NAR floats $40 dues hike for political campaigns

Group says Supreme Court ruling upped ante for 'soft money' campaigns

The National Association of Realtors is considering a hike in member dues by $40 a year in 2012 and 2013, with the goal of raising nearly $80 million in "soft money" for political advocacy at the local, state and federal level.

NAR’s board of directors is scheduled to vote on the "Realtor Party Political Survival Initiative" on May 14, at its annual midyear meeting in Washington, D.C.

If the initiative is approved, NAR says it will be spending nearly half of its budget on political advocacy, which the group’s members consistently rate as the most important benefit they receive from NAR, the group said in a "talking points" memo in support of the initiative.

The Political Survival Initiative — prompted in part by last year’s U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down restrictions on independent campaign expenditures by corporations — was unveiled at a meeting of Realtor association executives in Dallas this week.