September 2018 Government Affairs Update Archive

Government Affairs Update for September 29, 2018

Guide to the 2018 state Senate elections
City and State provides an analysis of November’s State Senate races and possible toss-ups that could impact which party will control the 63-member Senate in 2019. The publication believes 13 seats are in play with only three seats being held by Democratic incumbents, meaning the remaining 10 seats must be defended by Republicans to maintain a majority next year. Learn more.
Voter Registration Deadlines
REALTORS registering to vote or changing an address/party affiliation must submit a new voter application no later than October 12 in order to vote in the general election on November 6. Those looking to register to vote can be directed to the state online voter registration application or register during the Fall Business Meetings at Turning Stone this weekend. Learn more. 
Ulster County Legislature proposes residential fire sprinkler installation mandate
During a September 17 committee meeting by the Ulster County Legislature, a local law (Local Law 22) proposal was introduced which would require the installation of residential fire sprinklers in all new construction homes in the county. NYSAR is currently fighting against a similar proposal before the Albany County Legislature that was introduced in May of this year. NYSAR will continue to monitor and engage local officials on this issue. Learn more.
Sign up for REALTOR Party Mobile Alerts for chance to win $50 Amazon gift card
If you're attending the Fall Business Meetings at Turning Stone Resort and Casino this weekend, sign up for REALTOR Party Mobile Alerts to receive important Call for Action text messages for a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card, as well as a chance to win a $250 gift card from the National Association of REALTORS. To sign up for text alerts, REALTORS can text the word, “NYREALTOR” to 30644. You will only receive a few texts per year on important Calls for Action. Learn more.
Judge rules against NYC’s motion to dismiss wide-ranging property tax lawsuit
An organization of developers and homeowners, called Tax Equity Now New York, is suing New York City and the state over the way property taxes are assessed and collected. Developers of rental buildings, who are helping fund the lawsuit, feel particularly aggrieved about the manner in which their properties are assessed. The judge’s ruling will allow the lawsuit to go forward in state Supreme Court in Manhattan. Learn more. 

Government Affairs Update for September 22, 2018

NYC sues mortgage holders of five Brooklyn 'zombie homes'
New York City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development filed lawsuits Wednesday against two lenders and three mortgage servicing companies seeking over $1 million in fines and reimbursements, alleging the financial firms failed to properly maintain the properties under the state’s 2016 “Zombie Homes” law. The new law was created to identify properties where mortgage holders were neglecting upkeep on vacant homes nearing foreclosure, undermining property values and contributing to neighborhood decay. Read more here. 

Text the word “REALTORS” to 30644 for chance to win $250 Amazon gift card
Respond to important REALTOR Calls for Action more conveniently by signing up for REALTOR Party Mobile Alerts. Simply text the word, “REALTOR” to 30644 to receive short text messages only when there is a national or state legislative Call for Action. Sign up today and you will be entered to win a $250 Amazon gift card. Read more here.

Rep. Collins keeps name on ballot, will actively campaign
Republican Rep. Chris Collins said he will remain on the ballot in November and will actively campaign for re-election in the 27th Congressional District despite suspending his campaign in August after being indicted on felony charges of fraud, conspiracy and lying to the FBI. If convicted, Collins would be expelled from the House of Representatives. The Democratic opponent is Grand Island town supervisor Nathan McMurray. Read more here.

Congressional elections updated analysis
Online news outlet, FiveThirtyEight updated its analysis of November’s Congressional races and the chances of party-control flipping in the Senate and House of Representatives. Its analysis gave Republicans a 7 in 10 chance of maintaining control of the Senate, and gave Democrats a 4 in 5 chance of flipping the House. It went on to say that GOP Reps. Stefanik, Zeldon, King, and Donovan are likely safe Republican seats. Republican Rep. Faso’s race has been rated as a “toss-up.” Rep. Claudia Tenney’s district has been changed to “lean Democrat,” and Rep. Chris Collins’ district has been changed to “lean Republican.” Read more here

Legislative Policy Forum Speakers at Fall Business Meetings
NYSAR’s Legislative Policy Forum on Tuesday, October 2 at 11 a.m. will feature a political discussion on how the November elections could change the political makeup of the state and federal government and its potential impact on real estate. Guest speakers include Steve Greenberg of Greenberg Public Relations and NAR Field Representative Zack Rubin-McCarry.

