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June 2017 Government Affairs Update Archive

Government Affairs Update for June 30, 2017

New York State Legislature reconvenes for extraordinary session
Last week, the New York State Senate and Assembly, at the request of the governor, reconvened in Albany to take up several issues that were not reconciled prior to the scheduled end of session on Wednesday, June 21. The Legislature and governor came to agreement on several items including a two-year extension of mayoral control of New York City public schools, the extension of numerous county sales and mortgage recording taxes as well as passage of a revised package of assistance for those impacted by flooding in Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence river.

Legislature passes amended Lake Ontario/St. Lawrence River flood relief bill
As a part of the extraordinary legislative session, the Legislature and Governor Cuomo came to an agreement on legislation providing flood relief aid to areas affected by Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River flooding. The new legislation provides a combined $55 million to homeowners, small businesses, farms, not-for-profits and local municipalities for purposes of repairing homes, roads and infrastructure as well as preparing for future flooding. The legislation also authorizes a property owner whose primary residence is located within the affected disaster area to deduct from their federal adjusted gross income any distributions from retirement savings accounts to repair property damage due to flooding. The deduction would be applied to state income taxes. Click here for more information on the flood relief package.

Coast Guard suspends NYSAR-opposed Hudson River anchorage proposal
On Wednesday, June 28, the United States Coast Guard announced it will be suspending a proposal to put 10 commercial shipping anchorages on the Hudson River, stretching from Yonkers north to Kingston. The agency said it would "suspend future rulemaking decisions" on the proposal, which was opposed by NYSAR as well as elected officials from all levels of government. Click here for more on the Coast Guard decision. 

Paul Massey drops mayoral race bid
Paul Massey, Republican candidate for mayor of New York City, announced last week he will be dropping out of the race. Massey’s departure from the race paves the way for Staten Island Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis to become the Republican nominee. Democratic nominees for mayor include incumbent Mayor Bill de Blasio and former New York City Councilmember Sal Albanese. Click here for more information on the 2017 NYC mayoral race.  

Government Affairs Update for June 23, 2017

NY First Home passes both houses of Legislature
On Monday, June 19, the NY First Home bill (A.5616/S.4058) passed in both the New York State Senate and Assembly.  The bill will next be delivered to the governor for his approval at an undetermined time.  The NY First Home Program would allow individuals and couples to put aside money in a special savings account to be used for the upfront costs associated with purchasing a first home in New York State.  Click here for a statement from NYSAR President Dawn Carpenter.

Legislative session concludes, unresolved issues remain
On Wednesday, June 21, the New York State Legislative Session ended, but not before the approval of the NY First Home proposal as well as NYSAR-supported legislation granting up to $90 million in aid and property tax relief to property owners, small business and municipalities on Lake Ontario, the St. Lawrence River and several other affected waterways devastated by recent flooding. Additionally,  unresolved legislative issues include a deal to extend mayoral control of New York City public schools, an expansion of the number of NYC charter schools, and the extension of numerous county sales tax and mortgage recording taxes across the state. It is unclear if the Legislature will convene at a later date in 2017 to address these issues. As the governor begins considering and addressing bills, NYSAR Government Affairs staff will keep the membership updated on all post-session legislative activities at the Capitol. Click here for a legislative end of session summary.

NYSAR-supported flood relief bill passes both houses, awaits consideration from governor
On Monday, June 19, NYSAR-supported legislation addressing the devastating flooding on Lake Ontario, St. Lawrence River and several other waterways unanimously passed both houses of the New York State Legislature. The legislation provides a combined $90 million to homeowners, small businesses, farms, not-for-profits and local municipalities for purposes of repairing homes, roads and infrastructure as well as preparing for future flooding. The legislation also authorizes local municipalities in the affected area to provide property tax assessment relief based on the post-damage assessed value attributable to the improvements. The bill will be next delivered to the governor for his consideration at an undetermined time. Click here for more information on the legislation.  

REALTORS highlight flood insurance concerns as house committee finalizes key markup
Last week, the House Financial Services Committee concluded a markup on multiple pieces of legislation to reauthorize and reform the National Flood Insurance Program. Click here for a statement from National Association of REALTORS President William E. Brown and here for more information from the House Financial Services Committee.

Government Affairs Update for June 16, 2017

NYSAR continues advocacy of REALTOR issues as legislative session closes 
With the New York State Legislative Session scheduled to conclude on Wednesday, June 21, NYSAR continues to advocate on behalf of REALTOR issues including the approval of the NY First Home Program. Unresolved legislative issues include a deal to extend mayoral control of New York City public schools, an expansion of the number of NYC charter schools, as well as the extension of numerous county sales tax and mortgage recording taxes across the state. Additionally, several proposals to grant aid to property owners on Lake Ontario affected by recent flooding have also not been agreed upon. As the legislative session comes to an end, NYSAR Government Affairs staff will keep the membership updated on all legislative activities at the Capitol.  

