Capitol Connection: May 8, 2015
Wednesday, May 6th, the final gavel came down on the first session of the 70th General Assembly. In total, 682 bills were introduced. CAR tracked 71 bills this year and took a position on 36 of them. A split Legislature this year with Republicans controlling the Senate and Democrats controlling the House meant every bill sent to the Governor for his signature had to have bipartisan support.
The Legislative Policy Committee (LPC) was busy tracking many different bills that would affect our industry. CAR was successful in helping pass the HOA Manager Licensing Reform Bill. HB15-1343 makes regulations smarter and less onerous for property management businesses and many of our members because it removes the requirement for the CEO, managing brokers, and any brokerage support staff to be licensed. The bill sets up a “designated manager” model for determining who needs to be licensed and to whom the responsibility rests for any licensed activity executed by unlicensed staff. The designated manager model is tailored after the employing broker model already used by the Division of Real Estate. Lastly, the bill permits the use of “independent contractors” who perform only clerical, ministerial, accounting or maintenance functions. These individuals would not need to be licensed, which should provide relief for small, self-managed HOAs.
CAR initiated HB15-1260, Change the Wildfire Income Tax Deduction, and worked very diligently with the sponsors and committee chairs to find a reasonable compromise to help reduce the bill’s fiscal impact. The bill, as introduced, would have changed the deduction to a credit, remaining at 50% of costs and capped at $2500. With the amendment, it remained a deduction, but increased to 100% of costs, still capped at $2500. This lowered the fiscal note to 1/10 the impact of the introduced bill. Unfortunately, this bill died in the Senate Appropriations Committee. We are still committed to educating homeowners on how to properly mitigate their properties, the benefits to doing so, and the ability to utilize the current Wildfire Mitigation Tax Deduction of 50% of costs up to $2500.
Thank you to everyone who participated in our Calls for Action this year. Unfortunately, SB15-177, Construction Defects Reform, was killed in the House State, Veteran and Military Affairs Committee. We have already seen the City of Littleton take up an ordinance addressing this issue since the Legislature failed to act on it, and we expect more cities to take their own actions as well. We are pleased to report that SB15-284, the Anti-Gaylord Rockies TIF bill, failed on a procedural move in the Senate.
We would like to extend a sincere thank you to all of the members of the LPC for your hard work and dedication throughout this session. Thank you to our subcommittee chairs: Janene Johnson- Business/Taxation, Dave Kupernik- Housing, Jack Beuse- Land Use, Sunny Banka- Regulatory and Barb Asbury- Water. Additionally, thank you to Mark Trenka, 2015 LPC Chair, and Janene Johnson, 2015 LPC Vice Chair, for all of your time and effort this year.
NAR REALTORS® Legislative Meetings and Trade Expo NEXT WEEK
The REALTORS® Legislative Meetings and Trade Expo is taking place May 11-16, 2015 in Washington, D.C. We will be scheduling meetings with the Colorado delegation, and you don’t want to miss out! Register here today. Please contact Madeline Cain at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are attending and have not received your emailed packet of information.
NAR hosted a Town Hall Webcast on May 6th at Noon Mountain Time. REALTORS® who are planning to attend the 2015 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo should watch the recorded webinar if you were unable to view it live. NAR’s Chief Lobbyist Jerry Giovaniello and the lobbying team highlighted the issues REALTORS® will present on Capitol Hill. Please use this link to watch the webinar.