Enlist support to protect North Carolina homeowners from eminent domain of mortgages;
Continue to push for homeowners insurance changes that will make the rate-making process more fair and transparent;
Support efforts related to leasing issues, including increasing the allowed uses for private process servers and making changes to the rental inspections and registrations statutes;
Continue to push for tax credits and grants for film production, historic preservation and mill rehabilitation incentives and economic development for our state;
Continue to protect appropriations for affordable housing initiatives, such as the Housing Trust Fund, a resource for financing affordable housing, and the Workforce Housing Investment Program, a low-income housing grant program;
Support an independent Real Estate Commission rather than a combined agency overseeing all licensing boards in the state;
Guard against consumer protection erosions, such as expansion of license exemptions;
Protect their clients and the industry from negative tax reform changes as the NC Senate renews its tax reform efforts.
Legislative Report December 2015 The Future for Drones December 4, 2015 With the holiday season upon us, drones are expected to be a hot item for both recreational and potentially commercial users, with an estimated 400,000 being purchased in the coming month. As a general rule in order to operate a drone for a commercial purpose, including taking pictures or video of a property for use in a listing, you or the owner of the drone must possess a waiver from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Known as a Section 333 waiver, this allows you to legally operate the drone in what are defined as “low-risk, controlled environments”. FHA Condo Rules Changing November 20, 2015 At last week’s NAR Convention, representatives from the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) announced much needed changes to the FHA policies for condominiums. The changes come in two parts: modifications to insurance and certification which took effect on November 13. “Condos are often the most affordable option for homebuyers, especially first-time homebuyers, and making sure FHA financing is an option is important to supporting homeownership.” NCAR will continue to follow the developments on this issue and keep you updated as the rule-making process moves forward. Sign-up for REALTOR® Party Mobile Alerts for a chance to win $250 October 1, 2015 The typical REALTOR® receives an avalanche of email every day, and it’s easy for a Call for Action alert to get lost in the shuffle. Now there’s an easy way to stay connected outside of your inbox whenever a Call for Action is launched: The REALTOR® Party Mobile Alerts program.
NCAR Legislative Summary: Long Session Edition Throughout this legislative session, NCAR Government Affairs staff diligently worked with legislators to support REALTOR® priorities through all types of legislation. From budget provisions to aesthetic controls and landlord/tenant law changes, REALTORS® achieved numerous successes through strong advocacy by everyone. There are more opportunities for additional success in next year's short session and staff will be working during the interim with supportive legislators on many projects. We have developed a complete Legislative Summary to give you a picture of all that went on during the session and how we are planning for next year. http://ncrealtors.org/overview-government-affairs-menu/319-site-category/government-affairs-newscategory/976-2015-legislative-summary.html
Budget deal reached
One provision in this year’s state budget (H97) was the elimination of the noncommercial underground storage tank fund.
NCAR is concerned that the elimination of this fund could have a negative impact on the real estate market as they believe this fund was vital to the protection of North Carolina’s environment and its property owners.
No change to the current Mortgage Interest and Property Tax deductions.
Restoration of both the residential and income producing historic tax credits through 2020.
The Workforce Housing Loan Program receives $12.5 million in funding in 2015-6 and $15 million in 2016-7.
For this fiscal year (FY15-16), the budget provides $1M in recurring funding for the Economic Development Partnership NC tourism promotion over the current funding level. In the next fiscal year (FY16-17), there is an additional $2M recurring funding for tourism promotion over the current funding level.
Beginning in 2017, the Personal Income Tax rate will decrease to 5.499 percent.
Multiple grants and fund programs also receive funding including:
Job Development and Infrastructure Grants (JDIG) received over $63 million in funding.
The Housing Trust Fund retains its annual funding allocation of approximately $10 million.
No change to the tax distribution equation for counties.
STATE BUDGET RELEASED 9/14/2015
PROGRESS REPORT: HISTORIC PRESERVATION TAX CREDITS
September 4, 2015
This year’s debate on the state’s Historic Preservation Tax Credit program seems to have lasted so long that it may now be eligible for assistance itself. The program has been a topic of much discussion since the beginning of session with support for the program coming from all sides.
Governor McCrory made preserving the program a key part of his legislative agenda. Secretary of Cultural Resources Susan Kluttz has also voiced the administration’s support at dozens of events across the state, often flanked by local REALTORS®.
Prior to the program’s sunset on December 31, 2014, it generated over $1.5 billion in private investment across the state. That investment led to the completion of more than 2,600 projects in 90 of the state’s 100 counties and promoted the revitalization of downtowns and communities.
