November 2017 Government Affairs Update Archive

Government Affairs Update for Nov. 22, 2017

U.S. Senate push for tax reform vote by Nov. 30 – Urge all REALTORS to take action!

The Senate released its 515-page tax reform bill on Monday, Nov. 20, with the hopes of a full floor vote by Nov. 30. The House already passed its version of tax reform. Senate Republicans hold a 52-48 majority, so they can afford only two defections on the bill with Vice President Mike Pence providing a tiebreaker vote. More than 8,200 New York REALTORS have successfully taken action urging Congress to oppose these tax reform proposals out of the more than 55,000 REALTOR members statewide. Please urge friends, family and colleagues to take action today here.


FCC plan to end net neutrality hurts REALTORS
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a plan on Tuesday, Nov. 21, to repeal rules that ensure equal access to the internet, clearing the way for internet service companies to charge users more to see certain content. NAR is concerned that ending net neutrality will make it harder for real estate companies, multiple listing services and property data aggregators to provide their services in a cost-effective way. Read more here.
Democrats look to run for vacated State Senate seat in Westchester

Chris Burdick, Democratic town supervisor of Bedford, has filed papers with the state Board of Elections to run for the state Senate seat being vacated at the end of the year by Westchester County Executive-elect George Latimer. People for Bernie co-founder Kat Brezler has also filed to run. Assemblywoman Shelley Mayer and Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano have expressed interest in running for the Senate seat as well.


Government Affairs Update for Nov. 17, 2017

REALTORS respond to advancement of tax reform bills
The House of Representatives passed their tax reform bill (H.R. 1) on Thursday, Nov. 16, with a vote of 227-205. Five GOP members from New York voted against the bill (Reps. Donovan, Faso, King, Stefanik and Zeldin). On the same day, the U.S. Senate advanced their version of tax reform legislation out of the Senate Finance Committee, setting the stage for a floor vote after Thanksgiving. REALTORS are continuing the Call for Action, now targeting the Senate. NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall had this to say: “It’s disappointing to see this legislation move forward, but the real work to shape this debate is just getting started… Make no mistake, middle-class homeowners will see their home values fall if this proposal moves forward, while large corporations walk away with the bulk of the tax cuts.” President Mendenhall’s full statement can be found here. If you have not taken action yet on this critical issue, which has the potential to change the entire housing market, please do so today.

House passes 5-year flood insurance extension
The House of Representatives passed legislation Tuesday, Nov. 14, to reform and reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for five years. The bill, which is backed by NAR, still needs Senate approval. It remains unclear whether the long-sought five-year extension will be passed before the program expires on Dec. 8, 2017. Read more here.
Trump approves Lake Ontario disaster declaration
President Trump declared New York's Lake Ontario shoreline a disaster area, opening up federal funding for recovery efforts from flooding that took place there between May 2 and Aug. 6. State and local governments will be eligible to apply for federal money for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by flooding in Niagara, Orleans, Oswego, Wayne, St. Lawrence and Jefferson counties. The addition of Monroe and Cayuga counties is under review. Read more here.
Race for NYC Council speaker heats up
There are eight City Council members still vying for the position of New York City Council Speaker, which will be voted on in January by the 51 City Council members. Read more on here.

Government Affairs Update for Nov. 9, 2017

Tax reform continues to morph – harms New York homeowners
The U.S. Senate version of a tax reform bill is expected to be released on Thursday, Nov. 9, and will be carefully reviewed following the passage of last week’s House bill which REALTORS are staunchly opposed to. The Senate’s version of a tax reform bill is also expected to severely harm New York’s homeowners by imposing a full repeal of state and local tax (SALT) deductions, rather than the cap on property tax deductions proposed by the House. Please take action today and tell Congress to preserve homeownership!

REALTORS across the country fly in to Washington on tax reform – take action!
REALTORS across the country will fly in to D.C. on Nov. 14 and 15 to speak directly with senators and Congressmembers to strongly urge them to oppose any tax reform legislation that eliminates or nullifies tax incentives for homeownership or puts New York home values and homeowners at risk. Please take action today and tell Congress to preserve homeownership!

Tax reform legislation and its negative impact on housing prices
NAR released data showing that homeowners could lose substantial equity from a more than 10-percent drop in home values likely to result if the proposed tax reform legislation is enacted. The interactive map can be found here.

Election results across New York State
Local elections were held across New York State on Nov. 7. Notable results include: Democrat George Latimer defeating Republican incumbent Rob Astorino for Westchester County Executive; Democrat Laura Curran defeating Republican Jack Martins for Nassau County Executive; and Republican Steve McLaughlin declaring victory over Democrat Andrea Smyth for Rensselaer County Executive. A detailed list of Tuesday’s election results around the state can be found here.

Government Affairs Update for Nov. 3, 2017

Update: GOP House tax reform bill weakens NY home deductions – Take action!
On Nov. 9, House Republicans introduced their Tax Reform bill, which dilutes the Mortgage Interest Deduction by capping it for newly purchased homes at $500,000 rather than the existing $1 million, limits the state and local property tax deduction to $10,000, and eliminates the ability to deduct state and local income and sales taxes. Eliminating or nullifying the tax incentives for homeownership puts New York home values and homeowners at risk. Please take action today and tell Congress to preserve homeownership!

NY REALTORS must voice concern in Call for Action
REALTORS must voice concern over recent Congressional action towards tax reform mentioned above that could severely harm New York homeowners, buyers and sellers by taking action here! You can also see your local board’s participation rate on this Call for Action here.

NYC hearing on coop legislation scheduled for Nov. 8
The New York City Council Committee on Housing and Buildings will be holding a hearing on Nov. 8, at 10 a.m., at City Hall on two bills (here and here) regarding the application process for cooperative apartments. NYSAR is scheduled to deliver testimony.

Trump nominates Jerome Powell as next Fed Chair
President Donald Trump nominated Jerome H. Powell to chair the Federal Reserve on Thursday, bypassing Janet L. Yellen for a second term but turning to a replacement who is expected to stay the course on monetary policy if the economy continues its steady growth. Read more here.
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