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RLI Advocacy

RLI Advocacy

The REALTORS® Land Institute is committed to representing and increasing exposure for the issues that matter most to land professionals. We keep our members up to date with the latest news from DC on the Clean Water Act / Waters of the United States (WOTUS), 1031 Like-Kind Exchange Tax Reform, Endangered Species, and more. RLI is also proud to take a stand and engage on many local issues that hit home for our members. The Institute has a voice through its member-driven Government Affairs Committee, and as an RLI Member so will you! Make sure to visit the RLI Advocacy Center regularly for the latest legislative updates impacting the land industry.

RLI Federal Policy Issues of Concern

WOTUS rule receives preliminary stop in TX & ID but will move forward national wide.

On March 19, 2023, a judge in Galveston, Texas, issued a preliminary injunction (PI) on the WOTUS Rule in Texas and Idaho, stopping the implementation and enforcement of the rule in those two states. The rule is slated to go into effect today.

In the same ruling, a nationwide PI requested by NAR and 16 other trade associations was denied. While the nationwide PI was denied, the broader lawsuit moves forward, with the first hearing scheduled for later in March. This is one of several cases pending on this rulemaking. 

Click here for more details on other related cases.

Read the preminary injunction filed in Galveston, TX court. 

We will keep you updated as the legal battles continue.

Friend of the Court Brief Filed on Behalf of RLI, NAR and TAR in Appeals Case Regarding Warrantless Government Property Search 

The case, Rainwaters v. TWRA, is currently before the Tennessee Court of Appeals. The case involves claims that agents of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency violated rights protected under the Tennessee Constitution by entering private land without a warrant or exigent circumstances.

As counsel for the National Association of REALTORS®, REALTORS® Land Institute, and Tennessee Association of REALTORS®, Nate Kinard at Chambliss Law recently filed an amicus curiae brief in the Tennessee Court of Appeals. The filing of the brief is an important next step before oral arguments are heard by the court.

To better understand the Open Fields issue & what’s at stake for landowners, read an interview recently published in the Winter 2023 issue of Terra Firma.

Coalition Files Preliminary Injunction to Stop Costly WOTUS Rule From Moving Forward

A WOTUS Litigation Coalition, which is comprised of the National Association of REALTORS® and 17 other associations and councils, filed a Preliminary Injunction on February 8, 2023 to stop the WOTUS Rule from moving forward prior to its effective date of March 20, 2023. You can read the motion here.

The new WOTUS rule expands Federal jurisdiction over dry land and isolated waters beyond the status quo. The rule's vague language and lack of definitions for key terms will result in significant costs to ranchers, farmers, small businesses, and communities.

Get a quick understanding of why the new rule presents a burden to landowners with a WOTUS "Fact v. Myth" breakdown from the Waters Advocacy Coalitions 

Coalition Files Suit to Stop WOTUS Rule

The National Association of REALTORS®, along with 13 other organizations, have filed suit against the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers over the legality of a new Waters of the U.S. rule that creates uncertainty for property owners due to vague and unpredictable standards for navigable waters.

Read the full statement from NAR.

New Water Rule Increases Confusion, Lacks Clarity

The REALTORS® Land Institute and the National Association of REALTORS® are deeply concerned with the Environmental Protection Agency’s and Army Corps of Engineers’ final Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, announced on December 30, 2022. This definition of WOTUS adds uncertainty and confusion to the regulatory process, raises housing costs and increases federal overreach in the permitting process. The rule will take effect 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. 

RLI Advocates Against Tax Changes Detrimental to Family Farmers and Ranchers

Increasing estate taxes and eliminating the step-up basis would have serious consequences for American family farmers and ranchers. More Information

  • Statement for the Record – Hearing on Funding and Financing Options to Bolster American Infrastructure, Senate Finance Committee

RLI Builds the Case for the Value of Like Kind Exchanges
President Biden has proposed eliminating 1031 like-kind exchanges for gains over $500,000 to help fund his American Families Plan. The REALTORS® Land Institute and the National Association of REALTORS® oppose any reform to this provision and have been working to educate Congress about the value these exchanges bring to the real estate sector and the economy as a whole. More Information

Articles by RLI Member Dan Wagner, Inland Real Estate:

Use this form to tell NAR about how you used 1031 to bring development and economic benefit to your community. Your stories will help put a human face on a critical issue for commercial real estate.

RLI Seeks Clarity on Final WOTUS rule
The REALTORS® Land Institute and National Association of REALTORS® support the review of the WOTUS rule as laid out by President Trump’s Executive Order last year to ensure that both private property rights and clean waterways are protected.  More information.

Using Drones for Commercial Purposes is a Reality
The FAA small drone rule became effective August 29, 2016 and regulates how drones are integrated into the national airspace.  The rule is a positive step forward in helping RLI members use drones in their businesses. More information.

RLI Looks for Broad Reform of the ESA
The definition and interpretation of the Waters of the US rule has been changed significantly by the last two administrations, creating confusion in which waters are under federal regulation. As President Biden has ordered all federal agencies to review all federal regulations, the likelihood that the EPA will review the current WOTUS rule is high. RLI believes that any rule should make clear federal and state jurisdiction, should protect waterways, and should be able to implemented clearly and without confusion. More information.