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Bill banning town licensing fees for real estate agents to take effect

6/24/2015

Elizabeth Medora
Staff

NORTH VALLEY – Arizona real estate agents will be saving funds on city and town licensing fees when Senate Bill 1368 goes into effect this July.

This bill stipulates that Arizona cities and towns cannot charge real estate agents and brokers for additional business licenses if the agent or broker is already licensed in the state. Senator Gail Griffin, who is a real estate broker herself, sponsored SB1368.

Governor Doug Ducey approved SB1368 on April 2. The bill is now set to go into effect the first week of July, 90 days after approval. 

The bill received little opposition. The League of Arizona Cities and Towns declared themselves neutral on the bill, commenting that the bill “appears to have minimal impact.”

As agents frequently work in multiple cities, each town and city charging an additional licensing fee could add up considerably. Agents and brokers already pay the Arizona Department of Real Estate for exams, licenses, and renewals, as well as paying for continuing education in the field.

Local Realtor Judy Bluhm noted that the additional fees towns and cities could formerly levy on agents and brokers “did not offer any consumer protection,” as the Arizona Department of Real Estate does.

The Arizona Department of Real Estate oversees the actions of agents and brokers and handles consumer issues or complaints. The ADRE is the go-to resource for homebuyers who need help with legal real estate questions or want to search for disciplinary actions concerning an agent. Cities and towns don’t oversee licensing complaints.

“The AZ Association of Realtors has 40,000 members and got wind of the practice that some cities were requiring realtors to obtain business licenses at a cost of $100-150,” Bluhm explained. “Realtors take state exams, pay fees to their brokers, and the practice of having to pay for additional city imposed business license made no sense and could be very expensive for a realtor. And unnecessary!”

Designated Broker Anna Marsolo remarked that rental fees and business license fees weren’t enforced on everyone and that it was unlikely that a loss of revenue would be felt.  

“As Designated Broker of Cave Creek Realty, I supported this bill,” Marsolo said.

“I have paid the Cave Creek business license for years; it will be nice to have $50 extra bucks to spend at the local merchants instead.”

Learn more about real estate licensing, laws, and consumer services at www.azre.gov.