From Appraiser News Online, the Governor of Washington has introduced legislation that would eliminate the state’s appraisal board:
In an effort to trim the state’s budget, Washington Governor Christine Gregoire has proposed legislation that would eliminate the state’s Real Estate Appraiser Commission. According to a fiscal note prepared to accompany the bill, H.B. 2151, eliminating the REAC would save the state about $8,000 per year in administrative costs. If the legislation is enacted into law, licensed and certified appraisers in the state will still be fully regulated by the Department of Licensing and there will likely be no impact on the status of their licenses or certifications.
However, the DOL is also responsible for the licensing of real estate brokers and salespersons. According to an Appraisal Subcommittee policy statement, the ASC strongly urges that “state agency decisions, especially those relating to license or certificate issuance, revocation and disciplinary actions, not be made by state officials who also are responsible for realty-related activities. State officials should accept and implement the actions of the appraiser board unless they are inconsistent with the public interest and trust.”
While it is not likely that the ASC will consider decertifying Washington’s licensing and certification program, the elimination of the REAC could bring some added scrutiny from the ASC. Further, if the REAC is eliminated, the state’s appraisers will lose the only peer review group that is responsible for examining proposed rules affecting the profession, reviewing new education offerings and overseeing the operation of the state’s licensing and certification program.
I’m most surprised by the fact that this will only save the state $8,000 a year. The Washington Appraisal Board must run a pretty lean ship. From a cost benefit analysis, this seems like a huge mistake.