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Capitol Connection

05-04-2015

CALL FOR ACTION- OPPOSE Senate Bill 284

The Legislative Policy Committee (LPC) OPPOSES SB15-284, Voter Approval TIF Payments Ag Land, by Senate President Bill Cadman (R-Colorado Springs), Senate Majority Leader Mark Scheffel (R-Parker), Representative Ed Vigil (D-San Luis) and Representative Paul Lundeen (R-Monument). This legislation is designed specifically to kill the Gaylord Rockies Hotel and Conference Center. The late bill purports to address a so-called “loophole” in the use of urban renewal and tax increment financing on agricultural land for economic development projects but it is drafted solely to insulate a small group of hoteliers from perceived competition. Numerous independent studies have shown that Gaylord Rockies will attract more than 450,000 new tourists to the state each year, creating more than 10,000 construction jobs and more than 2,500 permanent jobs. Since the Gaylord Rockies project has already broken ground many of these jobs have already been created. These are jobs our state needs and the out-of-state tourists staying at the hotel will spend hundreds of millions of dollars in Colorado each year, growing our state's economy.

Please click here to tell your Legislators NOT to kill the Gaylord Rockies Project. We need to act QUICKLY as there are only a few days left in the Legislative Session. In addition, please forward to any of your colleagues, clients, or other contacts that you would like.

Construction Defects Reform Killed in House Committee

Unfortunately, after a long hearing, SB177 was defeated in the House State Affairs Committee, aka the kill committee, on a party line vote with the Democrats voting no and the Republicans voting yes.

We would like to thank our House sponsors – Rep. Singer and Rep. DelGrosso and our Senate sponsors – Sen. Scheffel and Sen. Ulibarri. Thanks to all of our members that individually called upon their legislators and conveyed the importance of passing the bill. Thanks also to our many members that responded to our Calls for Action.

The Homeownership Opportunity Alliance will continue to discuss ways in which we can modify public policy to promote more for-sale, affordable condominium construction. A few cities – Lakewood, Lone Tree and Parker – have already taken it upon themselves to enact local ordinances similar to SB-177. As expected if this bill was defeated, many other Metro area municipalities are either currently considering similar ordinances or exploring the possibility of pursuing such.

Committee Vote outlined below:

Representative Mike Foote (D-Lafayette) – No
Representative Steve Humphrey (R-Severance) – Yes
Representative Susan Lontine (D-Denver) – No
Representative Patrick Neville (R-Castle Rock) – Yes
Representative Dianne Primavera (D-Broomfield) – No
Representative Su Ryden (D-Aurora) – No
Representative Joe Salazar (D-Thornton) - No
Representative Jack Tate (R-Centennial)– Yes
Representative Dan Thurlow (R-Grand Junction) - Yes
Representative Max Tyler (D-Lakewood)– No
Representative Yeulin Willett (R-Grand Junction) – Yes
HB 1260 Expanding Wildfire Tax Deduction

CAR initiated HB15-1260, Change Wildfire Mitigation Tax Deduction to Credit, has passed the House and we expect it to be calendared early next week in a Senate Committee. Due to time constraints with the legislative session ending Wednesday, the process will need to move quickly to be able to cross the finish line and get this bill signed into law.

This bill will increase the wildfire mitigation income tax deduction from 50% to 100% for the costs incurred by property owners in performing wildfire mitigation measures for the years 2016-2019. The deduction will remain capped at $2500. Providing financial incentives such as increased tax deductions to help property owners properly prepare are the best means by which to mitigate the risk and are critical to changing property owner behavior over the long term.

Affordable Housing Bills Introduced

In the last week of session, a package of bills was introduced to provide more access for affordable housing funding in Colorado. The LPC elected to SUPPORT two bills that will provide funding without creating additional burdens on our industry.

The LPC SUPPORTS HB15-1383, Modifications Low-income Housing Tax Credit, by Representative Max Tyler (D-Lakewood), Representative K.C. Becker (D-Boulder), and Senator Jessie Ulibarri (D-Commerce City). House Bill 1383 extends the number of years, from two to five years, in which the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) may allocate low-income housing income tax credits. In addition, the bill allows these income tax credits to be transferred to other taxpayers, which makes these credits more marketable and attractive to private capital investment.

Moreover, the LPC SUPPORTS HB15-1384, by Representative Max Tyler (D-Lakewood), Representative Daneya Esgar (D-Pueblo), and Senator Jessie Ulibarri (D-Commerce City). The bill requires the state treasurer to transmit one-third of the available balance in the Unclaimed Property Trust Fund to a newly created Affordable Housing Assistance Fund in the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) every July 1 for five years from FY 2015-16 through FY 2019-20. "Available balance" is defined as all moneys in the Unclaimed Property Trust Fund, minus the program's operating expenses, the statutory transfer to the Adult Dental Fund in the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF), and the statutory reserve requirement for the fund.

CHFA is granted the authority to accept these moneys from the State Treasurer, deposit these moneys into the Affordable Housing Assistance Fund, and to enter into an agreement with the Division of Housing (DOH) within the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) no later than January 1, 2016. The DOH is required to administer all new or existing programs supported by the Affordable Housing Assistance Fund. In administering programs, the DOH, with the approval of the State Housing Board, must allocate moneys to programs it determines in its sole administrative discretion will best satisfy the specified use under the bill.

The transmitted moneys are to be used to support new or existing programs that provide rental assistance to low- or extremely-low income households statewide, and to promote the construction, acquisition, or rehabilitation of either rental housing for persons in low-or extremely-low income households or owner-occupied housing for persons in low- or moderate-income households statewide. No more than 25 percent of moneys may be allocated to provide rental assistance for persons in low- or extremely low-income households, and no more than 25 percent of moneys may be allocated to promote the availability of affordable rental and owner-occupied housing for low- to moderate-income households.

Both of these bills should be viable ways to help make more affordable housing available across the state. Unfortunately, without the passage of SB 177, Construction Defects Reform, it will be difficult to see any for-sale unites being constructed.

HB 1343 HOA Manager Licensing Reform

LPC SUPPORTED HB15-1343, Streamline HOA Manager Licensing Requirements, was SUPPORTED today by the Legislative Policy Committee (LPC). The primary motivation for REALTORS® desiring to amend the HOA manager licensing law is to exclude from licensure any CEOs, managing brokers or other brokerage executives that do not perform nor directly supervise any employee responsible for HOA management. Moreover, we believe it is unnecessary for an entity’s support staffs, who work under the supervision of a designated manager, to be licensed for performing their tasks and the bill would exempt them from licensure. Finally, we are trying to limit the number of individuals in a self-managed HOA from having to be licensed. This bill has passed the Senate on 2nd Reading and it is expected the House will concur with Senate amendments early next week.

NAR REALTORS® Legislative Meetings and Trade Expo REGISTRATION OPEN

The REALTORS® Legislative Meetings and Trade Expo is taking place May 11-16, 2015 in Washington, D.C. We will be scheduling meetings with the Colorado delegation, and you don't want to miss out! Register here today.

NAR is hosting a Town Hall Webcast on May 6th at Noon Mountain Time. REALTORS® who are planning to attend the 2015 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo should plan to participate. NAR’s Chief Lobbyist Jerry Giovaniello and the lobbying team will highlight the issues REALTORS® will present on Capitol Hill and be available to answer questions from the audience.