Many of you have noticed the black bags and violation notices on real estate signs in the Village. You may have also noticed that a lot of signs have been removed? Well, it has caused quite a stir so let me give you the history. Back in 2009, the Village Council, at the urging of then Mayor Gasteyer, passed an ordinance (09-008) requiring realtors and contractors to obtain “transaction permits” from the Village and pay fees for those registrations. Ordinance 12-002 later made those fees payable in advance, and refundable if the property does not sell. The thinking was that the Village was losing thousands of dollars in gross receipts taxes due on commissions that are being paid to places like Albuquerque and Rio Rancho because that’s where the realtors’ offices are located. This notion came from the Village of Los Ranchos, where Mayor Abraham felt they had a serious problem and that this approach corrected it.
I have never personally been presented with any supporting data to show this is in fact an issue or that the ordinance has had material impact on revenue. In April of this year, I introduced Ordinance Number 15-17 to repeal Ordinance 12-002 and to amend Ordinance Number 09-008 to eliminate the permit requirement. A few supporters of the original idea showed up to address the council, no one else did. My submitted Ordinance 15-17 did not pass. The voting majority of the Village Council has taken the position that by forcing agents to pay these fees they will ultimately get properly credited by the real estate companies to Corrales through their state payments. Again I have not seen any supporting data to show this is happening.
However, since the Council upheld these requirements, it is incumbent on this administration to enforce them even if previous administrations did not do so. Since this was done in an effort to emulate the Village of Los Ranchos, we decided to adopt their enforcement strategy as well. While this is an inconvenience, I hope everyone understands: if we have laws on the books, they need to be enforced, regardless of whether or not the laws hold merit.