them on board early, so there is not a collapse from the base, like the April Healthcare vote in the House of Representatives. However, many senate Republicans, like Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch, are claiming that the “Big Six” tax reform details will be advisory and that the Senate is likely to change things up. With the WH wanting Tax Reform done before the years’ end, or early 2018, Senate Republicans will try to prioritize the big tax issues.

However, with the plethora of ideas in the Republican’s conference on taxes, the issue may lag until the second quarter of 2018, just months before the midterms, rumor is the plan will look like this:

  • Current seven income tax brackets collapsed to three
  • Top individual tax rate cut from 39.6 to 35.
  • C Corps tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent.
  • Cut the top tax rate for S-Corps from 39.6 percent to 25 percent.

At National REIA, we will continue to engage on this issue, communicating real developments as they take place – and helping our members see through the smoke & mirrors of DC intrigue being played out on the national stage.

Hurricane Harvey Response

Written by Charles Tassell

We have all seen the devastation wrought by Hurricane Harvey. Requests for donations have started in every American community. But how can we best help?

National REIA has posted on our website a series of disaster preparation and response resources. And in any disaster, there are different parts of the cycle. In fact, FEMA points out there is a sequence to any disaster:

Preparedness – Incident – Response – Recovery – Mitigation.

There are organizations like FEMA and the Red Cross that typically address the immediate Response, with calls for trained volunteers and supplies. The Recovery however, takes a much longer and steadier hand. To that end, we encourage every association to reach out to your local Emergency Management Agency. They are typically County-based.

Engage the EMA on two key levels:

1. Provide the EMA with a list of vacancies for refugees to consider. (Disaster Refugees will typically be provided some short-term support by FEMA for housing and begin moving within a week of the disaster. Public institutions such as the EMA have no means to provide the refugees with lists of available housing – this is a niche where REIA members can help. Donations of housing supplies of all sorts could also be very helpful to those who have lost everything.)

2. If there are members who are skilled in various rehab aspects, consider developing an offer to send a team, at your own expense, or maybe through the REIA, to help with various aspects of clean-up and rebuilding. The EMA / Red Cross should be able to put your organization in touch with coordinators working directly in the area of need. Just “showing-up” in a disaster zone can contribute to the problem rather than helping. Working through coordinating agencies is essential.

With our experience of real estate, Investors may be able to provide a longer term partnership with regional disaster relief coordinators. While our hearts may go out for those in immediate need, the best thing we can do, other than keep our fellow citizens in our prayers, is to prepare for the Response aspect of the cycle. Helping clean-up, and rebuild is nothing new to us – and we can do it with renewed vigor as American’s helping our brothers and sisters rebuild.

We know the value of home – now let’s put those values to work!


Terrorism Awareness

Written by Charles Tassell

This is a phrase you never want to hear coming from yourself! However, if you have been in the business
very long, the thought has probably crossed your mind. As property owners and managers, the thought that the terrorists on the three different flights on 9/11 rented from someone, sends a chill down our spine. Add to that the chill of balancing the tension of the threat of a federal discrimination lawsuit if decisions are based on color, race, religion, or national origin. As screening agents, we often want to act like the proverbial ostrich with our head in the sand.

As good stewards of our properties and as citizens of our country, we can still address concerns without discrimination. Attention needs to be focused on actions and behaviors rather than the 7 pillars of the protected classes. Consistent application of screening, leasing, and rules is essential to professional management.

California Bed Bug Law in effect as of July 1, 2017.

As of July 1, 2017 all new rental contracts will need to be up to date with the new bed bug code.

Please click here to read more

National REIA Community Outreach

National REIA's COO, Charles Tassell and former State Representative Dale Mallory discuss Community Outreach

Updates on Service Animals

from Pennsylvania Attorney Brad Dornish

The American Veterinary Medical Association estimates that substantially more than half of all households in America own either a dog or a cat. Many of those who own pets consider them to be members of the family, and dogs didn’t get the name “man’s best friend” for nothing. Pets teach children responsibility for other living animals and provide companionship, security and affection.

Landlords know dogs can chew on moldings, scratch doors and floors, urinate and defecate on carpets and other flooring, bark and run across floors annoying neighbors, smell bad, and shed, clogging furnace filters and embedding fur in carpets, and causing allergic reactions and asthma attacks for allergic and asthmatic tenants in other units. Cats may be even more destructive to rental housing.


Let’s Take the Opportunity to Reform HUD

By Charles Tassell, Chief Operating Officer, National REIA

In early December, Howard Husock, The Vice President for research and publications at the Manhattan Institute, a contributing editor to City Journal, and author of the Trillion Dollar Mistake, published an articulate summary of five key initial fixes for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Among those following up on the summation was the venerable Wall Street Journal. The article points out that now is the time for action and Dr. Ben Carson is precisely the man to transform a nineteenth century housing hand-out and hammer the institution into a 21st century helping hand organization. For Mr. Husock’s full story please see “Laying a New Foundation at HUD; Five things Ben Carson can do right away to improve public housing and reduce government dependency,” at


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