Capitol Connection – Feb. 7, 2020
HB20-1049: Reauthorize Habitat for Humanity Tax Check-off
Rep. Shannon Bird (D-Westminster), Rep. Hugh McKean (R-Loveland), Sen. Don Coram (R-Montrose), and Sen. Jeff Bridges (D-Greenwood Village)
LPC Position: Support
Summary: HB-1049 allows an individual taxpayer to designate a contribution amount to the Habitat for Humanity of Colorado Fund for an additional five years (income tax years 2019 through 2024).
Rationale: Habitat for Humanity Colorado is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation who works with affiliates across the state to build, renovate, and repair safe, decent, and affordable housing for low-income families. Last year, CAR participated in multiple Habitat for Humanity builds and CAR’s LPC supports efforts to promote legislation that will cultivate an increased affordable housing inventory across the state because homeownership should be an opportunity for all Colorado residents.
HB20-1009: Suppressing Court Records of Eviction Proceedings
Rep. Dominique Jackson (D-Aurora) and Sen. Faith Winter (D-Westminster)
LPC Position: Neutral
Summary:HB-1009 changes existing law by making a distinction between a filing for eviction and an eviction judgment that results in a conviction. The bill requires a court to suppress records, such as the names of those involved, unless both parties agree to make them public in the case where there is a filing but not a ruling for eviction. If a plaintiff is granted possession of the premises, then the court record would become public unless both parties agree that the record should stay sealed.
Rationale: This legislation is intended to prevent a simple filing of an eviction from being held against a tenant when there was not a ruling for eviction from the Court. The LPC is neutral on this legislation based on the amendments to clarify that when a tenant and landlord disagree, but there is a court ruling for eviction, that the record can be made public. As other stakeholders have suggested, this legislation would prevent a person from being seen to lose a case before their case was finalized.
HB20-1138: Public Real Property Index
Rep. James Coleman (D-Denver), Rep. Colin Larson (R-Littleton), Sen. Jeff Bridges (D-Greenwood Village), and Sen. Bob Gardner (R-Colorado Springs)
LPC Position: Support
Summary: HB-1138 requires state agencies and state institutions of higher education, as well as counties, municipalities, boards, and authorities to provide a list of their usable real property to the State Architect’s Office. The “office” must maintain an accurate database and update the information within five business days after receipt of new information. The database must be free to access and easily accessible to all Coloradans.
Rationale: Identifying underutilized and publicly owned properties allow communities to make informed decisions about the use of land for the good of their citizens. CAR’s LPC recognizes the cost of land can be the biggest obstacle to build affordable housing units. And knowledge is power. This legislation would allow organizations, housing authorities, and affordable housing advocates to know what land is available for use a greater good and at a lower cost. This bill continues the work of HB19-1319 by expanding the concept to more landowners.
SB20-138: Consumer Protection Construction Defect Time Period
Sen. Robert Rodriguez (D-Denver)
LPC Position: Oppose
Summary: SB-138 would extend the number of years that construction litigation lawsuits could be filed from current law of 6 years to 10 years and alter the tolling process that determines the amount of time that a lawsuit can be extended. These provisions in the current statute were robustly negotiated during the multiple years of legislation that culminated in the broadly supported and hard-fought bipartisan construction litigation reform bill of 2017.
Rationale: The LPC is strongly opposed to legislation that would roll back the bipartisan construction litigation reforms of 2017 because it directly affects the availability of affordable housing for Coloradans. If we change the compromise legislation in this fashion it would likely increase volatility in the insurance market and alter the course of instilling the return of starter home products like condos and townhomes that many first-time buyers are so desperately looking for in this tight housing market.
When the costs of insurance go up because of uncertainty, it prevents investors and builders from being able to finance projects that are truly affordable. A healthy housing market has 24% of the market dedicated to condos. After the construction lawsuits that market dwindled to 2%. After the 2017 construction litigation reform legislation passed, we saw the condo market rise to 8% and now 12% in just 3 years so we know that he compromise legislation is having a positive effect on the housing market and it would be devastating to see our policymakers reverse that trend with SB-138.
Play a Key Role in CAR’s Legislative Advocacy Efforts
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REALTOR® Day at the Capitol: February 13th
Don’t miss your chance to see our state legislature in action! 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 and network with your legislators. The REALTOR® Day at the Capitol luncheon will feature JJ Ament, the Chief Executive Officer of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation and Patti Silverstein, Chief Economist at Research Partners. Click here to learn more and register!
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.
Colorado Project Wildfire Partnerships Gaining State and National Attention – Read here