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January 2018 Government Affairs Update Archive

Government Affairs Update for Jan. 26, 2018

NYSAR meets with state housing agency on NY First Home
On Friday, Jan. 26, NYSAR staff met with representatives from the state Division of Housing and Community Renewal, which has been directed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to issue a report on or before June 30, 2018 on the feasibility and economic impact of a first-time homebuyer savings account program in New York. NYSAR will continue to work with government agencies and officials to advocate for the full enactment of a first-time homebuyer savings program this legislative session.

 
Tax expert featured at this year’s Mid-Winter Business Meetings Legislative Policy Forum
Kelly Saposnick, principal in The Bonadio Group’s Tax Department, will be providing valuable information on tax reform and what it means for REALTORS and your clients at this year’s Legislative Policy Forum at the Mid-Winter Business Meetings on Feb. 7 at 11:30 a.m. in Fort Orange Room 7-9.

State to provide additional $15 million for flooded Lake Ontario homeowners
New York is making an additional $15 million available for homeowners along the Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River shoreline who dealt with flood damage over the spring and summer. The state said it received more claims from homeowners than the originally $15 million it allocated. The Legislature also approved an additional $5 million this week, bringing the total commitment to $50 million. Read more here.

National Flood Insurance extended to Feb. 8
On Jan. 22, 2018, Congress extended the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to Feb. 8. This extension was attached to the Continuing Resolution to re-open the Federal government. This marks the fourth extension and first lapse of the NFIP since Sept. 30 of last year. NAR will continue working with Congress to prevent further lapses while the Senate works on its version of the five-year reauthorization and reform measure.

Government Affairs Update for Jan. 19, 2018

Cuomo releases Executive Budget proposal
Gov. Andrew Cuomo released his FY 2019 Executive Budget proposal on Jan. 16. The $168.2 billion budget proposal provides the blueprint that state lawmakers will analyze in order to fund state government while also facing a $4.4 billion deficit. The most significant proposal from the governor’s budget is the restructuring of the state’s tax code in order to offset recent federal tax reform changes that impose a $10,000 cap on the deductibility of state and local taxes (SALT). Directed by the governor, the state Department of Taxation and Finance released a preliminary report subject to approval by the state Legislature outlining a series of proposals to be analyzed that would change the state tax code in an attempt to address the loss of the full SALT deduction. No formal legislation has been drafted yet. You can find a summary of provisions in the Executive Budget here and the full budget bill here.

 
Cuomo panel proposes congestion pricing plan in Manhattan
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s "Fix NYC" panel released its report recommending the implementation of congestion pricing to reduce traffic, suggesting an $11.52 toll on vehicles that enter Manhattan south of 60th Street. Fees on trucks would be higher, as much as $25, while taxi and for-hire vehicle fees would range from $2-$5 per ride. Drivers who enter Manhattan via tunnel would not have to pay twice. The money raised would be directed to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority for transit repairs and expansion efforts. Read more here.

State Assembly hearing held on new title insurance regulations
NYSAR attended a public hearing held by the State Assembly on Jan. 12, 2018 to examine the impact of new regulations on title insurance companies adopted by the State Department of Financial Services (DFS) intended to reduce costs for consumers and monitor and prohibit certain expenditures by title insurance companies. Representatives from DFS as well as the title insurance industry and consumer groups submitted testimony at the hearing. A copy of the final regulations, which go into effect Feb. 1, 2018 can be found here and here.

Two-percent school tax levy growth for 2018-19
New York State’s cap on growth in local school taxes for 2018-19 will be 2 percent, according to the State Comptroller’s office – the highest in five years and up from this year’s 1.26 percent. Under the state’s tax cap law, the allowable baseline tax-levy increase for school districts is 2 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is lower. Read more here.
 

Reserve your hotel room for NYSAR’s Lobby Day on March 20
NYSAR’s annual Lobby Day will be Tuesday, March 20, 2018 in Albany. Breakfast, lunch, lobbying orientation and lobbying materials will be provided. Book your hotel room by February 16, 2018 at theHampton Inn & Suites in downtown Albany under the NYSAR room block:
• Room rate $189
• Group code is CHXC23
• Check-in Time: 4:00 p.m. Check-out Time: 11:00 a.m.
• Parking fee: $14.75
More details to be announced.

