December 2017 Government Affairs Update Archive

Government Affairs Update for Dec. 30, 2017

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: What it means for homeowners and real estate professionals 
While NAR remains concerned that the overall structure of the final bill diminishes the tax benefits of homeownership and will cause adverse impacts in some markets, the advocacy of NAR members, as well as consumers, helped NAR to gain some important improvements throughout the legislative process. Learn more.
Gov. Cuomo’s 2018 State of the State preview
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is set to deliver his 2018 State of the State address on in Albany on Jan. 3. He will outline his policy agenda for the year. The governor’s budget proposal is also due in January, which will form the initial blueprint for the Legislature to consider while it works to pass a budget by April 1, 2018. Read more on what to expect during the the governor’s State of the State address here.

Government Affairs Update for Dec. 15, 2017

Senate and House GOP reach deal on tax bill
Senate and House Republicans have reached an agreement on tax reform legislation and hope to have a vote by Dec. 20. The bill caps the deduction for state and local taxes at $10,000 for the deduction of property and income taxes. Homeowners will now only be able to deduct the interest on up to $750,000 in mortgage debt, down from the current $1 million. The bill will cut the corporate tax rate to 21 percent and reduce the highest earner tax rate to 37 percent from 39.6 percent. The bill will also eliminate the individual mandate on health care. Read more here. There is still time to make your voice heard – take action against the tax bill here.

Governor Cuomo announces $755 million in economic and community development
Gov. Andrew Cuomo awarded $755 million in economic development funding through the seventh round of the state’s Regional Economic Development Council Initiative. You can find a full breakdown of project funding by region here.

FCC repeals net neutrality rules
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted 3-2 on Dec. 14 in favor of repealing net neutrality rules that prohibited internet providers from blocking websites or charging for higher-quality service or certain content. The federal government will also no longer regulate high-speed internet delivery as a utility, like phone services. Read more here. NAR opposed the FCC’s plan to roll back these regulations. New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman will also lead a multi-state legal challenge to the FCC’s decision.

Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb first declared GOP gubernatorial candidate
Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb (R-Canandaigua) is the first Republican to formally declare his candidacy to run against Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2018. Other potential GOP candidates include business consultant Harry Wilson, Senate Deputy Majority Leader John DeFrancisco (Syracuse) and Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro — who has talked about running on a joint ticket with Kolb. Read more here.

MTA approves $1.9B contract to design, build LIRR 3rd track
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) voted to approve a $1.9 billion contract for the design and construction of a third track on the Long Island Rail Road’s (LIRR) Main Line from Floral Park to Hicksville. Construction is expected to begin next year and take up to four years to complete. Read more here.


Government Affairs Update for Dec. 8, 2017

NY First Home bill arrives at Governor Cuomo’s desk – Urge him to sign it into law today!
NYSAR-supported legislation to allow New Yorkers to create a first-time home buyer savings account is now under consideration by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. He has until next week to decide whether to sign it into law. Homeownership in New York is being threatened by federal tax reform and this program would help make home buying more affordable. You could help make a difference. Take action today!

Update on Federal tax reform - New Call for Action
Both the House and Senate have named the members of the conference committee.  The committee will begin meeting next week. Its goal is to send a final bill to the president by Dec. 15, 2017.  NAR will continue to run the Call for Action until the committee finishes the legislation. Take action on the new NAR Call for Action on tax reform here. You can also tune in to a Facebook Live Town Hall on Tuesday, Dec. 12, from 2-3 p.m. 

Congress passes another short-term extension of NFIP 
On Dec. 7, Congress passed a short-term Continuing Resolution (CR) to keep government operations open and avoid a government shutdown until Dec. 22, 2017. The CR will include an extension of the National Flood Insurance Program while Congress uses the two-week window to address a longer term CR.

Net neutrality changes would hurt REALTORS
The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) will make significant changes to the operation of the internet by eliminating the Net Neutrality rules currently in place. NAR has been active in the net neutrality debate for many years and is working in a coalition with a number of affected businesses at the FCC, in the courts and with Congress. You can learn more about this issue at the NAR Net Neutrality Resource Page.

Governor Cuomo announces State of the State address will be on January 3
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that he will deliver his 2018 State of the State address on Jan. 3, at 1 p.m. at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center in Albany. You can find more information here


Government Affairs Update for Dec. 1, 2017

Tax reform bill expected to clear U.S. Senate
As of Friday, Dec. 1, Senate Republicans say they have the 50 votes needed to pass their tax reform bill, moving it to conference committee and a step closer to changing the tax code. The Joint Committee on Taxation announced this week that even with projected economic growth, the Republican tax bill would add more than $1 trillion to the deficit over 10 years. Read more here. You can still Take Action and tell Congress you oppose any tax reform bill that harms New Yorkers.

 Save the Date! 
NYSAR’s annual Lobby Day will be on Tuesday, March 20, 2018. Plan now to join with hundreds of your REALTOR colleagues in supporting homeownership and private property rights. Lobby Day will take place in Albany at the Empire State Plaza, Meeting Rooms 1-5 starting at 9 a.m. More details to come. 

NYSAR meets on Appraisal Management Companies legislation 
NYSAR staff met with state Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski, Assembly staff, and representatives from the state Mortgage Bankers Association and Appraisal Management Companies (AMCs) to discuss proposed legislation to regulate AMCs in New York State. There is an August 10, 2018 deadline to establish minimum requirements for certain Appraisal Management Companies. Work on this bill will be a priority for NYSAR in 2018.

Potential Republican challengers to Cuomo in 2018
Four Republicans are considering a run for governor next year, challenging Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s run for a third term. State Senator John DeFrancisco of Syracuse; Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb of the Finger Lakes; Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro; and Harry Wilson, a Westchester County financier all told the USA Today Network's Albany Bureau they plan to decide around the end of the year whether they will enter the GOP field for governor. Read more here.

Cuomo non-committal on Special Election date
Gov. Andrew Cuomo did not say when he will call special elections for 11 vacant state legislative seats. The timing of the elections could have an impact on control of the State Senate. Cuomo noted he could also leave the seats vacant until November. Read more here.

Syracuse Mayor considers Congressional run challenging Rep. Katko
Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner said she may challenge Rep. John Katko in 2018 after his vote in favor of the House tax reform bill. Rep. Katko, R-Camillus, a second-term congressman, was among four Republican House members in New York to vote for the House tax bill. Read more here.

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