Chartering of the Central Oklahoma Commercial Association of REALTORS®
On November 16, 2015, the Board of Directors of the at their annual meeting in San Diego, the National
Association of REALTORS® board of Directors voted to approve, without objection, the application of the
Commercial Overlay Board. However, at the meeting, they did not approve a name, so the COB initially
operated under its original corporate name, SouthWest Real Estate Association (NAR ID # 6931). We needed to wait until January 2016 before we could operate the COB under the name "Central Oklahoma Association of REALTORS®" and we registered the trade name (DBA) "COCAR" with the Oklahoma Secretary of State.
While political Advocacy (educating public officials concerning commercial real estate issues) is a foundation of why we were created, we also anticipated slowly growing into this aspect of a primary focus... Until, the City of Oklahoma City suddenly announced their version of a mechanism to raise funds for streets - the Impact Development Fee.
Oklahoma City Impact Development Fee
In the last weeks of December, 2015, the City of Oklahoma City introduced an ordinance to create new development impact fees, with a Parks and Recreation component (phased in over several years) and a Transportation component (roads and streets, effective January 1, 2017).
Nationally, NAR has adopted a policy that generally opposes impact fees. The Central Oklahoma Commercial Association of REALTORS® (COCAR™) has adopted a policy that supports the concept of using sales taxes to fund a municipality's operating expenses, and modifying state statutes to earmark property tax to fund municipal infrastructure improvements (something already available through TIF and BID districts).
We have committed to the city for the topic of our 2017 Oklahoma Commercial Real Estate Forum™ to be ways to diversify municipal funding sources.
When the original ordinance was first introduced, COCAR™ submitted a request to NAR to study the ordinance under the Land Use Initiative program. The resulting memorandum analysis of the original ordinance was provided about two weeks after the initial request, and was used by a stakeholder group of general contractors and developers to help negotiate changes to the ordinance.
The OKC Impact Fee Final Ordinance contains a provision for the city council to annually review the effect of the ordinance. COCAR™ has requested to be involved in this annual review.