Have You Heard The Good News?

National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Extended





On April 19th, 2017 at the stroke of midnight the Statehouse the First Time Home Buyer Legislation passed 87-11. It passed the Senate earlier in the week 49-1. We are now one step from this becoming a reality. Iowa REALTORS have fought for this legislation for the last four years, but have never had it sent to the Governor's desk yet. If adopted, the Iowa First Home Buyer Program will help Iowans realize the dream of home ownership.

The initiative would function as a dedicated, tax-free savings account program that would allow first-time homebuyers to -

* Deposit up to $2,000 ($4,000 for couples) of after-tax dollars annually.

* Receive a state income tax deduction for contributions to the account.

* Apply the savings in the account and any earned interest toward the purchase or construction of a first home in Iowa.

* Anyone can make a contribution to these accounts for any individual.

Thank you to all REALTORS who responded to the Call to Action, the staff & leadership of IAR, our lobbyist and all others who advocated by speaking to your legislators.

HOME OWNERSHIP - Good For Families. Good For Neighborhoods. Good For Iowa

Buying a First Home Should Be More Than Just a Dream! It's hard to make ends meet and save for the future. With high rent, low paying jobs and stifling student loans, it just takes too long for young people to save enough money for a down payment on a home. High closing costs, taxes and fees make buying a home even further out of reach. But young Iowans still have the dream of home ownership. That's why we NEED the First Time Home Owner Savings Program.




2017 Legislative Bus-In

Bus-In Day 2017 Recap

On Feb 1st the Iowa Association of REALTORS bussed in REALTORS from across the state to go to the Capitol and talk with our Legislators about issues Affecting home ownership and property right.












Hill Notes - Legislative Update

Look Here!Posted Originally by Heather Fegan- April 24, 2016 ~

The 2016 Legislative session is wrapping up, with the primary focus on the state budget, education, and Medicaid funding. These topics are legislative priorities and have been discussed throughout the legislative session. To date, there have only been approximately 80 bills sent to the Governor for his consideration and most of them have been non-controversial. It is anticipated that the legislature will adjourn close to the end of per diem date of April 19. The following are some of the issues the Iowa Association of REALTORS were tracking this year:

Senate File 2219 - Carbon Monoxide Detector Legislation

The bill requires carbon monoxide alarms in certain dwellings and multiple-unit residential buildings. The language in the bill is similar to current smoke detector language, which is a required item when filing for a homestead tax credit. This bill will add carbon monoxide detectors to be installed within 30 days of filing for homestead credit. It would also require carbon monoxide detectors in all rental units. This bill will have an effective date of July 1, 2018. The bill has passed both the House and the Senate and will be sent to the Governor for his signature. The IAR registered as undecided on this legislation, but was very active in ensuring that it did not become a time of transfer mandate prior to the sale of a home. The bill requires the installation of carbon monoxide alarms in multiple-unit residential buildings and single-family dwellings constructed on or after July 1, 2018, and that have a fuel-fired heater or appliance, a fireplace, or an attached garage. Carbon monoxide alarms shall be installed within 15 feet of the entrance of each room lawfully used for sleeping purposes or in a location as specified by rule. The state fire marshal shall adopt rules for the installation of carbon monoxide alarms in the same manner in existing multiple-unit residential buildings and single-family rental units that have a fuel-fired appliance, a fireplace, or an attached garage. The owner of a single-family dwelling that has a fuel-fired appliance, a fireplace, or an attached garage is responsible for installing carbon monoxide alarms and shall certify such installation upon filing for a homestead credit.

House File 631/Senate File 414 - Home Savings Account Legislation

This legislation would create a new State income tax exemption for qualified deposits to a First-time Homebuyer Savings Account. This would allow prospective first-time homebuyers to save money to help pay for closing costs or a down payment on a home in Iowa. IAR has worked to pass this legislation for three legislative sessions. The House passed the bill with bipartisan support two years in a row. Some opponents of the bills are concerned on the budget impact of this bill. The Home Savings Account bill was referred to the Senate Ways and Means Committee last session after passing the Senate State Government Committee. The Senate Ways and Means Committee did not take the bill up for consideration for the second consecutive year. The legislation is estimated to have a negative fiscal impact to the State General Fund and the estimates reduce the State general fund by $800,000 in fiscal year 2017 and increases to $4.3 million by the year 2020. The Iowa Legislature is still working on school funding and regular budget appropriations and it is unlikely the Home Savings Account legislation will pass again this year. The Iowa Association of REALTORS actively supports this legislation.

