October 2017 Government Affairs Update Archive

Government Affairs Update for Oct. 27, 2017

Update: Congress takes a step closer to tax reform 
On Oct. 26, House Republicans passed a budget measure in a vote of 216-212 unlocking procedural powers that allows the U.S. Senate to pass a tax reform bill with just 51 votes and evade Democratic filibusters. Seven of the nine New York State House Republicans voted "no" on the budget vote, voicing concern with any tax reform legislation that eliminates state and local tax (SALT) deductions. NYSAR joined the Association of Towns, NYS Conference of Mayors, NYS School Boards Association and the NYS Association of Counties thanking those House members for their "no" vote in a statement last Thursday. NYSAR met with the NY Congressional Delegation in D.C. the day before the House vote to urge lawmakers to reject any tax reform measures that would eliminate the SALT deductions, while also advocating to protect the Mortgage Interest Deduction and 1031 like-kind exchanges. House Republicans are expected introduce a tax reform bill on Nov. 1 with the intent to pass it before Thanksgiving. 

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.

NYSAR CEO joined with Sen. Schumer and Gov. Cuomo to protect homeownership
NYSAR CEO Duncan MacKenzie joined with Sen. Chuck Schumer and Gov. Andrew Cuomo in Selkirk, NY on Oct. 23 to oppose the repeal or reduction of state and local tax (SALT) deductions. “We support efforts to reform the federal tax code to create a more simplified and fair system, but eliminating the deduction of state and local taxes, including property taxes, will only serve to hurt New Yorkers disproportionately compared to other states," said MacKenzie. Read more here.

NYS pushes back on Hudson River oil barges
Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill into law that gives the state Department of Environmental Conservation added power to ban storage of oil barges on the Hudson River. NYSAR submitted testimony to the U.S. Coast Guard expressing concerns with federal plans to establish new anchorage sites for oil barges along the river. Read more here

Lawsuit filed against Long Island real estate fee hikes 
A lawsuit has been filed in state Supreme Court asking that the Suffolk County’s $200 tax map verification fee, increased from $60 in 2015, and its $300 mortgage recording fee, created in 2016, be struck down. A similar suit is expected to be filed in Nassau County as well. Read more here.

Foreclosures in NYC hit recession-era levels

The number of first-time foreclosures in the five boroughs of New York City reached 859 during the third quarter of the year, part of a dramatic increase to levels last seen at the start of the Great Recession. The Bronx and Brooklyn saw the most dramatic increases according to a report from Crain’s New York.

NYS launches $9.3 million Project UPLIFT to elevate homes on Staten Island and in Brooklyn
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the launch of Project UPLIFT, a $9.3 million home elevation program for eligible low to moderate income New York City homeowners in Staten Island and Brooklyn that are vulnerable to flooding. Homes must be in the 100-year floodplain and be ineligible for assistance through other home elevation programs. Read more here.

Government Affairs Update for Oct. 20, 2017

Answer the tax reform Call for Action – Protect NYS homeownership
There has never been a more crucial time to take action on behalf of homeownership in New York State. Current tax reform proposals would devalue the Mortgage Interest Deduction and eliminate the deductibility of state and local taxes, including property taxes. If enacted, these proposals would harm New York’s economy, hurt working families and crush the American Dream of Homeownership. Protect homeownership in New York State by clicking here, then ask your colleagues, friends, family and clients send the same message to their representatives.

Senate passes budget, clearing path for tax reform
On Oct. 19, Senate Republicans passed a budget measure with a vote of 51-49 that clears the way to advance tax reform. Democrats and Sen. Rand Paul voted no. The Senate's vote on a budget resolution unseals a procedural tool, known as reconciliation that Republicans could use to pass a tax bill without a single Democratic vote. Neither the Senate nor House has produced a tax reform bill, however. Read more here.

NYS approves new title insurance regulations
The New York State Department of Financial Services announced approval of new title insurance regulations that “clarify rules about marketing expenses including meals and entertainment, and ancillary fees that title agents or title insurers may charge the insured at closing,” and “require title insurance companies or agents that generate a portion of their business from affiliates to function separately and independently from any affiliate and be open for business from other sources.” For a full look at the final rules, click here and here. NYSAR is further examining these new regulations.