Government Affairs Update for September 15, 2018

State Primary Election results – Cuomo wins; State Senate upsets
Governor Andrew Cuomo defeated Cynthia Nixon in the Democratic Primary for governor with 64% of the vote. Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul also won re-election in her Democratic Primary against NYC Councilmember Jumaane Williams 48% to 42%. Letitia James, who was endorsed by Gov. Cuomo, won a four-way Democratic Primary for Attorney General with 38% of the vote. Democratic insurgent candidatesdefeated six out of the eight State Sen. Incumbents and former members of the Independent Democratic Coalition (IDC): Sens. Klein, Avella, Peralta, Hamilton, Alcantara and Valesky. They were defeated by Alessandra Biaggi, John Liu, Jessica Ramos, Zellnor Myrie, Robert Jackson and Rachel May, respectively. Also notable, Democratic socialist candidate Julia Salazar defeated incumbent State Sen. Martin Dilan. The State Board of Elections has updates and results from all statewide, Senate and Assembly races around the state here.

Government Affairs Update for September 8, 2018

Vote in NY’s Primary Elections this Thursday, September 13
Don’t forget to vote in the state’s primary election this Thursday, September 13. Primary voters will decide party candidates for statewide offices of governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and comptroller, as well as a number of state Senate and Assembly districts. Find your polling place here. A full list of candidates running for offices across the state can be found here.

NAR White Paper: Fair Housing and ADA on service animals
NAR recently released a White Paper covering federal laws that protect persons with disabilities as it relates to service animals and reasonable accommodations in housing. NYSAR has been working with NAR to help address concerns with abuse of the right to request accommodations. NAR is also working with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to issue new guidance that could restrict access to emotional support animals. Learn more.

Property-tax-rebate checks being delivered to homeowners
The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance mailed out more than 350,000 property-tax-rebate checks to homeowners throughout the state. The statewide average this year is $350. The state rebate check program, which went into effect in 2016, is based on household income and is a percentage of a homeowner’s STAR rebate. Learn more. 

New York City Property Tax Panel mulling first changes in 20 years
The New York City Advisory Commission on Property Tax Reform, formed by Mayor Bill de Blasio, is considering steps to make changes to the city’s property tax system for the first time in 20 years. The panel will meet again on September 20 and will then hold public testimony sessions across the city. The panel is expected to provide recommendations to city officials on ways to improve the city’s property tax system in the coming months. Learn more.

Government Affairs Update for September 1, 2018

Cuomo and Nixon hold first and only debate before Sept. 13 primary
Governor Andrew Cuomo and challenger Cynthia Nixon participated in their first and only Democratic gubernatorial debate on Wednesday at Hofstra University on Long Island. Main topics of the debate included: single-payer health care; funding for the MTA; and campaign finance reform. Candidates also looked to take the offensive by criticizing their opponent on a variety of personal and political issues.

IRS moves to block NY plan to skirt SALT deduction cap
The Internal Revenue Service issued guidance warning that the charitable workarounds that New York, New Jersey and Connecticut approved following the new federal cap on deductions for state and local taxes aren’t acceptable to the federal government. The Treasury rules provide some leeway for states that provide credits of 15 percent or less of the donation amount. In those cases, taxpayers can deduct the full charitable contribution on their federal taxes. New York provides an 85 percent state credit.

New law in NYC requiring smoking policy from landlords
New York City adopted a new law, in effect starting August 28, 2018, which requires owners of residential buildings with three or more units, as well as co-op and condo buildings, to adopt an of􀃗cial smoking policy. Under the new law, residential buildings must post their policy in a common space and share it with prospective tenants. The law does not mandate that buildings become smoke-free. 

Spectrum News/Siena College Poll: Brindisi, Rep. Tenney in virtual tie
Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney is in a statistical tie with her Democratic opponent Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi, according to a Spectrum News/Siena College poll released on August 29. The poll found Brindisi leading Tenney 46 percent to 44 percent. Tenney is running for a second term in a House district that stretches from the Mohawk Valley to the Southern Tier.

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