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November 2018 Government Affairs Update Archive

Government Affairs Update for November 30, 2018

State begins process to update Uniform Building and Energy Codes
The Department of State released proposed amendments to the State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code (Uniform Code) and the State Energy Conservation Construction Code (Energy Code) following the release of the 2018 International Code Council recommendations. Under the state rule development process, any amendments must go through a public hearing process and are pending approval by the State Fire Prevention and Building Code Council. Proposed amendments to the Codes can be found here. NYSAR will continue to provide updates as it reviews the proposed amendments and plans to submit comments. The next Code Council hearing is December 5 at 10 a.m. and can be streamed live here

National Flood Insurance Program requires another extension from Congress
The reauthorization deadline of the National Flood Insurance Program is Friday, November 30. Congress is expected to renew the program as REALTORS continue to advocate for a long-term solution. Incoming 2019 NAR President John Smaby has called on the incoming Congress to pass a long-term reauthorization of the NFIP, which can be read here

First-time home buyer savings account (NY First Home) study bill sent to Governor Cuomo for consideration
On November 27, NYSAR-supported legislation to require the state to study the opportunities and impact of a first-time home buyer savings account in New York State was sent to Governor Cuomo for his consideration to sign the bill into law. The Governor will make his recommendation by December 8. NYSAR will continue to express to the Governor’s office its support of the program and will be in contact with the state Department of Housing and Community Renewal, the state agency tasked with issuing the study report, for updates. 

Attend NYSAR’s NYC Issues Working Group Meeting – Dec. 12 at 11 a.m.
NYSAR’s New York City Issues Working Group will meet on Wednesday, December 12 at 11 a.m. at The Parkside Group offices at 132 Nassau Street, Suite 400 in New York, to offer an opportunity for all REALTOR members residing in NYC and its surrounding communities to discuss NYC-centric REALTOR issues. Staff will provide a post-election outlook and the Parkside Group will update members on commercial rent control legislation, coop legislation efforts, the NYC property tax study and residential fire sprinkler bill introduced by the City Council. RSVP by Dec. 7 to Franklin Essen at fesson@nysar.com or call 518-463-0300 ext. 216. Lunch will be provided. Feel free to use and distribute this flyer.


Government Affairs Update for November 23, 2018

Save the Date (CORRECTION): NYSAR Lobby Day – May 7, 2019
All REALTORS are welcome to attend NYSAR’s Annual Lobby Day in Albany on Tuesday, May 7, 2019. Lobby Day provides members the opportunity to meet one-on-one with state lawmakers to discuss REALTOR issues. NYSAR will provide breakfast and lunch as well as reimburse members for some travel and hotel expenses. More details to come. A prior email listed Lobby Day as May 19, however the correct date is May 7, 2018. 

HGAR advocacy efforts helps advance new coop disclosure bill in Westchester
On November 19, the Westchester County Legislature voted 13 to 4 to pass a bill that will create a timeline for coop boards to decide whether to accept or deny potential home buyers. If signed into law by County Executive George Latimer, coop boards in the county will have 15 days to either acknowledge a completed application or inform the potential purchaser of a defect in the application. Boards will then have 60 days to accept or reject a completed application. Hudson Gateway Association of REALTORS lobbied county lawmakers and engaged the public on this issue through a successful REALTOR Call for Action. Read more here

Rep. Chris Collins and Anthony Brindisi declare wins after absentee ballot counts
Republican incumbent Rep. Chris Collins, who was indicted on federal charges, appears to have enough votes to defeat Democrat Nate McMurray for the 27th Congressional District as absentee ballot counting winds down in Western New York. Democrat Anthony Brindisi is declaring victory against Republican incumbent Rep. Claudia Tenney for the 22nd Congressional District in Central New York, which also came down to absentee ballots. 

Attend NYSAR’s NYC Issues Working Group Meeting – Dec. 12 at 11 a.m.
NYSAR’s New York City Issues Working Group will meet on Wednesday, December 12 at 11 a.m. at The Parkside Group offices at 132 Nassau Street, Suite 400 in New York, to offer an opportunity for all REALTOR members residing in NYC and its surrounding communities to discuss NYC-centric REALTOR issues. Staff will provide a post-election outlook and the Parkside Group will update members on commercial rent control legislation, the NYC property tax study and the residential fire sprinkler bill introduced by the City Council. RSVP by Dec. 7 to Franklin Essen at fesson@nysar.com or call 518-463-0300 ext. 216. Lunch will be provided. Feel free to use and distribute this flyer.


Government Affairs Update for November 16, 2018

Save the Date: NYSAR Lobby Day – May 19, 2019
All REALTORS are welcome to attend NYSAR’s Annual Lobby Day in Albany on Tuesday, May 19, 2019. Lobby Day provides members the opportunity to meet one-on-one with state lawmakers to discuss REALTOR issues. NYSAR will provide breakfast and lunch as well as reimburse members for some travel and hotel expenses. More details to come. 

