Adopted by the Board of Directors on September 15, 2022.
The Knoxville Area Association of REALTORS® (KAAR) is a regional trade association that represents thousands of residential and commercial real estate practitioners involved in all facets of the industry. As an advocate for its members, the Association works to support legislation, policy, and regulations that promote and protect a dynamic local real estate market and foster home ownership and investment opportunities for qualified purchasers of real property.
As REALTORS®, we support the goal of “a decent home and a suitable living environment for every family.” This commitment, which should be raised to the highest level of state and local priorities, encompasses the entire housing ladder from the homeless to the first-time homebuyer. For this reason, the Association supports efforts to spur new housing supply and improve access to homeownership and stable housing opportunities.
- Support local governments' continued ability to promote economic development and affordable housing through public/private partnerships such as tax increment financing (TIF) and payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT).
- Support incentive-based programs and policies that promote housing affordability in the region.
- Promote efforts to remove disincentives to the financing, production, and improvement of rental housing.
- Support tax incentives for down payment assistance for first-time home buyers.
- Advocate for broad-based taxation regimes and oppose taxes and fees that unduly target the real estate industry, such as impact fees, adequate facilities fees, and transfer fees.
The Association recognizes growth is inevitable and that guiding and controlling it is an issue facing many local governments across our region. The Association supports planned growth that stimulates the economy, increases the tax base, provides places to live and work, and offers opportunities that would not otherwise exist.
The Association also acknowledges its responsibility to educate and work with local, state, and federal government officials in developing responsible growth planning that is equitable and which considers the divergent needs of transportation, housing, agriculture, commercial, industrial, and environmental concerns.
- Advocate for clear and predictable planning and land use policies as well as timely regulatory processes.
- Oppose overly broad development moratoria and limitations on zoning or approvals for multifamily housing.
The Association supports efforts to protect and enhance private property rights, including the fundamental right of all private property owners to determine the highest and best use of their land, the right to gain income from property, and the right to rent out property on a short-term basis.
- Advocate for short-term rental (STRs) regulations that focus on issues such as health, safety and noise mitigation, and respect the rights of private property owners.
- Support policies enabling and supporting the construction of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) in residential districts.
- Support the government’s use of eminent domain only in circumstances when objective evidence establishes that such action is (1) a last resort and (2) necessary to materially advance a real public use.
As outlined in Article 10 of the National Association of REALTORS® Code of Ethics, REALTORS® are ethically committed to the provision of equal professional service without discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, familial status, handicap, sexual orientation, gender identity or national origin. The Association supports legislative efforts to ensure fair housing for all and recognizes that discrimination limits the property rights of sellers and buyers and the ability of the REALTOR® to conduct business. In other words, REALTORS®’ businesses and livelihoods depend on a free, open marketplace that embraces equal opportunity for all who seek housing.
- Champion solutions to close the racial homeownership and wealth gap.
- Advocate for increased resources for enforcement of existing fair housing laws.
- Support efforts to prohibit discrimination based on Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity.
- Promote efforts to combat appraisal bias and ensure tax assessment of all real property and all forms of shelter on an equitable basis based on fair market value.
The Association supports investments in critical infrastructure, such as transportation, energy, water and communications systems. Updating and modernizing these systems will repair our crumbling roads, bridges, transit and water management systems, propel public and private efforts to make these systems environmentally sound, and close the digital divide by expanding broadband and internet access.
- Support regional solutions for transportation through dedicated funding and regional coordination across planning, funding, construction, and operation.
- Advocate for increased funding for infrastructure improvements and maintenance.
- Support efforts to repair, maintain, and/or build roads and bridges.
- Support efforts to ensure water and sewer infrastructure is maintained and expanded to accommodate a growing population and economic development opportunities.
- Champion efforts to expand access to affordable and reliable broadband services.
- Support legislation and other measures that enable local governments to implement dedicated funding sources for transportation.
- Advocate for the expansion and utilization of public transportation.
- Support long-term solutions that ensure connectivity and alleviate traffic congestion.
Vibrant communities are healthy and safe places to live and provide quality of life for all residents. The Association encourages and supports efforts to enhance, develop and revitalize their communities which can create more desirable places to live and foster economic development.
- Support state and local business incentives and tools that make Tennessee competitive with other states while emphasizing transparency, accountability, and a return on investment.
- Advocate for updates to the tax credit structure to incentivize rehabilitation of historic property to spur job creation and economic development activity.
- Promote efforts to maintain Tennessee’s reputation of having a positive value proposition for workforce development by opposing any discriminatory legislation that will negatively impact the economy, job creation, or the ability to attract and retain the workforce.
- Support additional funding for community colleges and TCATs in order to meet the region’s workforce demands.
- Support efforts to recruit low-cost air carriers to our region, including to and from key markets.
The Association supports programs and policies that promote quality education in our public school systems such as increased funding for capital improvements, efforts to recruit and retain high-quality teachers, and the enhancement of academic and co-curricular programs.
- Support efforts intended to enhance the preparation, recruitment, and retention of high-quality teachers.
- Advocate for increased funding of public education, particularly to address learning loss resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, lack of Internet access and to eliminate disparities among socioeconomic groups.
- Promote the inclusion of robust financial literacy and homeownership curriculum in public schools.
- Support high school curriculum regarding career and technical paths that give students skills to enter the workforce.
- Support sustained funding for public school infrastructure and facilities.