Lobby’s Big Spending for Reed Raises Question: Where Does He Really Stand?

Voters in New York’s 23d have received a third glossy mailing from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) on behalf of our congressman, Rep Tom Reed. These misleading pamphlets must be costing the association a bundle.

What is it about Tom Reed that the powerful lobby finds so attractive? This blog has speculated that it’s Reed’s support for repealing the Alternative Minimum Tax. Repeal would give a big new tax deduction to wealthy purchasers of expensive homes, so it’s not surprising (though a little disappointing) that the realtors’ organization favors it. The industry may also think of Reed as a friend because he’s one of the fortunate few able to take advantage of the loophole that allows a mortgage interest tax deduction on a second home. The industry strongly supports this loophole, and since Reed serves on the Ways and Means Committee, which writes the tax laws, he’s in a position to help protect it.

The most recent NAR mailing praises Reed for “preserving the federal property tax deduction.” This deduction allows taxpayers who itemize to deduct their state and local taxes from the income they report to the  Internal Revenue Service. It’s a particular boon to the well off, who pay the highest property taxes. (Of course, if their property tax deduction is unusually high, they may fall prey to the Alternative Minimum Tax, but that’s another story.)

Here’s the odd thing. The only serious proposal around that would do away with the federal property tax deduction is the Tax Reform Act of 2014, a substantial overhaul of the tax code proposed by Reed’s fellow Republican, Rep. Dave Camp, chair of Reed’s own Ways and Means Committee.

Tom Reed has told the voters of New York’s 23d that the Dave Camp tax reform is good for them and that he supports it. Yet the National Association of Realtors hates Camp’s proposal, which would also limit the availability of the mortgage interest deduction to those who have borrowed less than $500,000 rather than $1 million as is presently the case.

Speaker Boehner has declined to endorse the Camp tax reform, which includes provisions that would be an albatross around his party’s neck in the 2014 congressional elections. Everyone knows the Camp reforms are going nowhere.

Still, voters in New York’s 23rd should ask themselves a question. Why is Reed receiving heavy backing from the National Association of Realtors, when he has told voters that he supports the Dave Camp reform that is anathema to  the NAR? Is the NAR unaware of Reed’s stance in favor the Camp proposal? Or does the NAR have reason to believe that what Reed tells the voters does not reflect his true position?


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11 Responses to Lobby’s Big Spending for Reed Raises Question: Where Does He Really Stand?

  1. BOB McGILL says:

    this guy is getting old. It’s quite clear that you people want to stick it to the more well off, any way you can. “These misleading pamphlets must be costing the association a bundle.” is just your opinion, some reasonable people may like them .


  2. whungerford says:

    The realtors have a long list of criteria including:
    …Accessibility to their lobbyists.
    …Committee assignments.
    …Past voting records.
    If the realtors find these and others favorable, they may overlook support for the Camp proposal. Yet another possibility is that they are sending Tom a message–that the carrot of their support is contingent on Reed’s actions and could be replaced with the stick.


  3. philebersole says:

    You don’t mean to tell me that somebody expressed a personal opinion on a blog! An opinion that some people may disagree with. I’m shocked.


  4. BOB McGILL says:

    My opinion is that it is none of your business what or why realtors are doing what they are doing. They support Tom, why is it so important, you are just trying to make a BIG DEAL out of nothing. It appears that, in your mind, everything is just one giant conspiracy. Do you have to like everything about a politician to support him or her ? Could it be that they just don’t like Martha ? That would be enough of a reason !


  5. solodm says:

    Extrapolating your idea Bob, ” it is none of your business what or why realtors are doing what they are doing”, what business is it of your’s that others choose to have an opinion? Really, you may not care if you are consistently lied to, under represented ( being generous there), or paying part of a $174,00.00 dollar salary for nothing, but some of us do.

    As to Ray’s points, it would not be the least surprising to me if Reed was playing double agent here. It seems he must have convinced the NAR he’s not going to burst their housing bubble, else why would they spend so much for a “carrot” up front? If he double crossed them, he would lose a great deal more than their respect.


  6. whungerford says:

    Tom’s daily schedule for Tuesday:
    Start:May 13, 2014 End:May 13, 2014
    …Meeting with Executives from AIM Independent Living
    …Host Sexual Assault Awareness Roundtable Event
    …Interview with WXXI
    …Video Conference with National Association of Realtors Members
    It would have been interesting to be privy to that video conference.


  7. BOB McGILL says:

    Look at it this way, if nobody spent any money, you wouldn’t even know there was election coming up. Secondly, the anti-everything people from your end of the district came to Waterloo and tried to influence the local elections. These idiots helped the worst possible people get elected and now we local woodchucks have to live with a real mess. Town of Waterloo, all democrats, Village of Waterloo, all democrats, you want to talk about Hitler reincarnated !


  8. josephurban says:

    I might suggest that when outside groups spend money to elect people it should matter to all us. We should wonder why they are spending money to support the GOP or the Dem candidate. If anyone has the right to know it is the folks in the district. After all, the person is supposed to be MY representative, not the representative of the nar or nra or naacp, etc. These groups already have plenty of clout. Since the SCOTUS has opened the door to this spending I think we will see more and more of this. It is not good if you believe that democracy should be a contest of ideas, not a contest of spending.


  9. Anne says:

    Exactly so.


  10. whungerford says:

    Clearly the realtors don’t care about NY-23; they just want to maintain a friendly majority in Congress.


  11. BOB McGILL says:

    As I see it the money spent on elections is just an attempt to influence the voters. Just brain washing. Knowing who gives what to who just makes you mad, but it really doesn’t mean one candidate is better than the other. Example; the AARP supported the ACA but the majority of AARP members are against the ACA, so who do you think the members will vote for ? The AFL-CIO backs Martha, but that doesn’t mean ALL members of that union will vote for her. If the NAR supports Tom, that doesn’t mean all realtors are going to vote for him. People DO NOT have to let the money influence their vote.


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