Here is a summary of the provisions of the bill: Establishes a first-time homebuyer savings account program in Iowa A first-time homebuyer will be able to receive an income tax exemption for savings up to $3,000/year for up to 10 years for a potential total of $30,000 at the end of the 10th year, or $6,000/year for two first time homebuyers who file taxes jointly for a total of $60,000 at the end of 10 years Withdrawals from the account are tax-free, as long as the funds are used for closing costs and downpayment on a single family, owner occupied residence in Iowa The first-time homebuyer is required to set up an account with an Iowa bank or credit union to be used to purchase a home in Iowa The first-time homebuyer will be responsible for the accuracy of the account and filing reports with the Department of Revenue No penalties for early withdrawal if used for the purchase of a home in Iowa Income tax and a 10% withdrawal penalty would apply for withdrawal of monies if not used for the purchase of a home in Iowa False claims or statements are a serious misdemeanor and subject to fines

House File 493 - Right to Assistance Legislation -

This legislation establishes new requirements for cities that adopt ordinances that penalize the owner of a property if there are too many police/fire/requests for assistance. There are also requirements for the landlords and tenants in the legislation. In some instances tenants have been hesitant to call for assistance because of these local city ordinances. IAR is registered in favor of this legislation. The House passed the legislation in 2015, and the Senate passed an amended version of the bill in April 2016. It will now bounce back to the House for consideration of the Senate amendment.

House File 2060 - Disclosure of Utility Information for Rental Units -

The legislation would require a landlord to disclose to a tenant the utility service costs of the rental unit for the preceding 12-month period. It would also require a disclosure form be adopted in order to carry out the specifics of the legislation. The IAR has historically opposed to legislation mandating disclosures on information pertaining to utility usage, as there are different cost averages depending on the previous tenant or owner. Under current law, a prospective purchaser or renter can ask for this information prior to signing an agreement. The IAR registered as neutral on the legislation and there was no subcommittee consideration of the legislation.

House File 2227 - Scrap Metal Legislation -

The bill establishes new penalties and requirements for scrap metal dealers and sellers. There is support from the IAR for legislation to deal with criminal activities involving copper theft and other metal theft from new construction and existing homes. This bill would have increased the responsibilities of scrap metal dealers when ensuring that the metal they purchase is from legitimate sellers and sources. The IAR supported this legislation, but it was not considered in the House Commerce committee. The IAR will continue to look at proactive legislative language for the next legislative session.

House File 2092 - The Federal Tax Code 'Coupling' Bill -

conforms Iowa's tax laws with changes to the federal Internal Revenue Code (IRC) made since January 1, 2015. The IAR supported this legislation and was a talking point during our Bus-In Day. The legislation was signed by the Governor: Section 179 of the federal tax code offers tax deductions to individuals who invest in their own business by allowing them to deduct business expenditures from their income taxes For farmers and small business owners, the federal tax code allows a deduction of up to $500,000 from their income taxes for investments made in their business The legislation approves 'coupling' with the federal tax code provisions for Section 179 in order for Iowa small businesses to receive the same tax benefits. The state of Iowa has passed "coupling" for the past several years, and many Iowans have invested in their businesses this past year under the assumption that Iowa would continue to couple with the federal tax code. Allows homeowners to deduct qualifying mortgage insurance on their homes Allows farmers to deduct new equipment on the farms Allows small businesses and partnerships to deduct investments in their business Allows teachers to deduct a portion of supplies in their classrooms that they pay for out of pocket Allows parents and students to deduct a portion of college tuition and textbooks Many others took a number of other deductions included with coupling.

Senate File 2106 - Topsoil Disclosure Legislation -

The bill would have required that topsoil must be preserved or replaced on residential construction sites where the surface area of the ground disturbed is greater than 5,000 square feet. The depth of topsoil must be at least three inches on areas of the site where the surface of the ground was disturbed and is exposed after final stabilization is achieved. IAR opposed this legislation and it was not considered in committee.