Majority of New York State Legislature supports NY First Home Proposal
The NY First Home Proposal (A.5616/S.4058) has garnered the support of 114 senators and assemblymembers from across New York State. The NY First Home Program would allow individuals and couples to put aside money in a special savings account to be used for the upfront costs associated with purchasing a first home in New York State. Click here for more details on the program.  

 
Deadline approaches for National flood Insurance Program reauthorization
As NYSAR has previously reported, Congress has until Sept. 30, 2017 to renew the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).  However, home sales in New York and other coastal states could begin to decline this summer in areas prone to flooding if the NFIP isn’t authorized earlier than the stipulated deadline.  Click here to see how the NFIP could affect New York real estate.  

NAR welcomes increase in Fannie Mae debt ratio to 50 percent
NAR President Bill Brown credited Fannie Mae for an upcoming change that will provide perspective borrowers with greater access to a home loan, a move that reflects borrowers’ strengthened credit profiles and is consistent with NAR’s effort to increase homeownership among first-time buyers.  Click here to learn more on the decision.  
 

Government Affairs Update for June 9, 2017

80 New York State Assembly Members support NY First Home proposal
The NY First Home Proposal (A.5616/S.4058) has garnered the support of 80 Assemblymembers from across New York State. The NY First Home Program would allow individuals and couples to put aside money in a special savings account to be used for the upfront costs associated with purchasing a first home in New York State.  

Fannie Mae to ease mortgage requirements
Government-sponsored mortgage provider Fannie Mae will ease its lending requirements next month, raising its debt-to-income ceiling from 45 percent to 50 percent on July 29. The move could pave the way for a larger number of new buyers to qualify for a mortgage. Click here for more details.  

U.S. House Financial Services Committee holds flood insurance reform hearing
On Wednesday, June 7, the House Financial Services Committee held a hearing to discuss the future of the National Flood Insurance Program as well as other flood insurance related matters. Click here for a summary of the hearing.  

April median home value of $198K surpasses pre-recession peak
In April, the national median home value was $198,000, climbing 7.3 percent from a year ago and surpassing the pre-recession peak of $196,600 set in April 2007, a new report from Zillow has found. The study also found that there were 7.7 percent fewer homes on the market in April than a year earlier. Click here to view the full report.   

Senator Helming introduces Great Lakes Flood Recovery legislation
Senator Pamela Helming of the Finger Lakes region has introduced legislation that would allocate up to $55,000,000 in flood relief grants to small businesses, farms, owners of multiple dwellings, nonprofits, municipalities and counties to mitigate flooding damages occurring between January 1, 2017-June 30, 2017 in the watersheds of Lake Erie, Ontario, Champlain and the St. Lawrence River.  The measure has passed the senate.  Click here for more details on the legislation. 

Government Affairs Update for June 1, 2017

NY First Home secures support of 75 assemblymembers, 30 senators
The NY First Home proposal (A.5616/S.4058) has garnered the support of more than 105 legislators from across New York State. Seventy-five assemblymembers as well as 30 state senators have signed on in support of the legislation. The NY First Home program would allow individuals and couples to put aside money in a special savings account to be used for the upfront costs associated with purchasing a first home in New York State.  Click here to visit the NY First Home website and to send an electronic letter to your state legislator urging their support. 

New York State to provide flood assistance for Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence seaway    
      
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced last week that New York State would provide $22 million in assistance to homeowners, businesses and municipalities to aid in relief and recovery efforts from spring flooding on the Lake Ontario coastline and the St. Lawrence seaway. Seven million dollars will be available for homeowners, $5 million for small businesses and $10 million for infrastructure repairs.  More details on the program and how to apply for these grants can be found here.

Senator Carlucci introduces NYSAR-supported legislation addressing federal elimination of state and local tax deductibility
Last week, state Senator David Carlucci introduced legislation supported by NYSAR that would protect New Yorkers’ ability to deduct state and local taxes on the state income taxes in the event the federal government approves legislation eliminating the deduction at the federal level. The proposal, S.6502, would decouple the itemized deduction at the state level to federal itemized deductions, preserving New Yorkers’ ability to claim an itemized deductions for their property taxes on state tax returns.  Click here for the press release on the legislation including a statement from NYSAR President Dawn Carpenter. 

Survey finds millennials aren’t saving enough for a down payment on a home

About 70 percent of millennials have reported that they’ve saved less than $1,000 for a house down payment, according to a new study from Apartment List.  The survey shows less than 30 percent of adults between the ages of 25 and 34 would be able to save enough for a 10-percent down payment in the next three years.  Click here for more information on this report.

U.S. House of Representatives introduces draft of flood insurance bill
On May 25, the House Financial Services Committee released portions of draft legislation to reauthorize and reform the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The NFIP, if not reauthorized by Congress, will expire on Sept. 30, 2017. Click here for more information on the legislation and the NFIP.  

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