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REcolorado

Capitol Connection

03-03-2014

REALTOR® Day was a success!

Thank you so much to everyone who attended REALTOR® Day at the Capitol this past Wednesday. We had over 200 attendees from all across the state, and had a very successful day speaking with our Legislators. We'd like to thank Alison Felix, Assistant Vice President and Denver Branch Executive at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, for being our Keynote Speaker. We have heard from many of you how much you enjoyed Ms. Felix’s presentation.

We also want to thank those Elected Officials who made time out of their very busy day to come speak to us in the Old Supreme Court Chambers:

Senate Assistant Minority Leader Mark Scheffel

Senator George Rivera

Senator Andy Kerr

House Assistant Minority Leader Libby Szabo

Senator Steve King

Senator Randy Baumgardner

And especially, Governor John Hickenlooper!

In addition, we’d like to thank those legislators and their aides who joined us at the luncheon at the McNichols Building:

Senator Randy Baumgardner

Senator Bernie Herpin

Senator Andy Kerr

Senate Majority Whip Gail Schwartz

Representative KC Becker

Representative Don Coram

Representative Justin Everett

Representative Bob Gardner

Representative Joanne Ginal

Representative Chris Holbert

Representative Tracy Kraft-Tharp

Representative Steve Lebsock

Representative Diane Mitsch Bush

Representative Carole Murray

Representative Clarice Navarro

House Assistant Majority Leader Dan Pabon

Representative Paul Rosenthal

Representative Ray Scott

House Assistant Minority Leader Libby Szabo

Representative Mark Waller

Representative Jared Wright

HB 1272 Certification of Home Inspectors

CAR OPPOSED HB14-1272, Concerning the certification of home inspectors, and, in connection therewith, authorizing the director of the division of real estate in the department of regulatory agencies to establish standards for certification, education, examination, suspension, revocation, reinstatement, and renewal of certification of home inspectors. The bill would have created a certification program for home inspectors in the Division of Real Estate in the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA). Home inspectors provide independent and objective visual evaluations of a home's physical structure and systems. On or before July 1, 2015, the director of the division would have established a certification program and adopted rules and standards pertaining to education and continuing education, evaluating applications, and disciplinary action. Home inspector applicants would have also obtained a fingerprint-based criminal history background check conducted by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) within the Department of Public Safety (DPS).

CAR opposed this bill because there is already a sunrise process in progress regarding home inspector licensure, and we believe that any licensure programs should undergo the sunrise process. We are pleased to report that this bill was postponed indefinitely on Tuesday in the House Committee on Business, Labor, Economic, and Workforce Development.

HB 1165 Private Construction Contract Retainage and Payments

CAR OPPOSED bill HB14-1165, Concerning a limit on the retainage allowed under a private construction contract, was postponed indefinitely in the House Committee on Business, Labor, Economic and Workforce Development on Thursday. The bill required 95 percent of all costs under a construction contract to be paid at the time they were invoiced and due according to the contractual payment schedule. Any party that withheld funds (retainage) in excess of five percent of the amount due would have been liable in a civil action for release of the excess withheld plus interest and legal expenses.

One of the issues we had with this bill centered around the policy of regulators requiring banks to have adequate risk mitigation. It is standard industry practice for a bank to retain a minimum of 10% (or more, depending on the risk associated with the project) until all work is complete and waivers are issued by the subcontractors. The passage of this bill would have required the owner/contractor/developer to front the additional five percent or more, which is often times cost-prohibitive in development projects, and thereby could hinder future development.

We would like to especially thank those of you who attended REALTOR® Day and spoke with your legislators regarding CAR’s position on this bill. We are pleased to report that with the help of your efforts our coalition yesterday was able to defeat HB-1165.

HB 1279 Income Tax Credit for Business Personal Property

CAR SUPPORTS bill HB14-1279, Concerning the creation of a state income tax credit to reimburse a business for personal property taxes paid in the state. For 5 income tax years beginning on January 1, 2014, the bill creates an income tax credit to reimburse a qualifying taxpayer for personal property taxes paid in Colorado for which the taxpayer does not already receive a state or federal income tax benefit. This is accomplished by allowing a tax credit that is equal to the taxpayer's personal property taxes paid multiplied by a percentage equal to 100% minus the sum of the taxpayer's federal marginal income tax rate for the year and 4.63%. To qualify for a tax credit, a taxpayer must have $25,000 or less worth of personal property on which property taxes are paid in Colorado during an income tax year commencing in 2014, or have less than an inflation-adjusted amount for each income tax year thereafter. The amount of the credit that exceeds a taxpayer's income taxes is refunded to the taxpayer.

CAR believes this bill is a great way to help small business by implementing a tax credit for business personal property. This is an innovative approach to reducing the Business Personal Property Tax liability, and can increase growth in small business and the economy. Furthermore, CAR's 2014 Legislative Policy Statements instruct the LPC to support legislation that either reduces or eliminates the Business Personal Property Tax.

REALTORS® Oppose Tax Plan to Limit Mortgage Interest Deduction, Real Estate Provisions

NAR President Steve Brown has issued a statement on the tax reform draft released by U.S. House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp. "NAR supports reforms that promote economic growth, but we strongly oppose severely altering the rules that govern ownership and investment in real estate."

House to Vote on Amended Flood Insurance Bill

The U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote up-or-down on an amended version of the Flood Insurance Affordability Act the first week of March. The text of the original bill has been stripped and replaced by substitute language that considerably strengthens the bill. The substitute bill will be considered under an expedited set of "suspended rules" procedures that limits debate and amendments and requires a two-thirds majority to pass. This is a critical vote on a top NAR member priority.

Register Now for REALTOR® Party Convention

NAR’s Midyear Meetings have been renamed the “REALTOR® Party Convention and Trade Expo”. Registration—which is free for members—is now open for the REALTOR® Party Convention & Trade Expo May 12-17, 2014, in Washington, D.C.

Download the REALTOR® Action Center Mobile App

The REALTOR® Action Center mobile app is now available for download for the iPhone and DROID. Simply search for NAR Action Center in your respective app markets. This app is designed to help members Vote, Act and Invest on the go. It will help you increase your state and local Federal Call for Action participation rates, allow members a quick and efficient way to invest in RPAC, and provide you a way to track your REALTOR® Party activities and so much more.