By Evan Huynh, 2018 SCCAOR Global Investment Council Chair

From March 26, 2018, to April 6, 2018, The Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® (SCCAOR) will be collaborating with the Vietnamese National Association of Real Estate Professionals (VNARP) on their second annual Trade Mission to Vietnam. Our delegates will host conferences in four major cities in Vietnam: Ho Chi Minh City, Ha Noi, Da Nang and Nha Trang. We will build on established business relationships with the mission to strike a business referral network and Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreements with some of the largest developers in Vietnam.

For the second year in a row, the trade mission will be led by the former Mayor of City of San Jose, Mr. Ron Gonzales. He will be providing updates and insights to hundreds of Vietnamese investors, developers, and government officials on the economic forecast of Silicon Valley and our 2020 plans of growth.  On behalf of SCCAOR and the Global Council Committee, we are seeking the opportunity to promote SCCAOR’s membership expertise on Silicon Valley and to assist VNARP on establishing a referral network to bring the direct benefits back to SCCAOR members, who are looking to sell or buy real estate in Vietnam.


About the SCCAOR Global Investment Council

SCCAOR’s Global Investment Council aims to create a platform that coordinates with other internal committees and external organizations to make sure that SCCAOR is the recognized local resource for global real estate and multi-cultural clients. Visit our Global Council page where you can learn more about upcoming events and sign-up for our Global Council Newsletter.

The Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® (SCCAOR) awarded four prestigious awards on January 26th during its Installation Ceremony at the Dolce Hayes Mansion in San Jose. The highest honor of the night, REALTOR® of the Year, was awarded to Anne Hansen of Realty ONE Group (video). The REALTOR® of the Year Award recognizes individuals who demonstrate the principles of good real estate practice, promote home ownership, and provide distinguished service to all SCCAOR Members.

Anne Hansen: REALTOR® of the Year

“I was truly honored just to be considered as one of the eight nominees,” said Hansen. “It was a very humbling experience to be chosen by my peers as the recipient of this distinguished award.”

Hansen has been a SCCAOR Member for 27 years and served on its Board Of Directors for 5 years. She is politically involved at the local and state level, serving as a Director for the California Association of REALTORS® for over 4 years.

Sandy Jamison, who won the REALTOR® of the Year award in 2016, said that Anne has a passion for being there for the good of the whole industry. “Anne is naturally sincere and caring,” she said. “One great example of this is that she recently opened her Pacific Grove home to an elderly couple after they lost their home in the Sonoma fires.”

Rob Bates: Affiliate of the Year

Another award given out at the event was Affiliate of the Year, awarded to Rob Bates of Elite Services 4 Real Estate (video). Rob has been a SCCAOR Member since 2002, has spent 3 years on the Board for the Santa Clara County REALTORS® Foundation, currently serves on the SCCAOR Board of Directors, and is currently the Affiliate Committee Chair.

“I am so elated to be the Affiliate of the Year,” said Bates. “It is an honor to be working with such an amazing association. The leadership, committees, educational services, events and most importantly the impact of giving back to our communities – it’s priceless!”

James Dill: Volunteer of the Year

The award for 2017 Volunteer of the Year went to James Dill of Coldwell Banker (video). James has been with SCCAOR since 2004 and he has been a key member of the SCCAOR Professional Standards Committee since 2007. In addition to being on the SCCAOR Board of Directors from 2009 to 2011, he has been a member of the Education Committee, the Foundation Committee, and a C.A.R. Director.

When asked about his achievements and what volunteering means to him, James quoted the author Jim Rohn and said: “The major reason for [volunteering] is for what it makes of you to accomplish it. What it makes of you will always be the far greater value than what you get.”

Vince Rocha: President’s Choice

The fourth award of the night, The President’s Choice Award, was given to Vince Rocha by 2017 SCCAOR President Rick Smith (video). Rocha has been SCCAOR’s Government Affairs Director for the past three years.

“I was surprised and honored to receive the President’s award,” he said. “Getting to work closely with an exceptional volunteer and person like Rick Smith during his year as SCCAOR President has been its own reward.”

The Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® (SCCAOR) and the California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.) are embarking on a historic effort to support seniors, the disabled and victims of natural disasters, while at the same time unlocking homeownership opportunities across the state. C.A.R. is going to qualify an initiative for the November 6, 2018 General Election ballot which will allow senior homeowners (55+) to keep all or most of their Proposition 13 property tax savings when they move. Every REALTOR®, Affiliate, their clients, and families are urged to sign the petition.

Why does this matter?

Proposition 13 protects homeowners from rapidly increasing property taxes. However, seniors worry that they cannot afford a big property tax increase if they sell to downsize or move closer to their families. As a result of this “moving penalty,” nearly three-quarters of homeowners 55 and older haven’t moved since 2000. The same is true for the severely disabled and those whose homes are destroyed by natural disasters. The current property tax system is arbitrary, unfair and needs to be fixed.

What will the Property Tax Fairness Initiative do?

The measure, when approved by voters, will eliminate the “moving penalty” and fix property tax laws to allow seniors aged 55 and over, the disabled and victims of natural disasters to sell their homes, maintain their property tax protections and continue to pay their fair share in taxes. According to the California Legislative Analyst’s Office, tens of thousands additional homeownership opportunities will occur annually.

current law protect homeowners?

The amount any homeowner pays in property taxes is based on the assessed value of their home at the time of purchase. Generally, Proposition 13 limits property taxes to 1 percent of the assessed value at the time of purchase even if the value of the property subsequently increases.

Unfortunately, homeowners lose their Proposition 13 property tax savings when they move to another home. Under another law, Proposition 60, senior homeowners – defined as 55 years of age or older – are allowed to transfer their property tax base to another home in the same county so long as the purchase price of the replacement home is equal to, or less than, the sale price of the original residence.

Existing laws related to this issue are arbitrary and geographically restrictive:

Under Proposition 60, a senior homeowner is limited to making only one such transfer over the course of his or her lifetime. And, if the spouse of a senior homeowner has already transferred a property tax base, that senior homeowner is disqualified from making another transfer of the tax base.

Proposition 90 is an extension of the original Proposition 60 program. Proposition 90 allows senior homeowners to transfer their property tax base to a home in a different county so long as that county accepts such transfers. (At last count, only 11 counties are accepting transfers from other counties.)

C.A.R.’s Property Tax Fairness Initiative eliminates the geographic restrictions and single-use provision to allow seniors, the disabled and victims of natural disasters to keep their property tax protections. They can move, while still paying their fair share in property taxes. Eliminating the “moving penalty” will unlock tens of thousands of homes for new homebuyers, helping to address California’s historic housing supply crisis.

Passing the Property Tax Fairness Initiative is a win-win for California.

How can I help?

Every California REALTOR® has been mailed a copy of the petition. The best way to help promote the initiative right now is to sign it, collect 4 additional signatures from other REALTORS® who are registered voters, and return the petition to the Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS®. More petitions are available at the SCCAOR office and REALTORS® are encouraged to gather signatures from their clients and while walking their farms.


You can learn more on C.A.R.’s website

Code of Ethics Banner

What is the new policy?

The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) is now requiring that all members take it’s Code of Ethics course every two years. This means that you must complete the training at some point between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2018. If you are a Designated Honorary Member of SCCAOR, you are fully exempted from completing the Mandatory Code of Ethics.

Fortunately, Code of Ethics training is also included in your CalBRE license renewal requirements.

  • If your license expires between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2018, your Code of Ethics requirement for this cycle is completed.
  • If your license expires between January 1, 2019 – December 31, 2020, you need to complete the Code of Ethics by December 31st.


How often do I need to do the Code of Ethics training?

Below are the cycle dates for the Code of Ethics Training Requirement. Training must be completed anytime during these established cycles.

Current Cycle
January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2018

Future Cycles
January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2020
January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2022
January 1, 2023 to December 31, 2024

Failure to complete training during any cycle will lead to suspension of membership for the January and February immediately following the cycle deadline, with termination of membership starting March 1 after the cycle deadline.


What class will fulfill my Code of Ethics requirement?

NAR offers a free online Code of Ethics course that fulfills the requirement. You can take this class on NAR’s Learning Library website.