House File 2436 - Appraisal Management Company Legislation-

This bill requires the superintendent of the banking division of the department of commerce to regulate appraisal management companies and modifies provisions applicable to the Iowa real estate appraiser examining board. This legislation is largely legislation that complies with federal legislation that was implemented. IAR is monitoring this legislation. The bill has passed the House and is currently eligible for discussion in the Senate Ways and Means Committee.

The IAR also tracked several other bills that did not advance this legislative session; occupancy restrictions for rental housing, eminent domain, private property rights, and multiple tax policy bills that impact the budget.




Exercise Your Right to VOTE!







Voter Registration FAQ and Commonly Asked Questions

LinkInformation

from the Iowa Secretary of State ~ Paul D. Pate







Stop Patent Trolls

Tell your U.S. Representative to support H.R. 9, the Innovation Act to stop patent trolls and protect the real estate industry from frivolous lawsuits. REALTORS across the country receive threatening demand letters and lawsuits alleging patent infringement based on the use of common business tools such as drop down menus or search alert functions on websites and the scanner function on a copier. These patent trolls buy vague patents and use them to turn everyday business practices into potential lawsuits. H.R. 9 is scheduled for House floor consideration later this summer. Congress must pass this common-sense comprehensive patent litigation reform to protect Main Street businesses and REALTORS from patent troll abuse.

Flood Insurance Increases an Average of 10% on April 1, 2015

Take a moment to click on the link to read about the National Flood Insurance Program release of 2015 rate changes.




Legislative Advocacy/RPAC

Don't Believe in Polictical Action? When they......

. eliminate the mortgage interest deduction

. raise property taxes and

. tax your commission and

. increase your liability.....

You will ask, "Where was IAR?" And we will reply, "Where were You?"

About Calls for Actions

When Congress is considering legislation that affects the real estate industry, NAR calls on its members to act. Simply by contacting your Member of Congress through an e-mail or a phone call, you can ensure that your business remains strong. NAR members join together and speak with one loud, powerful voice.

CALLS FOR ACTION

REALTOR Action Center Mobile App!




Past Hill Notes!

The Home Savings Account bill has been referred to the Senate Ways and Means Committee after passing the Senate State Government Committee. The bill will have a subcommittee meeting on Wednesday, March 25 in the Senate. This legislation does have a fiscal impact to the State General Fund and will cost approximately $500,000 in fiscal year 2016. This fiscal impact makes the bill more difficult to pass in a tight budget year.

The Iowa Association of REALTORS actively supports this legislation and will do a limited Call for Action to Senate Ways and Means Committee members this week to ask for their support of the bill.

The bill provides that a city shall not, after January 1, 2016, adopt or enforce any regulation or restriction related to the occupancy of residential rental property based upon the familial or nonfamilial relationships of occupants. The legislation passed the House 73-26. The Senate amended the bill considerably and allows the cities to restrict rent based upon familial status, but allows the cities to potentially grant a waiver for nonfamilial rentals. The IAR supports the House version of the legislation.

Right to Assistance - House File 493

Allows residents, owners, tenants, and landlords to summon emergency assistance, preempting local city ordinances. The IAR supports this legislation and it is eligible for consideration in the House.

Hands-Free Cell Phone use when driving - Senate File 391

The bill prohibits handheld usage while driving and would require a hands-free or voice activated device in the vehicle. This legislation has bipartisan support and passed the Senate with a vote of 44-6. The legislation is eligible for consideration in the House.

Radon results disclosed to potential buyer - House File 371/Senate File 413

This legislation allows a buyer to receive radon test results if they have an offer to purchase on the home and have paid for the radon test - does not need a seller's written consent to receive test results. The legislation passed the House 96-0 and is eligible for consideration in the Senate. The IAR supports this legislation.

Radon mitigation systems for new construction - Senate File 399

The bill provides for rules mandating radon mitigation systems in new construction. The IAR is neutral on this legislation as most new construction already have passive systems for radon.

Commercial Lien bill

Despite support from both Republicans and Democrats, it was not brought up for consideration in the House Commerce Committee. Therefore it is likely dead for this year. We will look at the bill's language and its effect and discuss the potential for future legislation.

NAR Call for Action

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