Each chamber took a different approach on this program in their budgets. The House proposes restoring the program, with spending caps of $20 million for commercial projects and $22,500 for residential projects. The Senate budget provides no funds for the program. Senate leaders also tabled other House bills that restore the program.
The value of this program to communities across North Carolina cannot be overstated. Developments such as Durham’s American Tobacco Campus and Sanford’s Buggy Factory would not have been possible without this program.
NCAR strongly supports the restoration of this program for both commercial and residential properties. The Government Affairs staff continues to work with the program’s champions in both chambers to promote a compromise which will benefit the communities our members represent.
July 8, 2015
The HUD-1/RESPA/TILA/TRID Integration
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB’s) proposed to move the implementation date to October 3, 2015, rather than the earlier required date of August 1.
NAR has created a RESPA/TILA Integration resources section at
www.realtor.org/respa. Webinars, Videos on Overview of Changes, Closing Forms, Procedures.
June 19, 2015
Senate approves budget with tax code changes
Senate budget writers broadened the appropriations bill to include numerous alterations of tax law and other policy areas important to REALTORS®. The Senate version differs significantly from the House version.
Speaker of the House reported that the House will not concur with the Senate’s budget bill. A non-concurrence vote will result in the appointment of a conference committee of House and Senate leaders. The conference committee will attempt to craft a compromise version that can pass both chambers. Given the breadth of divergence on policies and priorities, negotiations over the budget will likely drag on past the end of the fiscal year on June 30 and require passage of a continuation budget to fund state government.
NC REALTORS® oppose erosion of the mortgage interest deduction and property tax deduction and support funding for job-creating economic incentives like the Historic Preservation Tax Credit and Film Incentive Grant Program. NCAR is building coalitions with other interest groups that share our position.
The North Carolina Homeowners Alliance is informing consumers about the ramifications of the Senate’s proposed changes and preparing them for grassroots action. The Alliance is halfway through a four-week advertising and supportive messaging campaign on Facebook and Twitter to thank certain state representatives for pro-homeowner policies in the House budget.
There are two things you can do to prepare for the work ahead:
Join the North Carolina Homeowners Alliance; and
Get Calls for Action on your phone with REALTOR® Party Mobile Alerts. Sign up online or text NCREALTORS to 30644.
May 2015 Update
Legislative Report May 2015
Spotlight on the Issue: Homeowners Insurance Reform
May 8, 2015
Legislators responded to REALTOR® advocacy and our call for reform by filing no fewer than five bills on this topic in the 2015 Session. These bills seek to protect consumers by enhancing the powers of the Insurance Commissioner, reforming the rate-calculating process and limiting the use of “consent to rate” letters.
Legislative Meetings Recap
NC REALTORS® from across the state exercised their grassroots political power in Raleigh this week for the 2015 Legislative Meetings.
Hundreds of NC REALTORS® met at the Legislative Building on Wednesday, April 22 to discuss important topics for all homeowners, including homeowners insurance, rental registration and inspection changes, housing trust fund and economic development. Before meeting with individual representatives and senators, REALTORS® heard from several elected officials including Senator Rick Gunn, Representative Kelly Hastings, Representative Paul Tine and Speaker Tim Moore, to name a few.
The demise of the HUD-1: Will you be ready August 1st?
August 1st, 2015 marks some big changes for closing documents. Are you prepared?
Join us for our next webinar on May 13 at 10am to learn about new regulations and practices that are going to have a big impact on real estate closings and the way real estate agents and closing attorneys work together.
April 2015 Update
Commission Requests Fee Increase
March 20, 2015
The North Carolina Real Estate Commission recently voted to request legislation to increase the license application fees. Sen. Rick Gunn (Alamance) filed SB 294 this week. If approved, the application fee would increase to $100 effective January 1, 2016. The Commission could increase the fee thereafter, but not by more than $10 during a 12-month period. The bill caps the fee at $200. The renewal fee cap would also increase, but not the fee itself.
Commission staff says the actual cost of processing an application is roughly $100, but the current fee is only $30. License renewal fees – currently $45 and capped at $50 – are effectively subsidizing the cost of new applicants.
NCAR is in favor of the effort to update fees to more accurately reflect costs, and applauds Sen. Gunn, as well as his cosponsors, Sens. Michael Lee, Tom McInnis, Jane Smith, and Andy Wells, for their support.