Having trouble registering on the Learning Library website? Use our step-by-step guide.


How can I check to see if I have completed the Code of Ethics training and met NAR’s requirement?

Go to NAR’s Website and sign in to your account. Then click “My Account” in the top right corner and select “Manage Account”. Under the “Other Links” section, click on “View your Education Records (NRDS) “. If you see one of the course numbers listed below, then you have completed your Code of Ethics training and fulfilled this requirement.

Course Number-New Members
BPP COEN 20171
BPP COEN 20181

Course Numbers-Continuing Members

If you do not see either course number listed, then you still need to complete your Code of Ethics training before December 31, 2018.

If you have taken an approved Code of Ethics class but it is not reflected on NAR’s website, please email a copy of your completion certificate to


You can contact the SCCAOR Membership Team at 408-445-8500 or email at or through our online chat.

The Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® (SCCAOR) installed Kevin Cole as its President during an evening ceremony at the Dolce Hayes Mansion on January 26. He will serve as the 2018 President of SCCAOR, a real estate trade organization that represents over 6,000 REALTORS® and Affiliate members in Santa Clara County.

“We are honored to have such a respected individual as Kevin Cole step up as a leader for this Association,” said Neil Collins, SCCAOR CEO. “I have no doubt that he will lead us well.”

Cole is the Broker-of-Record for Alain Pinel Realtors, the fifth largest residential real estate company in the United States. He has been a licensed REALTOR® for over 29 years and has served on SCCAOR’s Board of Directors since 2013.

“It’s an honor to lead an Association with such a rich history. I am excited to work with our strong leadership team to help promote homeownership,” said Cole. “I recognize the challenges that our market has with affordable housing and I look forward to engaging on this issue with the community.”

Other SCCAOR Officers that were installed include Gustavo Gonzalez (President-Elect), Doug Goss (Vice President), and Sandy Jamison (Treasurer/Secretary).

They will be joined by SCCAOR Board of Directors, which includes: Rob Bates, Helen Chong, Craig Gorman, Rick Smith, Gene Hunt, Tam Quach, Don Jessup, Trisha Motter Gordon, Tung Nguyen, Carl San Miguel, Stephen Theard, Gabrielle Perez, Karen Nelson, Frank Cancilla, and Mark von Kaenel.

Please join SCCAOR and the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Real Estate Fraud Unit for a special event on March 22, 2018. Covering real estate fraud in Santa Clara County, this free event will be Emceed by Lieutenant Tanaya Rose, Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigation.



The event is free for SCCAOR Members. Click here to register.


The program will feature three sessions:

  1. Voiding False or Forged Deeds in a Criminal Case
    Speaker: RE Fraud Unit Coordinator Duane Shewaga
  2. The Legal Landmines When Buying and Selling Distressed Property and How to Avoid Running Afoul of the Home Equity Sales Act
    Speaker: Deputy DA Melanie Griswold
  3. Home Repair Scams by Transient Criminals
    Speaker:  Senior Investigator Greg Ovanessian


The Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® is pleased to announce the hiring of Jodee Sousa as Marketing and Events Coordinator. In this role, she will be responsible for managing all of the Association’s events.

“I am really excited to be on the SCCAOR Team,” said Sousa. “I’m looking forward to bringing my experience to the Association to produce amazing, member-focused events.”

To learn more about the events that SCCAOR will be hosting in 2018, you can view this schedule. We also encourage you to check out this YouTube playlist of videos from previous SCCAOR events.

“We are pleased to bring Jodee on board,” said SCCAOR CEO Neil Collins. “She has already proved to be a great addition and I am confident that she will strengthen our Association and bring great value to our members.”

In her spare time, Jodee enjoys spending time with her family and friends, cooking and attending street fairs.  “The year isn’t complete without a visit, or two, to my Happy Place, Disneyland, for a churro and corn dog,” she said.

On December 19th, members of the Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® collected toys and pajamas for KAFPA of Santa Clara County, who will distribute them to adoptive & foster families in Santa Clara County. Thank you to all of our members who came out and helped support a great cause!