Attend NYSAR’s NYC Issues Working Group Meeting – Dec. 12 at 11 a.m.
NYSAR’s New York City Issues Working Group will meet on Wednesday, December 12 at 11 a.m. at The Parkside Group offices at 132 Nassau Street, Suite 400 in New York, to offer an opportunity for all REALTOR members residing in NYC and its surrounding communities to discuss NYC-centric REALTOR issues. Staff will provide a post-election outlook and the Parkside Group will update members on commercial rent control legislation, the NYC property tax study and the residential fire sprinkler bill introduced by the City Council. RSVP by Dec. 7 to Franklin Essen at fesson@nysar.com or call 518-463-0300 ext. 216. Lunch will be provided. Feel free to use and distribute this flyer

NY Amazon deal faces opposition, requires state board approval
Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a plan to provide $3 billion in grants and tax breaks to incentivize online retailer Amazon to establish a headquarters in Long Island City in New York. Key elements of the plan still need approval from state legislative leaders through a three-member Public Authorities Control Board. Senator Michael Gianaris, who represents Long Island City and is the Senate Deputy Democratic Leader, has been a vocal opponent to the deal, along with other city and state officials. 

NYC leaders call for phase-out of commercial tax break programs
NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson and Finance Committee Chair Daniel Dromm on Nov. 14 called for the sunset of the city’s Commercial Revitalization Program and Commercial Expansion Program. The programs are meant to reduce real estate vacancy rates, boost employment, and encourage property renovations through tax incentives. The Independent Budget Office was tasked with reviewing the programs and issued a report calling into question their effectiveness. Read more here.


Government Affairs Update for November 9, 2018

2018 Election summary: NY Democrats win statewide races and new majority in State Senate
On November 6, Democratic candidates swept all statewide elected offices. Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul won a third term defeating Republican challengers Marc Molinaro and Julie Killian. Letitia James will become the first African American woman to be elected to statewide office defeating Republican Keith Wofford for Attorney General. State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli won his third full term defeating Republican Jonathan Trichter. State Senate Democrats picked up an additional 8 seats, taking the majority for the second time in 50 years with 39 seats total. Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins is likely to become the Senate’s first female Majority Leader. Assembly Democrats saw a net loss of 1 seat, however still hold a super-majority of 107 seats out of 150. At the federal level, Democrats gained the majority in the U.S. House with 224 seats while Republicans expanded its majority in the U.S. Senate to 53 seats. Read more here.

NYSAR prepares for new Legislative Session
NYSAR has enjoyed a productive working-relationship with both Democrats and Republicans in the State Legislature and is looking forward to continuing that relationship as leadership and committee chair positions change ahead of the new Legislative Session beginning January. NYSAR’s 2019 Legislative Priorities will be released in the coming months and presented to all state lawmakers in order to make sure REALTOR concerns are heard and to maintain an open dialogue with lawmakers and their staff. 

Incoming Attorney General James to appoint Underwood Solicitor General
Attorney General-elect Letitia James announced she would keep her predecessor, Barbara Underwood, on as State Solicitor General. Underwood held the role as Solicitor General before being appointed Attorney General in May 2018 following the resignation of Eric Schneiderman. Read more here

Track REALTOR Party-supported candidates
REALTORS can track and search REALTOR Party-supported candidates and races in New York and the rest of the country for the 2018 elections. In New York, there were seven candidates supported at the state level, including two REALTOR members, and five candidates supported at the federal level. Learn more here

Rep. Maxine Waters likely to chair House Financial Services Committee
With Democrats winning the U.S. House majority, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) is the most likely candidate to chair the House Financial Services Committee, replacing Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) who is retiring. Rep. Waters placed the National Flood Insurance Program at the top of the list of priorities, which is set to expire again at the end of this month. She has been a strong advocate for a long-term reauthorization of the NFIP in the past.


Government Affairs Update for November 2, 2018

Don’t forget to VOTE on Tuesday, November 6
Make sure your voice is heard this election – make time to vote this Tuesday, November 6. Find your poling place here. Being a REALTOR who votes helps ensure that local, state and federal lawmakers are addressing the issues important to REALTORS and our industry. You can also tune in to the REALTOR Party live election coverage starting at 8 p.m. on election day here

NAR survey shows first-time home buyers still struggling – shows need for NY First Home
NAR released its 2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers survey which showed that the share of first-time home buyers continued a 3-year decline, falling to 33 percent, and near-historic low. NYSAR is continuing its work with state lawmakers and the Division of Housing and Community Renewal to study the need and impact of a statewide first-time home buyer savings account. This topic will continue to be a priority heading into the 2019 Legislative Session. Learn more about the NY First Home proposal at nyfirsthome.com. 

Video series: What REALTORS need to know about the new Tax Law
NAR’s Director of Federal Tax Policy provides REALTORS with an overview of 2018’s new tax laws and how it may impact your upcoming personal and business tax filings. The four-part video series highlights changes in federal tax rates, standard deduction, personal exemptions and the mortgage interest deduction. It also covers limits in state and local tax deductions, retention of capital gains exclusion and the addition of a 20 percent business income deduction. Learn more here

National study ranks New York 3rd “least tax-friendly state” in the country
Business and finance publication, Kiplinger, released an analysis comparing all the various taxes imposed by states, including state income, property, sales, gas, vehicle and estate taxes, among others. New York ranked 3rd worst state for taxpayers. New York’s property taxes are among the highest in the country, being about $4,700 on a median home value of $286,300, with some Westchester County homeowners paying more than $17,000 in property taxes. Read more here.

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