Weekly Report for March 25, 2022
Registration for NYSAR’s Lobby Day on May 10, 2022 is now open!
NYSAR’s Lobby Day is scheduled for Tuesday, May 10, 2022, at the Empire State Plaza, Meeting room 6 in Albany. RPAC of New York will also be hosting a “Night @ the Museum and Dinner at the Renaissance Hotel” fundraiser, scheduled for Monday, May 9 at 4 p.m. with dinner at 6:30 p.m. Registration for Lobby Day and the RPAC fundraiser are now open via the NYSAR portal here: https://www.nysar.com/nysar-portal/events-calendar/upcoming-meetings/
For complete details on NYSAR’s Lobby Day including hotel room blocks, visit:
State budget negotiations continue with April 1 deadline
Governor Hochul and Legislative leaders in the Senate and Assembly continue negotiations on a final state budget, which is due by April 1. A final agreement on a number of issues remains outstanding, including a new property tax rebate credit program, gas tax relief, additional emergency rental assistance funding for landlords and tenants, new restrictions on fossil fuel emissions for new construction, renewal of the 421-a tax abatement program for affordable housing development, a multi-billion-dollar capital plan for affordable housing, bail reforms, and possible tenant and eviction protections. A summary of the budget proposals under consideration can be found here.
President Biden releases report and recommendations regarding racial bias in home valuations
This week, President Biden’s Administration released its Property Appraisal and Valuation Equity (PAVE) report which outlined 21 recommendations to address unlawful discrimination in residential valuations, enhancing fair housing and fair lending, diversity in the appraiser workforce, and consumer protections regarding appraisals. NAR 2022 President Leslie Rouda Smith stated, “REALTORS® are committed to upholding fair housing laws in all real estate activities, including appraisals.” Read more here.
Federal court reinstates independent contractor rule
On March 15, a federal court vacated the Department of Labor (DOL) actions delaying and withdrawing the independent contractor regulation issued in January 2021. For real estate professionals, the rule and subsequent withdraw that was vacated by the court does not change their classification as independent contractors under the Internal Revenue Code, nor does it preempt the many states laws classifying real estate professionals as independent contractors. By reinstating the independent contractor rule, the court has provided needed regulatory certainty for many industries relying on independent contractor workforces. For more on this issue, visit nar.realtor/independent-contractor-status.
Weekly Report for March 18, 2022
State Senate and Assembly release One-House Budget proposals
Early this week, the State Senate and Assembly released their respective one-house Budget proposals, using Governor Hochul’s Executive Budget proposal as a general framework which she released in January. Both houses of the Legislature agreed on providing more than $1 billion in emergency rental assistance and utility arrears funding, while also outlining a multi-billion dollar 5-year capital plan supporting affordable housing, homeownership and new development. Both Budget proposals also included variations of a property tax rebate credit for homeowners with incomes under $250,000. The Senate Budget proposal included language requiring new building construction to be all-electric by 2024, whereas the Assembly intentionally omitted the proposal.
Both houses of the Legislature rejected the following proposals: prohibiting landlords from automatically rejecting or refusing to rent to an applicant based on certain prior criminal convictions or credit score/history; requiring localities to allow for the creation of accessory dwelling units (ADUs); eliminating and replacing the 421-a tax abatement program for affordable housing development; and applying sales tax and hotel fees on vacation rentals. To read a full summary of housing and tax-related issues included in the Senate and Assembly Budget proposals, click here.
Governor Hochul extends state of emergency
On March 16, Governor Hochul issued an Executive Order extending New York’s COVID-related state of emergency through April 15. As a result, real estate licensees are still prohibited from making any cold calls to the public. NYSAR and a coalition of businesses impacted by the telemarketing ban continue to meet with state lawmakers advocating for a change in the law that would limit the restrictions.
Local good cause eviction proposal fails in Rochester
On March 15, the Rochester City Council voted 6-3 against a local law that would have imposed “good cause eviction” in the City of Rochester. Greater Rochester Association of REALTORS® 2022 President Lanie Bittner testified in opposition to the proposal at a virtual public hearing before the City Council. Additionally, GRAR and NYSAR issued a REALTOR® Call for Action urging City Council Members to oppose the “good cause eviction” local law. At the state level, NYSAR is continuing to meet with lawmakers to express our concerns with the statewide good cause eviction bill, which was not included in budget proposals from the Governor or State Legislature.