Important changes have been made to the San José business tax , which was approved by San José voters on November 8, 2016 (Measure G). The approved changes took effect on July 1, 2017 and impact REALTORS, brokers, and rental property owners of single family homes and duplexes.

The City’s business tax was first adopted in 1963, and the methodology for calculating the current business tax was first adopted in 1984. The current rates had not been increased since 1986. Last year, more than 65% of San José voters approved the business tax increase, Measure G and new rates at the November 2016 election.

The adjustments to the business tax that took effect on July 1, 2017, include:

  • Increasing the base tax from $150 to $195.
  • Increasing the incremental tax and making it more progressive
  • Increasing the cap (the maximum amount of the tax affecting large businesses)
  • Updating the application of the tax to more classes of businesses
  • Adding inflation-based adjustments for future tax rates


Businesses are able to register and pay their business tax online. More information can be found on the “Make a Payment” website.


  • The charts on the Business Tax Rates page represent the structure of the current and voter-approved business tax rates effective July 1, 2017.
  • Addition of a Financial Hardship Exemption for Small Business Owners with Limited Household Income
  • San José currently allows for several exemptions for the payment of the current business tax based on the poverty level guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The HHS poverty level is currently set at $12,060. Since the cost of living in the Bay Area is greater than the national average, the City Council approved an income threshold at two times (2X) the annual level established by the HHS which is $24,120. This hardship exemption is applied based on business income regardless of total household income.
  • As part of the modernization, San José voters approved adding an additional exemption category for small business owners with limited household incomes. A small business can be exempt where the adjusted gross income of the small business owner does not exceed four times (4X) the annual poverty level established by the HHS. This threshold would be based on a household income of $48,240.


Extended Deadline to Register a New Residential Landlord Business — Now December 15, 2017

New residential landlords of one or two rental units will now pay the San José business tax for the first time as of July 1, 2017. The City Council established a grace period until December 15, 2017, so that these residential landlords can apply for and secure a valid business tax certificate from the City and pay the business tax without incurring penalties and interest. If the payment of the business tax is made after December 15, 2017, then interest and penalties will accrue retroactively to July 1, 2017.


Frequently Asked Questions:

How do I register my Business in San Jose?
Register your business online by clicking here.

How do I access paper forms?

For pdf forms, including Residential Rental Property Registration and Broker Declaration of Employed Sales Agents Please click here.

Do I qualify for a hardship exemption from the Business Tax?

You may also declare a hardship exemption by using the forms here. Businesses Exempt from the tax are sole proprietorships and small businesses with no employees with gross receipts less than $24,120 or household income below $48,240.

Who does the business tax apply to?

Rental Property Owners of all types, including room rentals, short term rentals, single family rentals and duplex rentals. Brokers, and their Agents are also responsible for the tax along with other small businesses.

What about Room Rentals?

If you rent a room in your home for long term rentals you will have to register as 1 unit. If it is a short term rental like Airbnb you will also have to register.

What are the costs?

$195 base cost. $30 per employee or agent under a broker beginning at the 3rd employee. No charge for the first two employees or agents. The rates for rental units are similar with the first two rental units having no additional costs with an added $10 per unit cost for owners of 3 – 35 rental units. Learn more about the business tax rates here.

What are the fines?

Each annual business tax payment is due and payable on the 15th day of the calendar month in which the business began.Should the tax remain unpaid by the due date, a penalty of 25% is assessed. Should the tax remain unpaid for a period exceeding one calendar month beyond the due date, an additional 25% penalty is assessed. The interest rate of 1.5% a month will also be assessed on unpaid tax and penalties.

How far back can they go back and fine you for past years?

If you are a business owner that owes a business tax before the implementation of Measure G, the city of San Jose will require retroactive payments and fines for unpaid taxes going back to January 2014.

If you are a business newly impacted by the business tax ordinance under Measure G, you have until December 15, 2017, to register your business with no fine or late fees.

Is the city is not notifying rental property owners and businesses of their new obligations under measure G?

The City of San Jose has not undergone proactive measures other than their usual communications channels.

For further questions and more information go to or call the San Jose Department of Finance at (408) 535-7055.