By Ashley Jost
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — When Sam Licklider was hired by the Missouri Association of Realtors during 1968 as a field service representative, he said legislative session was an entirely different experience.
Licklider said he remembers a time when session followed the election and lasted until mid-June — in a non-air conditioned Capitol, he emphasizes — and there were between 10 to 15 lobbyists total, all men.
“I think the structure grew and changed, as does everything,” he said. “It changed with society’s needs.”
Now the “Chief Lobbyist” for the Realtors, Licklider said what he enjoys most about his job are the people and the challenges involved with all of the inside work.
“One of the most interesting things about what I do is that every day is a new day,” he said. “You have different challenges that come up and you have to find ways to meet those challenges.”
Describing the current session as “remarkably interesting,” Licklider said there are a number of issues in terms of taxes in which the Realtors are interested. He specified the challenge the legislature is grappling with involving Kansan tax rates in order for the western half of the state to be competitive.
Licklider said the Realtors always have an interest in tax credits too, namely historic and low-income housing credits, which he said have proven to be good for Missouri’s economy.
“Everyone, every year, wants to try something new and different,” Licklider said about the legislature’s approach to tax credits. “It’s a shame to throw away programs that have proven to work. People’s lives are not a thing to experiment with.”
Recent cuts to low-income housing and historic tax credits — cuts that Licklider described as “draconian” — were something he said he watched especially closely.
“I assume those were to engender debate in the House, which put forward a much more reasonable bill,” he added.
Licklider has two children and seven grandchildren and currently lives in Jefferson City, which he said he couldn’t be happier about as he is close to the Lake of the Ozarks, and not too far of a drive from major metropolitan cities.
“I don’t like to do anything but work,” Licklider joked. “I attempted to do golf a few times. Otherwise, I do the usual things: reading and spending time with family and friends.”
To contact Ashley Jost, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or via Twitter at @ajost.