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Weekly Report Archive
July 2018

Weekly Report for July 28, 2018

House passes NFIP extension, Senate yet to vote
On July 25, the U.S. House of Representatives passed an extension of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) through Nov. 30 by a vote of 366 to 52. The bill next moves to the U.S. Senate for hopeful passage with little time to spare before the July 31 deadline. Congress has enacted six short-term extensions of the NFIP since September 2017. Over 3,500 New York REALTORS answered this critical Call for Action urging Congress to act. You can still Take Action here and urge the Senate to pass the extension without any lapse before it’s too late.

Albany County Fire Sprinkler mandate update
On Wednesday, the Albany County Legislature decided to temporarily hold off on advancing a proposal (Local Law “I”) to mandate the installation of fire sprinklers in all new residential construction in the county. The Audit and Finance Committee held the bill in committee without a vote and requested that the bill sponsor provide more information on the impact this mandate could have on residents and the county’s fiscal house. The bill must be passed by three separate committees in order to go before county lawmakers for a full vote. If you are an Albany County resident you can learn more and Take Action here.

Local governments authorized 3,276 new residential units in June
Politico reports that local governments in New York state issued building permits authorizing 3,276 new residential units in June, according to data released Wednesday by the U.S. Census Bureau. The number is 32 percent less than it was in May, but 2 percent more than June 2017. Almost two-thirds of the units were in multifamily buildings with five or more units, while less than one-third were for single-family homes. In 2017, local governments in the state issued building permits authorizing 40,722 new residential units, 19 percent more than in 2016. The area including Albany, Schenectady and Troy approved 311 new units; Rochester approved 174 new units; the Buffalo, Cheektowaga and Niagara Falls region approved 121 new units; and Syracuse authorized 36 new units.

Hochul and Williams first debate for Lieutenant Governor race
On Thursday, Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul and her Democratic primary challenger, NYC Councilman Jumaane Williams had their first debate in Westchester before the September 13 primary election. Both candidates avoided personal attacks or criticism and used their time to lay out policy platforms on topics such as immigration, education, reproductive rights and campaign finance reform. Read more here.

De Blasio launches federal PAC during last mayoral term
This week, Mayor Bill de Blasio will this week launch a new federal leadership PAC called “Fairness PAC,” which will pay for the mayor’s travel and provide direct support to both federal and state candidates. The new PAC could also be used to boost visibility of the mayor and his wife Chirlane McCray if either decide to run for a different public office after de Blasio’s mayoral term expires in 2021.     

Weekly Report for July 21, 2018

New York files suit against federal government
This week New York joined New Jersey, Connecticut and Maryland in filing a joint lawsuit against the federal government.  The suit claims that the new federal tax code undermines states ability to set tax policy and unfairly singles them out by limiting the federal deductibility of state and local taxes to $10,000 per year. Learn more.
 
Political campaigns complete filings
Political campaigns across the state were required to complete their filings earlier this week, which provided a glimpse into their fundraising and spending.  This latest filing report covered the period between January and June 2018.  Gov. Andrew Cuomo raised $6 million in the last six months, resulting in a total of slightly more than $31 million in his campaign coffers.  His Democratic primary challenger raised $1.6 million and has $600,000 remaining, while his Republican general election opponent Marcus Molinaro stated he had raised more than $1 million.  Among the candidates to be the next attorney general for New York, Republican Keith Wofford raised approximately $1 million as did Democratic hopefuls Rep. Sean Patrick Moloney and Tish James. In the race for state comptroller, incumbent Tom DiNapoli easily outpaced his opponent bringing in $660,000 compared to his challenger, Republican Trichter who raised $135,000.


Weekly Report for July 14, 2018

Now is the time to take Action to save the National Flood Insurance Program
With the July 31 expiration deadline rapidy approaching, now is the time to respond to this important Call for Action urging Congress to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Any lapse in the federal program could seriously delay home sales and closings. Through today, only 9 percent of New York REALTORS have responded. NAR has been advocating for a long-term reauthorization of the program along with needed reforms. 

REALTOR television ad airs opposing Albany fire sprinkler mandate
NYSAR and the Greater Capital Association of REALTORS released a television commercial opposing a proposed Albany County mandate that would require the installation of fire sprinkler systems in all new homes. NYSAR and GCAR have issued a Call for Action, and will continue to engage the Albany County Legislature on the issue as it considers the legislation this month.
 
New cease and desist zone in effect in Chestnut Ridge in Rockland County
A new cease and desist zone in the town of Chestnut Ridge in Rockland County went into effect July 1, 2018. The regulation prohibits real estate brokers, salespeople and other persons regularly engaged in the buying and selling of real estate from soliciting a real estate listing from homeowners whose name appears on a Department of State issued cease and desist list. The list, which is updated monthly, can be found here

Assembly Democrats say they will not return for special session
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said Thursday that his Democratic conference would not return to Albany for a special session in response to State Sen. Marty Golden’s call to extend the state’s speed camera program near schools, which expires July 25. Earlier in the week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo calledon the Senate to return to Albany and pass reproductive rights bills.


Weekly Report for July 7, 2018

Title Insurance Industry wins suit against New York State
On Thursday, New York State Supreme Court Judge Eileen Rakower ruled in favor of the state’s title insurance industry, which filed suit in February to block new anti-marketing regulations enacted by the Department of Financial Services. DFS Superintendent Maria Vullo said the agency will appeal the court’s decision. Read more here

Federal Call for Action: Tell Congress to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program
Only 7 percent of New York REALTORS have responded so far. Please answer this important Call for Action urging Congress to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) before the July 31, 2018 expiration deadline. NAR has been advocating for a long-term reauthorization of the program along with needed reforms. The authority to provide any new flood insurance contracts will expire if this program is allowed to lapse and could, therefore, delay home sales and closings.
 
Mitrano declares victory in close democratic primary in 23rd Congressional District
Tracey Mitrano will be the Democratic candidate to run against Republican incumbent Rep. Tom Reed after winning a close primary that came down to absentee ballots against fellow Democrat Max Della Pia. The 23rd Congressional District in the Southern Tier has been represented by Congressman Reed since 2010. Read more here.

Ithaca votes to create SALT workaround fund
The City of Ithaca Common Council voted to create a charitable fund for taxpayers in order to attempt to work around the new $10,000 limit on SALT deductions. City Attorney Ari Lavine said that while the city has chosen to make the option available, it’s possible it will fall through before next year’s filing deadline. The IRS is expected to issue guidance on whether or not it would accept these types of contributions as charitable donations to municipalities. Read more here.

Martz looks to get on ballot to challenge State Sen. Little
After losing the Democratic primary to run against Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik, Democrat Emily Martz is now looking to run against Republican State Sen. Betty Little of Queensbury. Martz must collect 1,000 valid signatures by July 12 to make it on the September primary ballot. Read more here.

New York City advancing rule aimed at curbing tenant harassment
The de Blasio administration is moving forward with a pilot program requiring certain property owners seeking a building permit to first certify that they have not harassed their tenants. The city's Department of Housing Preservation and Development is holding a public hearing on the program in August. The proposed rules would require the owners of buildings that have gone through recent ownership changes or are physically distressed to obtain a certificate of no harassment before obtaining a building permit for major work such as demolition. Read more here.
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