January 2019 Government Affairs Update Archive

Government Affairs Update for January 11, 2019

State Legislature begins 2019 session
On January 9, the State Assembly and Senate convened to start the 2019 legislative session. Senate Democratic Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (Yonkers) laid out the conference’s agenda, which included making the 2 percent property tax cap permanent. Last month, Governor Cuomo also stated that he would be pushing for a permanent tax cap in 2019. Democratic Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (Bronx) laid out a similar list of progressive priorities, including reproductive health initiatives, gun safety, affordable housing, tenant rights and passing the Dream Act and Child Victims Act. 

Governor Cuomo announces date for State of the State address
Governor Andrew Cuomo will deliver his State of the State address on Tuesday, January 15. He will likely combine the speech with his Executive Budget presentation and proposal. NYSAR will review and report on the governor’s budget when the legislation is released. 

NYC Council addresses spike in store-sign violations
The New York City Council voted on Wednesday to institute a two-year moratorium on violations related to store signs and awnings after a mysterious spike in 311 complaints that led to costly penalties for small businesses. The bill, which Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to sign, would also create an interagency task force to study the issue, waive or return fines for some past violations, and require the city to provide education and training to help small businesses ensure their signs comply with the law. Read more here

NYC Mayor de Blasio to announce new tenant protection office
Politico reports that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio will announce the creation of the Mayor’s Office to Protect Tenants during his State of the City address scheduled for January 10. The office will be tasked with coordinating city agencies and initiatives that work on tenant and landlord issues. The state legislature may also take up the issue of new state rent laws later in the year. 

NYC vacancy tax proposal
New York City Mayor de Blasio said he will urge state lawmakers to approve legislation that would impose a vacancy tax penalizing landlords who keep storefronts vacant for extended periods. Read more here.

Government Affairs Update for January 4, 2019

Governor Cuomo signs NYSAR-supported AMC legislation into law
Governor Cuomo recently signed into law NYSAR-supported legislation that will require the registration of Appraisal Management Companies (AMCs). The Governor signed Chapter 517 on December 28, 2018. The law will take effect in late April and authorizes the Department of State to issue certificates of registration to AMCs for a period of two years. The legislation was necessary due to changes in federal regulations requiring that states license and regulate AMCs for these companies to operate in the state. NYSAR would like to extend its gratitude to appraiser members Carol DiSanto, Rebecca Jones and Stephen Roefaro for their diligent efforts on helping to get this legislation passed and signed into law. 

NAR helps secure FEMA Reversal on new flood policies during shutdown
Congress on Dec. 21 passed legislation that extends the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) until May 31, 2019. In an unexpected policy decision, FEMA on Dec. 26 said it couldn't allow insurers to issue and renew federal policies while the partial government shutdown was ongoing. NAR, along with other organizations expressed concerns urging a reversal of that ruling. As a result, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reversed its ruling and will continue issuing and renewing flood insurance policies. Read more here

Assembly Housing Committee holds hearing on NYS Homes and Community Renewal
NYSAR staff attended an Assembly Housing Committee public hearing on December 20, 2018 in Albany regarding oversight of the 2018-19 state budget for New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR). The hearing focused on HCR’s affordable housing programs and funding. Several witnesses testified on various topics including expiring rent control laws, source of income legislation and public housing. For more information click here

Judge issues injunction blocking enforcement of new Airbnb law in NYC
A federal judge issued a preliminary injunction against New York City’s new Airbnb law after a lawsuit argued that it would violate the privacy of hosts and constitute government overreach. The new Airbnb law, which passed over the summer and was supposed to go into effect this February, would require the company to make monthly disclosures of booking information, including host names and addresses. The regulations are stalled for the time being as the lawsuit moves forward. Read more here.

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