Capitol Connection – May 4, 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 and Housing Authorities 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 successive tax filing years. The total amount of the credits cannot exceed more than $1.5 million dollars and sunsets after four years starting in the 2020 tax year.
CAR’s LPC strongly supports this bill. This legislation will incentivize new construction of affordable housing that all areas of Colorado need given the lack 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.
HB18-1195 passed the House Appropriations Committee and second reading on the House Floor this morning. It will be heard on third reading very soon and hopefully pass out to head over the Senate for their consideration before the end of the legislative session on May 9th. Thank you to all our members who called on their legislators in our targeted call for action recently that impressed upon the House the importance of this legislation.
Senate Bill 18-015: Protecting Homeowners and Deployed Military
SB18-015, sponsored by Senator Gardner (R-Colorado Springs), Senator Hill (R-Colorado Springs), Representative D. Williams (R-Colorado Springs), and Representative Liston (R-Colorado Springs), allows a property owner to remove an unauthorized person from a residential property within one court day on an emergency county court motion. The rightful property owner is subject to sanctions under the CO code of civil procedure if the information they report on the motion is inaccurate. The Colorado Association of REALTORS® (CAR) Legislative Policy Committee (LPC) supports this legislation as a good public policy solution to a serious problem that is occurring statewide.
The unauthorized occupation of property poses a real menace to real estate when an unauthorized occupant moves into a vacant apartment or home without the consent of the true owner. Frequently houses targeted by unauthorized occupants are foreclosures or properties under-going renovations, but they can also be homes offered for sale by owners. In some egregious cases, families have returned home from a vacation to find unauthorized occupants living in their homes. The result is that under existing laws, true property owners must spend time and money to go through lengthy eviction proceedings to remove these squatters from their properties.
SB18-015 is a common sense public policy solution that would: 1) Give rightful property owners a remedy to remove unauthorized persons and lessen damages to private property; 2) Give law enforcement officials the tools and necessary procedures to deal with this problem, which is not adequately addressed in current statute; 3) Protect consumers from becoming a victim of scams; and 4) Deter fraudulent transfers of real estate and squatter events that threaten private property rights.
When the House and Senate disagreed on some of the amendments raised in committee work, they established a Conference Committee to reconcile the different versions of the bill. On Thursday, after two meetings the Conference Committee unanimously accepted the conference committee report. SB18-015 will now go back to both the House and Senate to review and accept the conference committee report. CAR will be watching for this bill to come back to both chambers and hopefully be sent to the Governor for his consideration.
Senate Bill 18-109: Authorize Audio-Video Communication Notarial Acts
SB18-109, sponsored by Senator Gardner (R-Colorado Springs), Representative Garnett (D-Denver), and Representative Wist (R-Centennial) allows notaries public to perform notarial acts using audio-visual communication. The process is called remote notarization and is similar to a skype or face-time type of interaction where there is audio and video communication between the notary and the person having a document notarized. Under current regulations, an individual must physically appear before a notary public to have a document notarized. This bill would allow notaries to be able to perform a remote notarization.
SB18-109 establishes several requirements a notary must comply with, such as rules and standards about the necessary evidence to identify the individual seeking remote notarization and how that process of identification should take place. The legislation also prohibits using the process for certain types of documents such as election issue or candidate petitions and some of the wills and trust documents common in probate proceedings.
The Colorado Association of REALTORS® (CAR) Legislative Policy Committee (LPC) opposes this legislation in its current form because SB18-109 has a glaring issue with the current language. Right now this bill would allow a notary to keep all the information from the transaction and provide it to other parties outside of the transaction, such as marketing companies. Your client’s financial and transaction data could be available for a notary to store, share, and sell with outside parties.
This is a huge problem for protecting the safety of consumer data especially the kind of financial information that is part of a real estate transaction. This bill passed the House Judiciary Committee, 6-5 yesterday, and we are waiting for it to be scheduled in a second committee of reference. Thank you to all of our members who have responded to the targeted call for action to let the House know that protecting consumer data is important to your businesses and your consumer clients.
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.
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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!
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.