Realtors® from across the state visited with their legislators Wednesday seeking support for a variety of legislation. Attending Realtors® included TAR President Mike Gaughan, a partner in three RE/MAX offices in Sumner County, and Jim Gibbs who owns the Career Institute and Ideal Realty. The Realtors® spent considerable time with their representatives discussing the issues.
One bill being supported by the Realtors® deals with the regulation of scrap metal dealers. Since last year Realtors® have led the fight to stop the epidemic of scrap metal and especially copper theft. "This year we continue our support with a coalition of the Homebuilders, law enforcement and industry", said Gibbs. "Like many Realtors®, I have experienced the frustration of having new homes under construction stripped of its wiring causing a major expense for the builder. That expense is just passed on to the consumer", added Gibbs.
Gibbs pointed out that the problem is not restricted to just copper wire. He said that several metal historic markers in Cannon County have been stolen and they have probably been sold as scrap metal. Gibbs who is also one of Cannon County's Constables points out that the main components of the bill are to make it more difficult for thieves to turn scrap metal into quick cash and remain anonymous. The bill would:
· Require registration of scrap metal dealers.
· Persons selling scrap metal must present a valid photo ID and provide a thumbprint.
· Scrap metal dealers will have to keep records of each transaction including name, license plate number and vehicle information of each seller of scrap metal.
· Requires scrap metal dealers to present a "voucher" for payment for copper and other precious metals in an effort to break the link between metal theft and the illegal drug trade.
· Local governments may impose additional restrictions depending on the level of the problem in their area. (Local ordinances in Memphis are already in effect and seem to be working to curb the problem.)
Gibbs noted that the bill has already passed the Senate and is headed for the House Floor.
It is also the position of the Tennessee Association of Realtors® that the County Powers Relief Act of 2006 should be allowed to remain un-amended in an effort to address its viability in 2010 as the legislation allows. "We as Realtors® further oppose any taxes or fees that could inhibit home sales in Tennessee", added Gibbs.
The Tennessee Association of REALTORS® is a 27,000-member trade organization committed to providing for development of our communities and protection to Tennessee homeowners.