N.C. Realtors® support Sen. Lee’s bill to protect homeowners
March 27, 2015
Greensboro – North Carolina Association of Realtors® President Tony Smith applauded Sen. Mike Lee (New Hanover) for filing legislation to end consent to rate letters from property insurers. Sen. Lee’s bill would close the legal loophole that forces homeowners to pay higher premiums or risk cancellation of their policy.
Under current law, insurers can bypass Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin’s authority to deny a rate increase by issuing a consent to rate letter. The letter states that the homeowner must agree to a premium increase in order to keep the policy. In 2013, premiums rose by an average of 7 percent. In 2014, insurers requested an average increase of 25 percent. Insurers appealed the Commissioner’s denial of the rate increase.
Historical Preservation Tax Credit
March 20, 2015
The tax credit expired December 31, 2014. Governor McCrory and Secretary Kluttz have emphasized the credit’s pivotal role in downtown economic development and revitalization efforts. Since 1998, more than 2,400 historic tax credit projects have created more than $1.6 billion of private investment to North Carolina.
NCAR supports the reauthorization of the credit, and REALTORS® throughout the state continue to promote its importance in their home communities.
To sign petition: http://www.historictaxcredits.org/s287/?src=home
Governor Pat McCrory has released his $21.5 billion budget for fiscal year 2015-2016. Among his proposals, he recommended the continuation of the Historic Preservation Tax Credit. This credit sunset on December 31, 2014.
NCAR 2015 President Tony Smith has issued a press release praising four legislators: Representatives Paul Tine (Kitty Hawk), Mitchell Setzer (Catawba), John Bell (Goldsboro) and Darren Jackson (Raleigh) for sponsoring HB 151. This bill will ensure fairness and transparency in the homeowners insurance ratemaking process. *Members’ advocacy causes policy change in Raleigh
On Friday, February 27, NCAR released the Call For Action (CFA) “Say ‘No’ to Taxing Vulnerable Homeowners.” In the CFA, members asked their legislators to remove a provision in SB20/HB 40 that targeted approximately 4,000 households. *N.C. Realtors® applaud legislators for insurance reform bill
North Carolina Association of Realtors® President Tony Smith today praised legislators for sponsoring a bill to enact cost-saving reforms to the homeowners insurance rate-making process. Representatives Paul Tine (Kitty Hawk), Mitchell Setzer (Catawba), Darren Jackson (Raleigh) and John Bell (Goldsboro) sponsored HB151. *Say “No” to taxing vulnerable homeowners
The House Finance Committee voted on March 3 to remove the mortgage cancellation tax provision from SB 20/HB 40.
The House took steps this week to pass Rep. Chuck McGrady’s bill to curb eminent domain powers. HB 3 intends to amend the state constitution to limit a government’s ability to take private property.
At 1:30 pm, the NC Homeowners Alliance hosted it’s first-ever Telephone Town Hall. Over 200 members tuned in to this large-scale conference call discussing legislative concerns. Topics ranged from home owner’s insurance rate increases to legislation encouraging economic development and job growth. To find out how you can protect your clients and yourself from industry threats, please sign up on the NC Homeowners Alliance website or follow the Alliance on Twitter or Facebook. If you missed this event, please know that you can listen to a recording of the entire call on the NORTH CAROLINA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® You Tube Channel.
NORTH CAROLINA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® ranks as third most influential lobbying group in the state, first among trade groups.
Posted February 2O
Drone update: This past week the FAA released detailed proposed rules on drone usage in commercial RE ADV. The agency will next allow time for a public comment period and revisions before finalizing any guidelines. Realtor.org/Resource page
National Association of REALTORS® wants members to understand that August 1 marks some big changes for closing documents. A single Loan Estimate (LE) will replace two forms: the Truth in Lending disclosure and Good Faith Estimates (GFEs). The Closing Disclosure (CD) will replace the HUD-1 Settlement Statement. NORTH CAROLINA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® will continue to educate our members on these topics. To help members prepare for this transition, NORTH CAROLINA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® plans to host a May webinar describing these changes. NORTH CAROLINA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® attorney Will Martin will host “The demise of the HUD-1: will you be ready August 1st?”
Current Calls for Action
Call for Action: Urge Congress to extend The Mortgage Forgiveness Tax Relief Act. Search for "NAR Action Center" on the iTunes Store or Droid Market and download the app today. REALTOR® Action Center Mobile App. They will send alerts and instructions to act.
Next month’s Webinar Wednesday titled “Docusign Advanced: Getting the Most out of DocuSign for your Real Estate Business” on Wednesday, March 11, 10 a.m. NCrealtor.org/Monthly calendar/search word docusign to sign up.