NAR today launched a Call for Action to urge REALTORS® to tell federal lawmakers not to harm homeowners as they move forward with plans to reform the nation's tax code. The CFA is expected to run throughout the upcoming REALTORS® Conference & Expo and continue until Congress breaks for Thanksgiving. As a REALTOR you have no doubt heard about tax reform plans from Washington, DC. Now Congress is threatening tax incentives for homeowners, like the mortgage interest deduction and the state and local property tax deduction. These incentives are critical for a strong housing market that creates jobs and builds stable communities. Take action to tell Congress to reform our tax code AND protect middle-class homeowners.
By Ernie Cowan- NSDCAR Vice President of Government Affairs
LAWMAKERS RALLY VOTES TO PASS HOUSING PACKAGEIn the waning hours of the 2017 legislative session, state lawmakers rallied the votes necessary to reach agreement on a package of housing bills designed to help alleviate the state’s historic housing crisis. The Legislature’s vote to approve the package will provide up to $4.1 billion in bond funding, plus another $250 million annually from a real estate transaction fee, altogether the largest amount of state financing for affordable housing in California history. The package is projected to generate an estimated 70,000 housing units by 2022. The vote followed amendments to Senate Bills 2 and 3, which were the subject of intense negotiation as leaders statewide sought to stimulate development and respond to growing public pressure to improve housing affordability. Both SB2 and SB3 required a two-thirds approval by the Assembly to pass.
Building Homes and Jobs ActThe Building Homes and Jobs Act (SB 2), authored by Sen. Atkins (D-San Diego), will create a permanent revenue source to fund affordable housing by charging $75 to $225 in document fees on real estate transactions, such as mortgage refinancing. Home and commercial property sales are exempt from the fee. SB 2 is expected to generate approximately $5 billion over the next five years when matched with federal, local, and private funds. SB 2 was amended August 29th to provide greater local control over the funds. In 2018, half the funds will be made available to local governments to support community planning and half to the Department of Housing and Community Development to fund programs for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness. Beginning in 2019, local governments will receive 70% of the funds, with the remaining 30% appropriated to the California Housing Finance Agency to create mixed-income multifamily residential housing for lower to moderate income households. “There is no single silver bullet that will solve the crisis; however, SB 2 is a step in the right direction,” said Atkins following the bill’s passage. “It will generate new, ongoing funding to create permanent supportive housing for people who are experiencing chronic homelessness, providing them with services they need to address their physical and mental health issues and relieving pressure on our courts, jails, and emergency rooms.”
This may affect you! AB 1650 (Sponsored by C.A.R.) Makes significant changes to the State’s Business and Professions Code. It expands what must be included in real estate-related advertising materials and creates uniform advertising standards across a variety of media and types. Click Here for PDF outline of the new rules Click Here for C.A.R.'s web page dedicated to the change
NSDCAR has been working closely with REALTORS®, active in Carlsbad, to address the enforcement of sign regulations in the city. So far, we have been unable to reach agreement on regulations that would allow for the placement of open house signs on public property during open house hours. In addition, there appears to be continued abuse, by a few members of the real estate industry, of the number of open house signs being placed; the hours they are on display; the fact that many signs are not related to an actual open house; and the fact that signs are illegally placed in public right-of-way. This has resulted in an increase in citizen complaints and as a result, effective April 17, the City of Carlsbad began an enforcement campaign based on “the letter of the law”. This means if your signs are placed in the public right-of-way; there are excessive numbers, or they are not directly associated with an open house, they will be removed. Continued violation could result in citations or legal action. Currently, the city is warning violators after the first violation, but then imposing a $100 fine for continued violations. We urge you to understand and follow the city sign regulations to avoid these actions. Unfortunately, the action by the City of Carlsbad is the result of continued abuse of city sign regulations. Please spread the word with your agents about complying with local sign regulations. NSDCAR and the Carlsbad REALTOR® working group will continue to address this issue. Please see the attached flyer that clearly explains where signs can be placed. Click Here to See Positioning Flyer