Governor Cuomo addresses talks of compromise on SALT deduction
Governor Cuomo commented, "One suggestion is to allow either the deduction of state and local taxes or the deduction of mortgage interest on your home. That is not a compromise.” He continued, "The simple truth is this: No state in the country donates more tax revenue to the federal government than New York. We are the number one donor state in the country, sending $48 billion more in tax dollars than we get back in federal spending.” Read the full statement here.

NYSAR to meet with NY elected officials in D.C. on tax reform
On Oct. 25, NYSAR President Dawn Carpenter and leadership will visit New York Congress members and Senators in Washington D.C. to urge them to protect the state and local tax deduction, the mortgage interest deduction and the preservation of 1031 like-kind exchanges as tax reform negotiations continue.

Government Affairs Update for Oct. 13, 2017

GOP lawmakers continue talks towards compromise on state, local tax deduction
Politico reports that recent discussions amongst Republican lawmakers in Washington have involved proposals capping the deduction on those with incomes between $200,000 to $400,000, or phasing out the deduction based on income level. Lawmakers from New York and New Jersey have argued that their constituents contribute a greater share of federal tax revenue but get less back than those from lower-tax areas, and would be extremely harmed if the state and local tax deduction was eliminated. A decision won’t be revealed until a tax bill gets introduced, according to Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas). Read more here.

NYSAR to meet with NY elected officials in D.C. on tax reform
NYSAR President Dawn Carpenter and leadership will visit New York Congress members and Senators in Washington D.C. urging them to protect the state and local tax deduction as well as the mortgage interest deduction and the preservation of 1031 like-kind exchanges as tax reform negotiations continue. NYSAR has been vocal on this issue since May of this year during its annual Lobby Day in Albany.

Ithaca REALTORS oppose town board real property restriction proposals
Ithaca REALTORS have expressed their opposition to a proposed law issued by the Town Board of Ithaca that would require all new two-family buildings and accessory dwelling units (ADU) to be owner-occupied (either in the ADU or the primary unit), and to mandate that all properties in the town with an ADU have a rental operating permit. View the town board’s proposals to learn more.

NAR reviews health care executive order
NAR has long supported legislation enabling the creation of Association Health Plans (AHPs), as well as other similar efforts to expand health insurance options for REALTORS. While the executive order’s AHP provision does not appear to apply to independent contractors, NAR will continue to work with the administration and Congress on regulatory and legislative changes needed to make Association Health Plans a workable option for REALTORS. Read more here.

Government Affairs Update for Oct. 6, 2017

NAR analysis shows mortgage interest and real estate tax deductions by Congressional District
NAR released data showing the average amount deducted as a result of the Mortgage Interest Deduction and real estate tax deduction by Congressional District throughout the country. The interactive map can be found here. Also, keep up on the latest news on federal tax reform proposals and possible effects on REALTORS and the housing market by visiting NAR’s tax reform issues webpage.

Governor convenes panel to address congestion pricing in NYC
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is convening a panel of transportation and business experts to forge a set of proposals addressing congestion on New York City streets and to find a dedicated funding stream for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The panel will report its findings and recommendations in December. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has opposed congestion pricing. Read more here.

State Senate hearing on Lake Ontario flooding Oct. 10
The state Senate will hold a hearing on Oct. 10 to examine the flooding of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River this past summer, which caused millions of dollars in property damage in the Great Lakes region. The hearing will be held in the town of Mexico in Oswego County at Mexico High School, starting at 4 p.m. Read more here.

Senate Majority Leader Flanagan calls for permanent property tax cap
Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan called on Governor Cuomo and the state Legislature to make the property tax cap permanent next session. The Tax Cap was passed in 2011 and was backed by NYSAR. Read more here.

Cuomo budget letter again asks for no growth
Governor Cuomo’s administration released a budget letter asserting that his 2019 Executive Budget will hold spending growth below two percent again, and asked government agencies to hold their operating spending flat. Read the letter here.
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