New York’s Climate Action Council releases public hearing schedule
New York’s Climate Action Council released its public hearing schedule this week. A total of 10 hearings are scheduled to take place at varying locations across the state with one hearing being held virtually between the dates of April 5 and May 11, 2022. The Council plans to make recommendations to the State Legislature and Governor on steps to reduce carbon emissions statewide, including phasing out the use of natural gas and other fossil fuels in homes as soon as 2024. NYSAR has serious concerns with the Council’s Draft Scoping Plan, which was released in December of 2021, due to its lack of analysis on costs to homeowners and uncertainty in the state’s electric energy grid to handle such a transition in the timeframe being proposed, among other concerns. To learn more and view past meetings click here.
Weekly Report for March 11, 2022
NYSAR releases updated 2022 Legislative Priorities
For an up-to-date list of NYSAR’s 2022 Legislative Priorities, click here. This 2-page document will also be available on NYSAR’s website. Some of NYSAR’s top legislative priorities this year include support of additional fair housing measures in the cooperative housing application process, amending telemarketing restrictions during a state of emergency, expanding access to homeownership, and opposition to a statewide good cause eviction bill, among others.
Senate and Assembly One-House Budgets expected soon
The State Assembly and Senate are expected to release their respective one-house budgets in the coming days signaling the budgetary and policy priorities of the Legislature. Leaders in the Senate and Assembly will then begin budget negotiations with Governor Hochul with the goal of passage of an on-time budget by April 1. NYSAR is closely monitoring the process and has been engaging state lawmakers and staff on priority issues.
Greater Rochester Association of REALTORS® (GRAR) opposes local good cause eviction legislation
The Rochester City Council is considering a vote on March 15 on a local law imposing “good cause eviction” in Rochester. GRAR 2022 President Lanie Bittner testified in opposition to the proposal on Thursday before the Rochester City Council at a virtual public hearing. If you reside or own property in the City of Rochester, please answer the GRAR/NYSAR Call for Action urging City Council Members to oppose the “good cause eviction” local law by clicking here.
REALTORS® meet with NYC Councilmember Kamillah Hanks
This week, NYSAR hosted a productive meeting with newly elected New York City Council Member Kamillah Hanks (D-Staten Island) and chairs of NYSAR’s Legislative Steering Committee and New York City Issues Working Group, Angelo Pappalardo and Melissa Gomez, along with Staten Island REALTORS®. The meeting focused on housing issues and some of the challenges REALTORS® face as a result of legislation proposed in the City Council. NYSAR will continue to hold meetings in the coming months with newly elected City Council Members to introduce our perspective on a range of issues, connecting REALTORS® with city lawmakers.
Weekly Report for March 4, 2022
New York’s Climate Action Council meets
New York’s Climate Action Council met Thursday, March 3, to continue discussions and plans to make recommendations to the State Legislature and Governor on steps to reduce carbon emissions statewide, including phasing out the use of natural gas and other fossil fuels in homes as soon as 2024. NYSAR has serious concerns with the Council’s Draft Scoping Plan, which was released in December of 2021, due to its lack of analysis on costs to homeowners and uncertainty in the state’s electric energy grid to handle such a transition in the timeframe being proposed, among other concerns. The council will hold a series of public hearings across the state beginning in April with plans on drafting a final plan by December 2022. To learn more and view past meetings click here.
NYSAR Legislative Steering Committee votes to oppose state legislation
This week, NYSAR’s Legislative Steering Committee met to discuss several bills before the State Legislature, approving motions to oppose the following measures:
- S.2142-A – Requiring lead-based paint test reports prior to the selling or leasing of residential real property.
- S.6843-A – Requiring all new commercial and residential construction statewide to be all-electric by January 1, 2024.
- S.4547-A – Requiring localities to adopt local laws permitting accessory dwelling units and capping annual rent increases to 3 percent or 1.5 times the CPI.
- S.2811-A – Creating a statewide rental registry, requiring owners of residential rental dwellings housing 2 or more families to register their buildings with the Department of State. Such registry would also include any outstanding code violations and findings of landlord harassment.