Capitol Connection – March 2, 2018
House Bill 18-1195: Tax Credit Contributions Organizations Affordable Housing
HB18-1195, sponsored by Representative Pabon (D-Denver) and Senator Tate (R-Centennial), provides a state income tax credit for contributions to nonprofit organizations engaged in the new construction of affordable housing for homeownership of at least 120% Average Median Income. The donation by an individual or organization must be tied to an actual project that is planned and the amount of the credit allowed by the bill is fifty percent of the amount of the money or the value of the securities donated to the eligible organization. The credit is capped at $250,000 per taxpayer in one income tax year, but if the credit is not fully used in the first year, it can be carried forward for five successive tax filing years. The total amount of the credits cannot exceed more than $20 million dollars over nine years starting in the 2020 tax year.
The Colorado Association of REALTORS® (CAR) Legislative Policy Committee (LPC) supports this bill. This legislation will incentivize new construction of affordable housing that all areas of Colorado need given the dearth of affordable inventory statewide. These projects will be developed with an attainable price for homeowners in the low-income and workforce housing level. CAR is happy to support good public policy solutions that will start to address the continuing problem of affordable housing.
CAR is an affordable housing advocate. We have supported a host of legislative initiatives designed to create more affordable housing options such as the creation and continuation of the state Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program. In 2016, CAR helped pass legislation to create First Time Homebuyer Savings Accounts to help Coloradans save for the purchase of their first home. HB18-1195 is another promising avenue to support homeownership for all Coloradans.
This week, HB18-1195 was heard in the House Finance Committee. Two technical amendments addressed the definition for securities, the deed restriction time period, changes to the administrative fee and the inclusion of housing authorities. Both amendments passed without objection. HB18-1195 passed, as amended, 8-5 and will now move on to the Appropriations Committee.
House Bill 18-1099: Broadband Deployment Level Playing Field
HB18-1099, sponsored by Representative Catlin (R-Montrose), Representative McLachlan (R-Durango), and Senator Coram (R-Montrose), requires the Broadband Deployment Board to consider new criteria related to speed and cost when telecommunication companies invoke a first right of refusal for a competitor’s broadband grant application. In 2014, the General Assembly passed legislation creating a Broadband Deployment Board. This Board provides grants to Internet service providers (ISPs) to bring broadband services to underserved rural communities in Colorado. Currently, incumbent ISPs can exercise a “first right of refusal” and take the grant from a smaller ISP if it is within their present service area. This bill requires that an incumbent ISP who does invoke their right of first refusal must provide equal or better service and speeds with the same pricing that was assured by the original ISP grant beneficiary.
CAR’s LPC supports this legislation. This bill is welcome relief to underserved rural areas of Colorado that lack adequate broadband services. The speed and cost for a functioning level of broadband service is a critical lever that drives many business decisions whether it’s a city on the Front Range or a smaller locale such as Ridgway. CAR represents members all over the state and every REALTOR® needs to use the internet for basic business practices. Due to the great distances that many of Colorado’s beautiful rural areas are from metro areas where many meetings or events take place, this functioning level of broadband is more important than ever for our rural colleagues who have to balance travel and time away from their businesses to be involved in the regulatory or policy discussions that determine the future of their professions. On Wednesday, HB18-1099 was heard in the House Committee on Transportation and Energy. The bill passed unanimously and will now be heard on the House floor.
House Bill 18-1126: Limit Homeowners’ Association Regulation of Dogs by Size or Breed
HB18-1126, sponsored by Representative Rosenthal (D- Denver), would have invalidated any covenants, within common interest communities, that prohibit a dog based solely on the dog’s breed, weight, or size. Currently, common interest communities such as a Homeowners’ Association (HOA), have the ability to limit or restrict animals. These types of decisions are generally voted on by the homeowners and are included in the HOA bylaws.
LPC was monitoring this bill closely and had concerns regarding the bill taking away the right of homeowners to vote on issues that affect their HOA’s and their neighborhoods. LPC was also concerned about the implications this bill could have on an HOA’s or any property owner’s ability to enforce reasonable limitations on a number of issues despite the support of HOA members. On Monday, HB18-1126 died on third reading on the House floor.
Upcoming Events: NAR Midyear Legislative Meetings (May 14-19, 2018)
The REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo is where NAR members take an active role to advance the real estate industry, public policy, and the association. REALTORS® come to Washington, DC, for special issues forums, committee meetings, legislative activities, and the industry trade show. Registration is now open. Click here for more information.
This year, NAR has held the REALTOR® Legislative Meetings schedule from 2:00PM to 4:30PM on Wednesday, May 16th to allow time for Capitol Hill Visits. For Colorado, we have 9 Members of Congress visits to complete on Capitol Hill. While we will try to schedule as many meetings as possible during this NAR designated time frame, we will not be able to fit all of these meetings into this window. As we approach May, CAR Staff will be in contact with attendees regarding our hill visits meeting schedule for your constituent meetings with your Members of Congress.
CALLING ALL RPAC MAJOR INVESTORS! Enter to win a $500 Southwest Airlines Gift Card!
If you invest at least $300 or 30% of your 2018 Major Investment by April 13th with a pledge to complete your 2018 Major Investment by CAR’s Fall Forum, you will be entered to win a $500 Southwest Airlines Gift Card! The winner will be announced during RPAC Drinking for Diamonds at CAR’s Spring Summit on April 25th! You do not have to be present to win. The Major Investor levels start at $1,000 a year! Investing in RPAC is one of the easiest things you can do to protect your business! Reminder: To be entered, you must invest at least $300 of your Major Investment by April 13th and pledge to complete your Major Investment before CAR’s Fall Forum. To make a one-time investment, click here! To set up a recurring payment plan, click here! Please share this drawing with any potential RPAC Major Investors! If you have already made your 2018 Major Investment, thank you! You are already entered in the drawing! Please contact Cameron (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions.
Invest in RPAC
The purpose of RPAC is to support candidates that support REALTORS®. Our goal is to elect pro-REALTOR® candidates at the local, state, and federal levels – candidates that share our support for homeownership, protect property rights, and who will listen to our concerns. Investing in RPAC is one of the easiest things you can do to protect your business. Our goal in 2018 is to raise $630,000 to continue to support Colorado’s REALTOR® champions and ensure we achieve the policy outcomes necessary to protect property rights. Click here to invest today!
Sign up for REALTOR® Party Mobile Alerts
More than 50,000 REALTORS® from across the country have already signed up for REALTOR® Party Mobile Alerts – have you? Text CO REALTORS to 30644 to stay up to date on REALTOR® issues! You’ll be among the first to know about NAR Calls for Action and more! Click here for more information.
Colorado Project Wildfire
Developed by the Colorado Association of REALTORS®, Project Wildfire is designed to help reduce the destruction of land, property, and lives. Working in partnership with other like-minded fire prevention organizations across the state, local REALTOR® associations are bringing education and awareness, as well as access to resources, directly to residents in their local communities. To learn more about Colorado Project Wildfire, click here.