RPAC 101

What is RPAC?

Since 1969, the REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC) has promoted the election of pro-REALTOR® candidates across the United States. The purpose of RPAC is clear: voluntary contributions made by REALTORS® are used to help elect candidates who understand and support their interests.
As REALTORS®, we harness and maximize our political power through RPAC by supporting REALTOR® Champions, fight proposals that harm homeownership and private property rights, and support smart growth in our communities.
RPAC ensures that your interests, your business and REALTOR® issues are represented when laws are formed and enacted. The relationships created by RPAC help public officials understand the implications of their decisions on your business.
RPAC is bipartisan. It doesn’t support a “red” party or a “blue” party — only the “REALTOR® Party”. When RPAC decides to contribute to candidates, the only consideration is how supportive they are on real estate and property rights issues. RPAC is insurance for our industry.

Where does my investment go?

Your voluntary RPAC investment is used to support local REALTOR® Champions who are candidates for the following offices:
  • Madison County Commission
  • Madison Mayor
  • Madison City Council
  • Madison County School Board
  • Madison County Tax Collector
  • Madison County Tax Assessor
  • Huntsville Mayor
  • Huntsville City Council
  • Huntsville School Board
  • Madison County Sheriff
  • Madison County Probate Judge

RPAC dollars also support issues campaigns that fight for REALTOR® issues. Recent local victories include fighting impact fees, supporting improvements at Madison City Schools, and cleaning up the tax code related to Huntsville residents. Additionally, a small portion of the RPAC investments collected from HAAR members are sent to the Alabama Association of REALTORS® and the National Association of REALTORS® to support the same type of candidates and causes at the state and federal levels. The vast majority of your investment stays here in Madison County.

How does RPAC decide whom to support?

The process to endorse and financially support candidates for offices listed above is rigorous and transparent to all members. First, a questionnaire is sent to candidates to understand their stances on REALTOR® issues.  Their responses are then analyzed by a panel of 5-7 HAAR members, appointed by the Leadership Team and approved by the Board of Directors.
Candidates who return questionnaires are invited to interview with panel members to answer additional questions. The questionnaire, interview, and any past actions in office (if the candidate is an incumbent) are considered as the interview panel votes to endorse candidates and provide financial support (if any) to their campaigns.
These recommendations are then approved by the Leadership Team and sent to the Board of Directors for final approval. If, after all these steps and approval processes are in place, endorsements are announced to the full HAAR membership, local media and the public, and financial contributions are public record.

Keeping it Legal

RPAC fundraising must follow laws and regulations issued by the Federal Elections Commission and the state of Alabama. If you have any questions about this information, please contact HAAR Government Affairs staff. 

Case Studies: How does RPAC benefit your business?

  • Defeating impact fees, up to $20,000 on each new construction in some cases, in the City of Madison.
  • Defeating a 4% sales tax levied statewide on real estate commissions.
  • Supporting a modest 12-mil property tax increase in the City of Madison, the entirety of which went to build new schools and improve existing facilities.
  • Supporting a special vote that cleaned up the tax code related to Huntsville City, ensuring that Huntsville tax dollars were supporting Huntsville schools as intended.
  • Working with FEMA to reopen and to locally begin underwriting the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) six days after the longest government shutdown in our nation’s history halted the program.
  • Instituting the First-time Homebuyer Savings Account, allowing qualified clients to save up to $50,000 in a tax-free savings account in banks across Alabama toward a down payment.

If not you, then who?

REALTORS® must be politically active, get involved and help shape the discussion. If not, there is a void of influence when it comes to protecting the values and rights of homeownership and private property rights.
No one knows their community better than a REALTOR®, who knows the lay of the land, the families, the best schools, the neighborhoods and the leaders of any given area. REALTORS® work in every city, county and community in the nation. REALTORS® are on the front line as defenders of real estate issues. RPAC is the only political group in the country organized for REALTORS® and run by REALTORS®. RPAC exists solely to further issues important to REALTORS®.
Disclaimer: Contributions are not deductible for income tax purposes. Contributions to RPAC are voluntary and are used for political purposes. You may refuse to contribute without reprisal and the National Association of REALTORS® or any of its state associations or local boards will not favor or disfavor any member because of the amount contributed. 70% of each contribution is used by your state PAC to support state and local political candidates. Until your state reaches its RPAC goal, 30% is sent to National RPAC to support federal candidates and is charged against your limits under 2 U.S. C. 411a; after the state PAC reaches its RPAC goal it may elect to retain your entire contribution for use in supporting state and local candidates.