Capitol Connection: January 31, 2014
Pre-Registration for REALTOR® Day closes February 7th
Please view a video invitation from Jeffrey Martin, 2014 Government Affairs Division Vice President, with information about key events at REALTOR Day.
Don’t miss the 2014 REALTOR® Day at the Capitol on Wednesday, February 26th at the McNichols Building and the State Capitol. Based on feedback received from local leadership, we have revamped this event and are very excited for you to attend. We are offering Capitol tours and meetings with Legislators as part of the selections to help craft an educational and entertaining day. This is a great opportunity for you to learn about and discuss important policy issues affecting the real estate industry this upcoming year, as well as hear from legislative leaders and network with your legislators. Pre-registration is $55 and includes lunch and an afternoon program. For more details, or to register today, please click here.
HB 1143 Residential Storage Condo Unit as Real Property
LPC took the position of SUPPORT on HB14-1143, Concerning the classification of a residential storage condominium unit as a residential improvement for property tax purposes. The bill establishes that a residential storage condominium unit is a residential improvement. This allows the unit to be assessed as residential real property, which currently has an assessment ratio of 7.96%, instead of as nonresidential property, which has an assessment ratio of 29%. A residential storage condominium unit is defined to mean a building that is:
- A unit under the “Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act”;
- Used by its owner or a lessee whose lease term is a year or longer to store items from or related to the owner’s or lessee’s residence; and
- Not used for storage related to a business. For a building unit to qualify as a residential storage condominium unit, the owner of the building unit must submit an affidavit stating that the building unit meets the definition of a residential storage condominium unit.
A condominium storage unit is a relatively new product on the market. CAR believes that where these units are used as an extension of the home to store personal property items, the units should be taxed at the residential property rate. Furthermore, the treatment of these units as residential property rather than commerical will induce developers to build more units, which will have a postive economic impact.
HB 1130 Foreclosure Cure Remit Unpaid Fees to Borrower
LPC took the position of SUPPORT on HB14-1130, Concerning the disposition of moneys charged to borrowers for costs to be paid in connection with foreclosure. This bill establishes procedure for cure statements in foreclosure actions, including a duty of lenders to retain relevant records, the duty to update cure statements to the public trustee, and the handling of funds by the public trustee. The public trustee must refund an overpayment directly to a borrower that has paid to cure a debt in foreclosure
CAR is in support of this bill because it will require all costs and fees to be accurately documented, and will refund the borrower of any overpayment. A distressed borrower, if they have overpaid on any of their fees, should be refunded that money.
Senate Passes Flood Insurance Bill
On Jan. 30, 2014, the United States Senate voted 67-32 to approve the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act (S. 1926), sponsored by Senators Menendez (D-NJ) and Isakson (R-GA). A Call for Action was distributed on this legislation in late November.
This bipartisan legislation, an NAR member priority, calls for a 4-year timeout on rate increases triggered either by a property’s sale or a flood map update for a property with previously grandfathered rates. NAR provided Congress with expert testimony suggesting that many of these increases are excessive and inaccurate. The bill also creates a flood insurance advocate within the Federal Emergency Management Act (FEMA) to investigate home owner complaints of multiple different or excessive rate quotes.
The Senate vote sends the measure to the House of Representatives, where Reps. Grimm (R-NY) and Waters (D-CA) have already built an impressive list of 181 co-sponsors in favor of the bill; a total that is 30 votes shy of a House majority NAR will redouble its efforts there to persuade the House leadership to bring a similar bill up for a floor vote at the earliest opportunity.
2014 NAR Policy Priorities Released
As the largest professional trade association in the United States, the National Association of REALTORS® represents over 1 million residential REALTORS® and commercial practitioners involved in all facets of the industry as brokers, salespeople, property managers, appraisers and counselors. NAR advocates policy initiatives that promote and protect a fundamentally sound and dynamic U.S. real estate market fostering vibrant communities in which to live and work. To view the NAR 2014 Policy Priorities, click here.
Colorado Energy Office Announces Colorado Energy Saving Mortgage Incentive Program
The Colorado Energy Office (CEO) would like to announce the Colorado Energy Saving Mortgage Incentive program. The program was developed out of House Bill 13-1105, legislation that was signed into law, in June of 2013, by Governor Hickenlooper.
The incentive provides a loan benefit for Colorado homebuyers/homeowners who purchase highly efficient new homes or retrofit existing homes at point of purchase(or refinance). The loan benefit is based on a tiered rebate scale where homeowners can receive up to $8,000 for a new home and $6,000 for an existing home.
Loan details and incentive amounts will be assessed by the lender directly (after confirmation from the CEO); to ensure that all lending guidelines are followed. The benefit will be reimbursed by the CEO for the portion of the incentive outside of the non-state contribution. For program detail please click here.
Transit Alliance Spring 2014 Citizen’s Academy
The Transit Alliance is hosting their annual spring 2014 Citizen’s Academy from March 5, 2014-April 16, 2014. This is a great opportunity to discuss transportation, community development, and sustainability in Colorado. The class is limited to 50 participants, so please get your applications in to take part! More information, as well as the application, can be found here, and the deadline for applying is Friday, February 21st at 5PM.