Prominent realtor recognized for political advocacy

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Local realtor Mike Kent was recently recognized by the National Association of Realtors for his political advocacy in support of lower real estate taxes and stronger private property rights.

In an October 20 news release, the National Association of Realtors announced that Kent has become a Golden “R” Hall of Fame investor in the Realtors Political Action Committee (RPAC). RPAC is a national bipartisan grassroots-based political advocacy organization that works to protect the real estate industry and “the dream of homeownership” for Whatcom County residents and people across the country.

Since 1969, RPAC has promoted the election of pro-real estate candidates across the United States. The purpose of RPAC is to elect and support officials who advance the interests of real estate professionals and their clients. In addition, RPAC uses its resources to develop public policies that make it easier for people to own homes and build their communities through commercial investment.

Kent said he has been financially supporting RPAC for 20 years. “I got involved early because it’s one of those situations where you can contribute a small amount or no amount and rely on your colleagues to carry the water, but it’s better to provide some leadership,” he said. “The return on investment is huge for our clients.”

Kent said that in the past, RPAC engaged in a lobbying effort in Olympia to keep real estate excise taxes as low as possible. (Real estate excise tax is a tax on the sale of real estate, and it is typically paid by the seller of the property.) He said that RPAC now has concerns about a proposal to reduce or eliminate the use of natural gas to heat homes in Bellingham, which would price more families out of the real estate market.

“RPAC works on all sorts of fronts,” said Kent. “The goal is to make sure that people are able to best afford the American dream.”

Every Saturday from 10 to 11 a.m., Kent has a show on the 790 KGMI radio station in which he discusses the local real estate market. Past guests have included representatives of title companies, real estate lawyers and other realtors.

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