KHTS Wraps Up Annual Washington DC Trip For SCV
Tackling issues such as the proposed Cemex mine, the high-speed rail’s potential to negatively affect the Santa Clarita Valley and the impact of Obamacare on local business, KHTS wrapped up its annual trip to Washington D.C. this week.
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Members of the delegation, which included business owners, realtors, local officials and voices from the education community all talked about they felt the trip was a powerful experience on several different levels.
“They were impressed that we had such a broad range of business owners,” said Erika Kauzlarich-Bird, a local Realtor. “We came from such diverse types of companies, bringing forth the issues that pertain to our community as opposed to (lobbying for a singular interest).”
Just as mortgage expert Fred Arnold and real estate official Bob Khalsa noted from Washington, the biggest issue in Washington DC seemed to be the uncertainty in Congress, she said.
“That’s very difficult to take away from,” Kauzlarich-Bird said, and it’s also affecting the housing market, which has a domino effect on the multitude of corollary industries.
“You have a large group of people who are on the fence as to whether they want to buy or sell real estate because there’s this level of uncertainty,” she said.
Another project, which was being more presented as an eventuality is the high-speed rail, and local business owners also shared their concerns about the plan, which may cost as much as $100 billion, according to some estimates.
The fact that there will likely be construction on east side of the Santa Clarita Valley for about 10 years will have an inevitably negative impact on the market, she said.
It’s something that we have to do as realtors,” Kauzlarich-Bird said. “The minute we get any general knowledge of something that’s happening, it has to be disclosed. And that is going to be a level of concern for some.”
She also talked about some of the safety issues associated with putting a high-speed rail project near a school, as some plans seem to suggest.
Khalsa, president of the Southland Regional Association of Realtors, wanted to share the negative impacts of eminent domain, which is likely to occur when the rail construction begins.
Another surprising aspect was that congressional representatives didn’t understand that Obamacare, President Barack Obama’s sweeping overhaul of the nation’s health care system, had already begun to impact local business owners, who are seeing premium increases from their insurance providers ahead of the January 2014 mandatory implementation date.
“They don’t know exactly how Obamacare is going to be implemented,” Arnold said. “They don’t know exactly how they’re going to resolve the issue with the deficit -- so there are a lot of things that are uncertain.”
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