Capitol Connection: January 30, 2015
SPOTS FILLING UP! REALTOR® Day at the Capitol: Tuesday, February 17th
We are selling out quickly, and will most likely not have any on-site registration, so please don’t delay! Don’t miss the 2015 REALTOR® Day at the Capitol on Tuesday, February 17 at the McNichols Civic Center Building and the State Capitol. This year, we have Special Guest Speaker U.S. Senator Cory Garder delivering our Keynote Address at the luncheon. This is also 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 the Governor and legislative leaders and network with your legislators. Pre-registration is $55 until February 6th and includes lunch and afternoon program. For more details, or to register today, please click here.
SB 140 Home Inspector Licensing
The LPC discussed SB15-140, Regulation of Home Inspectors by Senator Nancy Todd (D-Aurora), today. In 2014, the Division of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) conducted a Sunrise Review of the Home Inspector industry and determined the need for licensure. Through the Sunrise Report, many issues were brought to light in this industry, including the need for a standard of practice and a public safety concern with the access this industry has to a home. The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI), and The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (Inter-NACHI) have all been key stakeholders in this process, and CAR has been part of discussions as well to make sure our members and clients are protected through this bill.
LPC decided to take a SUPPORT position on the bill, noting the importance of public safety and the increased scrutiny that banks have put on home inspection reports to make sure that we have a standard by which home inspectors are operating. The Sunrise Report noted many instances where home inspectors did not always have the expertise, but still offered their opinions on matters that negatively impacted transactions. Our hope is that through requirements for pre-education and continuing education, there will be a more uniform standard of competency by which all home inspectors practice, and their clients, who require accurate information to make good investment decisions, will be better served.
SB 141 Reimbursing Personal Property Taxes
LPC SUPPORTS SB15-141, Income Property Tax Credit for Property Taxes Paid Eligibility, by Senator Scheffel (R-Parker) and Representative Thurlow (R-Grand Junction). For 5 income tax years beginning in 2015, currently there is 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. To qualify for the credit, a taxpayer must have $15,000 or less worth of personal property on which property taxes are paid in Colorado during an income tax year commencing in 2015, or have less than an inflation-adjusted amount for each income tax year thereafter (property cap). The bill increases the property cap for 2015 from $15,000 to $25,000, and the property cap for the next 4 income tax years will grow by inflation from this amount. LPC sees this as an aid to tax payers and business owners, and as per our Legislative Policy Statements, we support initiatives to help curb or eliminate the Business Personal Property Tax.
SB 64 State Water Law on Federal Lands
SB15-64, Application of State Water Law to Federal Agencies by Senator Sonnenberg (R-Sterling), was discussed today in LPC. The bill states basic tenets of Colorado water law concerning water as a transferable property right, acknowledges that the federal government has maintained deference to state law with respect to water rights, and prohibits the United States forest service (USFS) and the federal bureau of land management (bureau) from placing conditions on special use permits for, or rights-of-way on, federal land that:
- Require the owner of a water right or a conditional water right to assign the USFS or the bureau partial or joint ownership of the water right;
- Impose limitations on the alienability of the owner’s water right; or
- Impose restrictions that give the USFS or the bureau full or partial control over the use and operation of the water right. The bill also prohibits the state and division engineers from cooperating with the USFS or the bureau in enforcing or administering any such conditions on special use permits for, or rights-of-way on, federal land or from expending any public funds related to the enforcement or administration of any such conditions.
The basic premise of this bill is to require the Federal Government to comply by Colorado State Water Law. LPC took a position of SUPPORT because there have been many issues previously with regards to this, and they see this as a way to help avoid some of the problems between the two levels of government that have happened before.
Transit Alliance Spring 2015 Citizen’s Academy
The Transit Alliance is hosting their annual spring 2015 Citizen’s Academy from April 1, 2015-May 16, 2015. This is a great opportunity to discuss transportation, community development, and sustainability in Colorado. The class is limited, 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, March 13th at 5PM.
Over the next few weeks, we will be introducing you to the New Legislators in the 70th General Assembly.
Jessie Danielson, Democrat, represents House District 24. She is a third-generation resident of Wheat Ridge. Representative Danielson is the former Colorado State Director for America Votes, as well as a former Housing Coordinator for Connections for Independent Living. She is a member of the Agriculture, Livestock and Natural Resources Committee, the Local Government Committee, and the Public Health Care and Human Services Committee.
Daneya Esgar, Democrat, hails from House District 46, and she resides in Pueblo. She is a former television news producer and community organizer. Representative Esgar serves on the Health, Insurance and Environment Committee as well as the Transportation and Energy Committee.
Alec Garnett, Democrat, serves House District 2 and lives with his wife in Denver. He worked as Senior Legislative Assistant for Congressman Perlmutter and is the former Executive Director of the Colorado Democratic Party. He is a member of the Business Affairs and Labor Committee, the Education Committee, and the Finance Committee.
Jon Keyser, Republican, was elected to House District 25. He, his wife, and their daughter live in Evergreen. He is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy and a former member of the Air Force Wings of Blue. He completed two tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan and is currently a Captain in the Air Force Reserves. He is on the Local Government Committee and the Public Health Care and Human Services Committee.
Gordon Klingenschmitt, Republican, serves House District 15 and lives with his wife in Colorado Springs. He is a graduate of the Air Force Academy and a former U.S. Navy Chaplain. His committee assignments include the Health, Insurance, and Environment Committee as well as the Local Government Committee.