Government Affairs Update for Jan. 12, 2018

Reserve your hotel room for NYSAR’s Lobby Day on March 20
NYSAR’s annual Lobby Day will be Tuesday, March 20, 2018 in Albany. Breakfast, lunch, lobbying orientation and lobbying materials will be provided. Book your hotel room by February 16, 2018 at the Hampton Inn & Suites in downtown Albany under the NYSAR room block:
• Room rate $189
• Group code is CHXC23
• Check-in Time: 4:00 p.m. Check-out Time: 11:00 a.m.
• Parking fee: $14.75
More details to be announced.

 
State Senate GOP propose phase out of property taxes for seniors
State Senate Republicans announced their proposal to phase out school taxes for seniors over 10 years and increase the current property tax rebate by 25 percent to New York homeowners. The proposed plan is estimated to cost $5 billion over 10 years. Read more here.

NY home prices estimated to decrease 4.8 percent from tax reform according to NAR
NAR estimated that New York home prices are expected to decrease 4.8 percent as a result of tax reform changes that reduces the limit on deductible mortgage debt and limits on the deductibility of state and local taxes. Read more here.

Westchester Democrats select Mayer for Senate special
Assemblywoman Shelley Mayer will be the Democratic candidate in a still-unscheduled special election to fill the state Senate seat recently vacated by Westchester County Executive George Latimer. Republicans have not selected a candidate yet. Attorney Sarmad Khojasteh and former district attorney candidate Dan Schorr have announced their interest in being the GOP candidate. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been reluctant to schedule a special election before the end of the March, which is when the state budget is due. Read more here.
 
Assemblymember Pamela Harris indicted on fraud charges
Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn announced an 11-count indictment against Assemblymember Pamela Harris of Brooklyn, alleging a raft of fraud, witness tampering and other charges, including siphoning money from a nonprofit she ran. Read more here.
 

Government Affairs Update for Jan. 5, 2018

Gov. Cuomo delivers State of the State address, proposes restructuring state tax code
Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivered his eighth State of the State address on Jan. 3, 2018 in Albany where he outlined a broad policy agenda for the upcoming legislative session as the state faces a more than $4 billion deficit along with an expected $2 billion cut in federal funding for health care. The governor laid out a number of challenges facing the state this year, including how federal tax reform may affect New Yorkers. In his speech, Cuomo proposed that the state restructure its tax code to mitigate the loss of full SALT deductions. An overview of his main proposals can be found here, and his full report can be found here. The governor is expected to deliver his executive budget in the coming weeks where he will detail additional state spending, revenue and policy proposals.
 
NAR posts Facebook Live video on how tax reform will affect your business
NAR has archived its Facebook Live video here, which answered questions on how the new tax reform bill will affect you and your business. Evan Liddiard of NAR Government Affairs and Peter Baker, a CPA with Business Planning Group, explained provisions that impact homeowners and commercial property investors including a new 20-percent deduction for pass-through entities, how new expensing provisions work, and what other changes are in the bill that affect your tax liability as a real estate agent or broker.

Cuomo hints at congestion pricing on NYC commuters
In his State of the State address, Gov. Andrew Cuomo hinted at support for congestion pricing on NYC commuters in Manhattan as a way to ease gridlock and raise revenue for the subway system. Senate Republicans reacted cool to the notion, which will continue to be a discussion leading up to the state budget due April 1, 2018.

New Yorkers continue to leave the state
New York had the third highest rate of residents moving to other states in 2017 according to this year’s United Van Lines National Movers Study. Sixty-one percent of movers were outbound, while 39 percent of movers were coming into the state. New York is also projected to lose one of its 27 congressional seats in the 2022 reapportionment.

New laws take effect in New York
New Yorkers will see new laws take effect as of Jan. 1, 2018, including paid family leave, a minimum wage increase and state income tax reductions for the middle-class. Read more on these laws and others taking effect here.

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