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April 2019

Government Affairs Update for April 26, 2019

Attend NYSAR Lobby Day in Albany on Tuesday, May 7
All REALTORS® are welcome to attend NYSAR’s Annual Lobby Day in the Albany Empire State Plaza (Concourse – Meeting Room 6) beginning at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, May 7, 2019. Our morning’s guest speaker will be Senator Shelley Mayer (D-Westchester). NYSAR will provide breakfast and lunch and lobbying materials, and will reimburse individual members up to $150 for travel and lodging expenses. Questions? Email [email protected].

NAR 2019 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo Town Hall Webcast
REALTORS® attending the 2019 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo, which will be held in Washington, D.C. May 13–18, should register for an upcoming live webcast on Wednesday, May 8 at 2 p.m. Shannon McGahn, NAR’s senior vice president of Government Affairs, and Tracy Kasper, NAR’s 2019 vice president of Advocacy, will be discussing the new NAR Advocacy Group structure to better prepare you for meetings with members of Congress during the 2019 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo. They will give an overview of what to let policymakers aware of including the value that REALTORS® bring to the transaction, impact of real estate on the economy, and importance of property ownership and building safe communities. Register now!

NAR Attends White House Opportunity Zone Event; New Rules Out
NAR’s 2019 Commercial Liaison, Bob Turner from Memphis, TN, represented NAR at a White House event on the Qualified Opportunity Zone (“QOZ”) program on April 17. The QOZ program was created in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to revitalize underserved communities by providing tax incentives for certain investments into them, to promote the development and create jobs. In connection with the event, the Treasury Department released the much-anticipated second round of proposed rules for the program, which provide more specific detail on how investors can participate in the program and receive the full tax benefits it offers.

NAR Comments on WOTUS Replacement
On December 11, 2018, the EPA and Department of the Army signed a proposed rule revising the definition of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) to clarify the federal authority under the Clean Water Act in a clear and understandable way. The agencies’ proposal is the second step in a two-step process to review and revise the definition of “waters of the United States” consistent with the February 2017 Presidential Executive Order entitled “Restoring the Rule of Law, Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the ‘Waters of the United States’ Rule.” The proposed definition would replace the approach in the 2015 Rule and the pre-2015 regulations. NAR submitted a comment letter in support of this rule. NAR believes this proposed WOTUS replacement rule will bring certainty and consistency to the permitting and development process while protecting water quality and property rights.


Government Affairs Update for April 19, 2019

Attend NYSAR Lobby Day on Tuesday, May 7
All REALTORS® are welcome to attend NYSAR’s Annual Lobby Day in the Albany Empire State Plaza (Concourse – Meeting Room 6) on Tuesday, May 7. Lobby Day provides members the opportunity to meet one-on-one with state lawmakers to discuss REALTOR® issues. NYSAR will provide breakfast and lunch and lobbying materials, and will reimburse individual members up to $150 for travel and lodging expenses.

New regulations on Appraisal Management Companies (AMCs)
NYSAR is working with the Department of State, appraisers, and AMCs on additional guidance and clarification regarding new state regulations. The regulations, which are scheduled to go into effect April 27, require AMCs to register with the Department of State in order to continue to provide appraisal and some non-appraisal services. NYSAR will provide an update following these efforts.


Government Affairs Update for April 12, 2019

Save the Date: NYSAR Lobby Day in Albany – Tuesday, May 7, 2019
All REALTORS® are welcome to attend NYSAR’s Annual Lobby Day in the Albany Empire State Plaza (Concourse – Meeting Room 6) beginning at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, May 7, 2019. Our morning’s guest speaker will be Senator Shelley Mayer (D-Westchester). NYSAR will provide breakfast and lunch and lobbying materials, and will reimburse individual members up to $150 for travel and lodging expenses. There is also a NYSAR room block available at the Renaissance Hotel. You can email [email protected] with any questions.

Changes to School Tax Relief (STAR) benefits program
The 2019 state budget made changes to the STAR benefit program to incentivize homeowners with an income less than $250,000 to switch from the old version of the STAR exemption program to the new STAR credit program. Under the new STAR credit program, homeowners pay the total school property tax bill up-front and receive a STAR credit check at a later date, rather than an immediate exemption. Homeowners with income more than $250,000 must switch to the STAR credit program. Qualifying homeowners that remain in the STAR exemption program will not see an increase in the value of their STAR benefit year-to-year, however, those who switch to the new STAR credit program will be eligible for up to 2 percent growth annually in the benefit amount. Learn more here.

State Assembly introduces rent reform bills
The State Assembly introduced a package of bills that would strengthen tenant and rent protections. Proposals include eliminating the major capital improvement rent increase program, eliminating vacancy decontrol, reforming preferential rent increases, capping rent control increases, and expanding rent regulations statewide. The Assembly will be holding public hearings in May on these issues.


Government Affairs Update for April 5, 2019

State Budget makes Tax Cap permanent; increases NYC transfer tax rates
Governor Cuomo and state lawmakers approved a $175.5 billion spending plan and final state budget last week. Some real estate-focused aspects of the enacted budget include measures that:

  • Make permanent the state’s 2 percent property tax cap, which NYSAR helped create in 2011,
  • Prohibit housing discrimination based on lawful source of income,
  • Create a new real estate transfer tax rate of an additional $1.25 for each $500 of consideration when the conveyance is $3 million or more on residential property in New York City or $2 million or more on the non-residential property;
  • Expand the “mansion tax” in New York City on conveyances of residential property valued at $2 million or more. New rates are broken up into seven tiers and range from an additional tax of 0.25 percent on conveyances between $2 million and $3 million, up to 2.9 percent on conveyances $25 million or more;
  • Remove the 20 percent tax deduction for pass-through businesses from its state tax code – REALTORS® will still be able to claim the deduction on their federal taxes;
  • Make changes to the state’s STAR program by capping the growth of the exemption benefit to zero, unless the homeowner enrolls in the new STAR credit program, which requires taxpayers to pay all school taxes up-front and receive a check at a later date.

A final budget did not include proposals to impose a pied-a-terre tax on high-end New York City properties nor measures that would expand rent control outside of New York City. More details on these topics, as well as non-real estate related issues can be found here.

State Assembly to push for statewide rent control
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie signaled support to extend and expand rent control regulations in New York City and the rest of the state. He announced the Assembly will be holding public hearings on the issue in May. Rent control regulations are due to expire in June, which is when the state legislature is expected to consider enacting new laws.