Weekly Report Archive
August 2018

Weekly Report for August 30, 2018

Cuomo and Nixon hold first and only debate before Sept. 13 primary
Governor Andrew Cuomo and challenger Cynthia Nixon participated in their first and only Democratic gubernatorial debate on Wednesday at Hofstra University on Long Island. Main topics of the debate included, single-payer health care, funding for the MTA, campaign finance reform, among others. Candidates also looked to take the offensive by criticizing their opponent on a variety of personal and political issues. Watch the hour-long debate here

IRS moves to block NY plan to skirt SALT deduction cap
The Internal Revenue Service issued guidance warning that the charitable workarounds that New York, New Jersey and Connecticut approved following the new federal cap on deductions for state and local taxes aren’t acceptable to the federal government. The Treasury rules provide some leeway for states that provide credits of 15 percent or less of the donation amount. In those cases, taxpayers can deduct the full charitable contribution on their federal taxes. New York provides an 85 percent state credit. Read more here

New law in NYC requiring smoking policy from landlords
New York City adopted a new law, in effect starting August 28, 2018, which requires owners of residential buildings with three or more units, as well as co-op and condo buildings, to adopt an official smoking policy. Under the new law, residential buildings must post their policy in a common space and share it with prospective tenants. The law does not mandate that buildings become smoke-free. Find information on the new policy disclosure law here

Spectrum News/Siena College Poll: Brindisi, Rep. Tenney in virtual tie
Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney is in a statistical tie with her Democratic opponent Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi, according to a Spectrum News/Siena College poll released on August 29. The poll found Brindisi leading Tenney 46 percent to 44 percent. Tenney is running for a second term in a House district that stretches from the Mohawk Valley to the Southern Tier. Read more here.

Weekly Report for August 23, 2018

HUD files housing discrimination complaint against Facebook for ad targeting tools

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development filed a housing discrimination complaint against Facebook, alleging the site’s targeting tools allow advertisers to intentionally exclude specific demographics from viewing or receiving certain housing-related ads. HUD claims the social media site violated the Fair Housing Act by enabling advertisers to discriminate against prospective renters and buyers based on their race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin, or disability. NAR supports HUD’s actions and opposes all types of housing discrimination. Read more here.

Vote in NY State Primary Elections on Thursday, September 13
This year’s state primary election day will be Thursday, September 13, rather than the typical Tuesday. You may only cast a vote if you are registered to a political party and there is a contested race within that party for a given office. The more high-profile races to be decided on September 13 include the Democratic primary for Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General. Many State Senate and Assembly districts also have primary elections to decide which candidates will run in the November general election. Find your polling place here. A full list of candidates running for offices across the state can be found here.

NAR real estate market reports by Congressional District available
NAR has available on its website an interactive map of state and Congressional District Reports detailing real estate, demographic, and economic data that provide information about the status of homeownership, trends in the real estate market, and the economic conditions that underlie the demand for housing. Learn more here.

GOP Reps. Faso and Tenney deemed “toss-up” seats by Roll Call news outlet
Political analysis for the 19th and 22nd Congressional District seats held by Reps. John Faso and Claudia Tenney, respectively, have been regraded as less safe for Republicans ahead of the November election. You can read the different political analyses here and here

No GOP replacement yet for Rep. Collins seat
Republican county leaders in NY’s 27th Congressional District met with nine individuals hoping to replace Rep. Collins on the November ballot, however there are still legal and logistical questions on how to remove Collins’ name from the ballot. Political maneuvering is also playing a role in the candidate selection process. Read more here.

Weekly Report for August 16, 2018

Speaker announcement for Legislative Policy Forum at Fall Business Meetings
NYSAR’s Legislative Policy Forum on Tuesday, October 2, 11:00 a.m. will feature guest speaker Steve Greenberg of Greenberg Public Relations who will share his perspective on upcoming state and federal elections. Steve is a former Press Secretary in the Assembly Speaker’s Office and pollster with the Siena College Research Institute. Also speaking will be Zack Rubin-McCarry, NAR Field Representative, who will provide some insight into the top federal and political issues facing REALTORS today. 

Gov. Cuomo to debate Nixon
Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Democratic challenger Cynthia Nixon have agreed to a debate on August 29 at 7 p.m. at Hofstra University. The debate will take place two weeks before the primary election on September 13. Read more here

Airbnb supporting bill to allow tax on guests
Airbnb is supporting a bill in the State Legislature that would allow them to collect taxes from its guests similar to what hotels do, and lift prohibitions to rent space in a unit for fewer than 30 days without the owner or renter present. Earlier this month, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a bill — passed unanimously in the City Council — into law that requires short-term rental companies like Airbnb to give the city the addresses of its listings and the names of its hosts. Read more here

NY’s rent laws to expire next year
New York’s rent laws expire next year and politicians and tenant advocates are planning to make a push to reform them. They were last extended for four years after allowed to expire in June 2015 for a short period. Changes to the rent control laws could be a much discussed topic during the elections this year, as well as the next legislative session in 2019 when the laws are set to expire.

Voter Registration Deadline
REALTORS registering to vote or changing an address/party affiliation must submit a new voter application no later than October 12 in order to vote in the general election on November 6. Those looking to register to vote can be directed to the state online voter registration application here.

Weekly Report for August 11, 2018

Rep. Chris Collins and son arrested on insider trading charges
Rep. Chris Collins of Clarence and his son were indicted on insider trading charges Wednesday, according to federal prosecutors. Rep. Collins has pleaded not guilty with bail set at $500,000. House Speaker Paul Ryan removed Collins from the House Energy Committee in response to the arrest. Democratic candidate Nathan McMurray is running against Collins in the 27th Congressional District. Learn more.
Hudson Gateway Association of REALTORS launches Call for Action for co-op transparency
HGAR has launched a Call for Action urging REALTORS and residents of Westchester County to contact their county legislators in support of a proposal that would improve fairness and transparency in the co-op housing purchase process. Similar legislation was recently enacted in Rockland County. 
IRS releases regulations outlining 20 percent pass-through deduction
The Treasury Department released its proposed regulations outlining the types of companies and professionals eligible to qualify as “pass-through” entities in order to receive a new 20 percent tax deduction through the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that was signed into law in December 2017. This guidance is needed in order to interpret a new and complex provision added to the tax code. Learn more.
NYC to cap number of Uber and Lyft vehicles
On Wednesday, the New York City Council passed legislation to cap the number of for-hire vehicles by restricting any new licenses for a year while the city studies the industry. The bills also allow New York to set a minimum pay rate for drivers. The legislation allows for the city’s taxi commission to add more licenses if there is a clear need for more vehicles in some neighborhoods. Mayor Bill de Blasio said he will sign the bill into law to go into effect immediately. Learn more.

Weekly Report for August 4, 2018

House GOP tax plan will extend controversial SALT cap
According to Politico, U.S. House Republicans will include a permanent extension of the $10,000 cap on state and local tax deductions in their upcoming second round of tax cuts. Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) said keeping the SALT limits going was a simple matter of fairness, because higher earners are more likely to rely on those deductions. Learn more.

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