Weekly Report

Government Affairs Update for May 25, 2018

Feds warn New York, other states about tax deduction workarounds
The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service plan to propose regulations addressing the federal income tax treatment and characterization of certain payments that give taxpayers a credit against their state and local taxes, which could make it difficult for New York taxpayers to legally utilize the charitable tax deduction workaround. Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation in April that would let school districts set up charitable trusts that homeowners could donate to in order to work around the new federal $10,000 cap on the deductibility of state and local taxes. Read more here.

Senator Schumer calls on Congress to extend, reform flood program
U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer was on Long Island on Monday, May 21, urging Congress to extend the deadline for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is due to expire on July 31. Schumer said that improvements to the program should include fair and stable insurance costs for homeowners and more accurate flood maps. NAR estimates that any lapse in the program may result in the delay or cancellation of more than 9,000 home sale closings per week nationwide. Read more here

Barbara Underwood voted in as new Attorney General
A joint legislative session of the State Assembly and Senate voted on Tuesday to select the state’s Solicitor General Barbara Underwood to carry out the remainder of the term of Attorney General, replacing Eric Schneiderman. Candidates for Attorney General will be on the ballot this November. Underwood said she will not run for the office. Read more on the candidates running here.

State Democratic and Republican parties hold conventions
The Republican and Democratic parties designate their candidates for statewide offices this week. Any qualified voter registered with a party and residing in the state, however, can still collect 15,000 petitions to get on the ballot for the September primaries if they are not chosen. Gov. Andrew Cuomo (Democrat), who is being challenged by Cynthia Nixon, and Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro (Republican) received their respective party designations. Democrats also designated New York City Public Advocate Letitia James as their candidate for Attorney General, who will face Republican candidate Keith Wofford, New York City attorney. Democratic incumbent Tom DiNapoli is set to run against Republican candidate Jonathan Trichter for state Comtroller. Read more here.
Appraisal management company legislation introduced
New state legislation (A.10831) that would regulate appraisal management companies (AMCs) was introduced on Tuesday by Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski. NYSAR is supportive of this effort and has been working with lawmakers and state departments to enact the new measures. Existing federal regulations require appraisal management companies to be subject to state licensing requirements. These companies will be barred by federal regulation from providing appraisal management services for federally-related transactions in New York if the state does not act to create this new license by August 2018.

Greater Capital Association of REALTORS launches Call for Action
The Greater Capital Association of REALTORS (GCAR) launched a Call for Action to their Albany County members urging them to take action against a county legislature effort to mandate the installation of fire sprinklers in all new one and two-family residential construction in Albany County. This county effort mirrors a statewide effort from 2015 to adopt new state building codes that would have had the same requirement. That effort was defeated before the state Fire Prevention and Building Code Council, however is expected to be readdressed over the next year. NYSAR will continue to monitor the issue and oppose sprinkler mandate proposals at the state and local level.


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