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CAR-Supported Water District Transparency Bill Signed

HB13-1186 Concerning Special District Meetings Notices and Transparency, by Rep. Vigil (D-Fort Garland) and Sen. Schwartz (D-Snowmass), is a bill requiring that a special district that provides domestic water or sewer service conduct a public meeting prior to fixing or increasing fees, rates, tolls, penalties, or charges. Notice of the meeting must be provided at least ten days in advance and may be provided by mailing a separate notice to each customer in the special district, by posting the notice on the special district's website if it is linked to the website of the Division of Local Government (DLG) in the Department of Local Affairs, or by posting the notice on the Special District Association's web site.

The bill also requires special districts to record a public disclosure document, and a map of the boundaries of the district, with the county clerk by December 31, 2014. The disclosure must include a statement that the district's service plan or the district's statement of purpose is available from DLG. A special district in inactive status may not regain active status unless it is in compliance with the disclosure requirement. CAR supported this legislation and is pleased to report it was recently signed into law by Governor Hickenlooper.

CAR Mid-Session Legislative Update

Webcast recording is available for the CAR Mid-Session Legislative Update featuring Rachel Nance, VP Public Policy. Special guests include representatives from the Colorado Oil and Gas Association. The one hour presentation can be viewed HERE. Thank you to Metro Brokers and First American Title for supporting the seminar.

USDA Releases Census Data Guidance

On March 27, 2013, the U. S. Department of Agriculture Office of Rural Development issued Administrative Notice (AN) 4711 regarding the use of 2010 Census data in the administration of direct loan, loan guarantee and grant programs across Rural Development programs. NAR successfully championed language in the FY 2013 Appropriations Act, which was signed by the President on March 26, 2013, to defer transition to the 2010 census information for Rural Housing Service (RHS) programs until the expiration of the Act on September 30, 2013. For more on this, click here.

Marketplace Fairness Act Coalition Letter

On March 18, 2013, NAR, in coalition with other industry groups, sent a letter to the Senate in support of a proposed amendment to the fiscal year 2014 Senate Budget Resolution which would implement S. 336, the Marketplace Fairness Act. This bipartisan bill, introduced by Senators Enzi (R-WY), Alexander (R-TN), Heitkamp (D-ND) and Durbin (D-IL), would assist states in collecting uncollected state sales and use taxes due on internet and other remote purchases. This will also level the playing field for traditional “brick-and-mortar” businesses which have faced an unfair price disadvantage against online sellers due to sales taxes. For more information, or to view the letter, click here.

NAR Leadership Hosts E-Sign Summit

In markets where distressed properties are dominating, completing a transaction under threat of possible default or foreclosure is not unusual. In these instances, the speed and flexibility provided by electronic documents is critical. Recently, NAR hosted a summit in Washington, D.C., to examine obstacles to increased acceptance of electronic signatures. Hear some of the outcomes of the meeting on the Voices of Real Estate blog here. In addition, learn more about the Summit here.

April is Fair Housing Month

The 1968 Fair Housing Act prohibited housing discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or handicap. Every April, REALTORS® celebrate Fair Housing Month to reaffirm their continuing commitment to fair and equitable treatment and a professional level of service for all in their search for real property. For more information, click here.