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Government Affairs Monthly Report


2020 Community Support Funding Hits $550,000 Mark

An estimated half-a-million-dollars is anticipated to be available through the City of Steamboat Springs Community Support Funding, housed at the Yampa Valley Community Foundation, for the upcoming year.

“We live in a generous community; but as we see each year, our needs and the people who benefit from these programs continue to rise dramatically,” said Mark Andersen, executive director for the Yampa Valley Community Foundation. “By leveraging the city’s coalition funds, we’re able to collaboratively address significant community interests across the Yampa Valley.”

The City of Steamboat Springs City Council allocates several hundreds of thousands of dollars in funds each year to assist community organizations that fall within one of the following allocations coalitions – Arts & Culture, Environmental and Health & Human Services. Applications are ranked on a set of criteria by a selection committee with expertise in the coalition focus.

Community Support requests must relate to the following criteria:

  • Activity/program reduces city service requirements; fulfills a city goal; or aligns with City Council’s Mission, Vision and Values.
  • The grant is not more than 30% of the organization's total budget
  • Organization indicates there is strength/diversity among their other funding sources

Over the past six years more than $2.5 million has gone to support groups serving the community, including 43 different agencies and organizations this past year. Grants have varied from $500 to $50,000, with most requests falling within the $5,000 to $15,000 range. It is anticipated that approximately $550,000 will be available as part of the proposed 2020 budget.

Council Delays Discussion on a New Special Taxing District

The Steamboat Springs Chamber is exploring the creation of a special district to fund destination marketing and the air program. A tourism improvement district would levy a tax, fee or assessment on tourism-related businesses to fund certain programs.

The Chamber is seeking a city ordinance that would authorize the creation of a tourism improvement district, the first in a series of steps that would need to be taken to form the district. That ordinance was tabled until Steamboat Springs City Council’s Nov. 19 meeting.

“We are still working with the Chamber, meeting with them quite frequently to work out some of the mechanics of how this assessment or fee or tax would work,” explained city staff attorney Jennifer Bock. “We had some discussion before council, and we really just need to hash those out, go back and forth with ideas and get that language in the code to present to you. We feel like that’s the best option — to hash out some new language for you to consider for second reading.”

If City Council approves that petition, an ordinance creating the district would be drawn up outlining what types of businesses and the geographic area to be included as well as the amount of fees or assessments levied on these businesses. Should the creation ordinance pass, businesses located within the district would participate in an election to determine if this fee, assessment or tax would be levied.

How FHA Condo Rules Affect REALTORS® and Consumers

FHA and the GSEs have different rules for the sale of a condominium versus a stand-alone single-family home. The reason for these rules goes back to a long-held belief that condominiums are more risky than single family structures. These rules have hampered the ability of homebuyers to purchase a condo, and make it much more difficult to sell condominiums. The rules include limits on the number of units that can be rented; limits on the number of units that can be delinquent in dues - regardless of the financial standing of the property; unreasonable burdens on properties to be approved; and limits on commercial space.

Condominiums are often the most affordable homeownership option for first time buyers, small families, single people, and older Americans. On August 14, 2019, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released the long-awaited final rule on project approval for single-family condominiums insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). For many years, NAR urged HUD to finalize changes to the previous rule that would ease restrictions on FHA financing for condominiums, thus enabling more first-time buyers, older adults, and low to moderate-income families to achieve the dream of homeownership. NAR continues to work with FHA and Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to insure that people who wish to purchase a condominium have safe affordable access to mortgage credit.

For additional information about the final rule, visit NAR's FHA Condo Rule Assessment.

Fed Weighing in on Local & State Short Term Rental Laws

There has been a lot of press coverage of a new bill introduced in Congress that deals with short-term rentals. The bill, H.R.4232 , the “Protecting Local Authority and Neighborhoods Act”, introduced by Rep. Case (D-HI), requires providers of short term rental listings (Air BNB, VRBO, etc) to ensure that the properties they list are rented in compliance with state and local law. The legislation has just been introduced, and faces a long process before it becomes law.

While a number of state and local REALTOR® associations have addressed this issue in their communities, NAR has no policy on short-term rentals, as we have members on both sides (those who argue private property rights and the ability to rent your own home as you see fit; and those who argue that these rentals disturb the residential flavor of neighborhoods and hurt quiet enjoyment). However, we do have a useful white-papers and resources that outline the options and issues surrounding short-term rental restrictions. Those resources can be accessed at https://realtorparty.realtor/state-local-issues/issues/short-term-rentals.html