Capitol Connection – April 27, 2018
SCR18-004: Congressional Redistricting and SCR18-005: Legislative Redistricting
With a 2020 census right around the corner set to give Colorado an eighth Congressional seat, there is a widespread belief among leaders in both parties and from advocates for unaffiliated voters that Colorado’s redistricting and reapportionment processes must be reformed to increase the competitveness of legislative and congressional seats. The following Senate Concurrent Resolutions (SCR) refers this reform concept to the 2018 ballot for Colorado voters. Today those resolutions passed on second reading in the Senate.
SCR 18-004, sponsored by Senate President Grantham (R-Canon City) and Senator Fenberg (D-Boulder), amends the state constitution to create an independent congressional redistricting commission that is responsible for redrawing the U.S. congressional districts after the census. The commission is made up of 12 members that will develop a congressional districts map that uses a variety of factors, including competitiveness. The map must be approved by a super majority (8) with a minimum of 2 unaffiliated members.
SCR 18-005, also sponsored by Senate President Grantham and Senator Fenberg, amends the state constitution to create an independent legislative redistricting commission that is responsible for redrawing the state senate and state representative districts after the census. The commission is made up of 12 members that will develop a congressional districts map that uses a variety of factors, including competitiveness. The map must be approved by a super majority (8) with a minimum of 2 unaffiliated members.
The Colorado Association of REALTORS® Legislative Policy Committee (LPC) supports both senate concurrent resolutions. CARPAC has also supported this concept through the Fair Districts Campaign. The LPC believes this legislation would give Colorado voters a chance to determine if a more fair and neutral process for redistricting and reapportionment should be instilled in Colorado. The changes to the existing line drawing systems could increase the likelihood of making legislative and congressional seats more competitive because potential legislators would have to appeal to a broader array of voters who maintain diverse opinions on issues that come before the U.S. Congress and the State Legislature. This is a first in the nation type of reform to legislative and congressional map drawing that will reduce the likelihood of gerrymandering. It is the culmination of several diverse stakeholder groups working together to give all Coloradans whether they are Republican, Democrat, or Unaffiliated voters a voice in how the lines should be drawn.
House Bill 18-1315: Manufactured Home Sales Tax Exemption
HB 18-1315, sponsored by Senator Kefalas (D- Fort Collins), Senator Lundberg (R-Berthoud), Representative McLachlan (D-Durango), and Representative J. Becker (R-Fort Morgan), expands the sales and use tax exemption for manufactured homes. The manufactured homes must be in compliance with the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974 in order to qualify for the exemption. Under current law, 48 percent of a manufactured home price is exempt from state sales and use tax, this bill would completely exempt the purchase of a new manufactured home from state sales tax. Today, the House passed the legislation, and now it will head to the Senate for their consideration next week.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average sales price of a new manufactured home in Colorado in 2016 was $66,100, and households that live in manufactured homes make on average $30,000. Due to a quirk in the way that these housing options are taxed as personal property it meant that the tax on the purchase of this type of home would cost approximately $1,000, which is a significant closing price burden for the working families that traditionally purchase manufactured homes. This legislation will ease that burden and CAR’s LPC supports this legislation that increases the availability of affordable housing for hard working Coloradans.
Senate Bill 18-007: Affordable Housing Tax Credit
SB18-007, sponsored by Speaker Duran (D- Denver), Senator Guzman (D-Denver), Senator Tate (R-Centennial), and Representative J. Becker (R-Fort Morgan), renames the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) to the Colorado Affordable Housing Tax Credit and extends the program through 2024, which was originally set to expire in 2019. Today, the Senate concurred with the technical amendments the House added to conform the state law to federal law and replace some outdated terms. They also readopted the bill with a majority vote. The bill will now go to the Governor for his signature.
CAR’s LPC strongly supports this legislation and as affordable housing advocates, CAR has historically supported LIHTC. Since 2015, this program has supported the development of over 4,000 affordable rental housing units and generated over $463 million in private sector equity to support Colorado’s affordable housing needs.
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. Thank you to everyone who attended the Drinking for Diamonds events at Spring Summit in Vail this past week. Click here to invest today!
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.
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.
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.