REALTORS TAKE THEIR BIPARTISAN AGENDA TO WASHINGTON IN MAY
TAX REFORM-HOUSING FINANCE REFORM-HEALTH INSURANCE REFORM-FLOOD INSURANCE REAUTHORIZATION AND DEREGULATION
In the US House, lawmakers are considering the outlines of a “blueprint” to overhaul the tax code. Although the blueprint leaves the mortgage interest deduction in place, many homeowners would lose the incentive to take it because the proposed measures would eliminate the deduction for property taxes and nearly double the standard deduction. Only the wealthiest households would itemize, so owning would essentially be no different than renting from a tax perspective. Lawmakers are also talking about doing away with or limiting 1031 tax-deferred like-kind exchanges—which allow investors to defer paying capital gains taxes when they reinvest proceeds from a sale in a similar property. The provision has been a cornerstone of commercial real estate since it was written into the tax code in 1921.
Housing Finance Reform
The debate will be over continued federal backing of conventional loans sold to investors. Without the government guarantee, 30-year fixed rate mortgages will likely require larger down payments and have higher interest rates, and their availability may be in jeopardy.
Health Insurance Reform
Efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act are underway. Small business and independent contractors have long faced challenges obtaining adequate coverage at affordable rates. Concerns abound whether a replacement would ensure coverage for all at a reasonable cost.
Flood Insurance Reauthorization
The National Flood Insurance Program expires at the end of September. Without reauthorization, the availability of flood insurance could be disrupted, leaving thousands of transactions a day unable to close.
In a potentially positive change, reserve and reporting requirements constraining construction and commercial lending by community banks under Dodd-Frank, the banking reform law enacted in 2010 could ease. Rules pertaining to the environment could ease as well. However, on the flip side of the coin-Watch out-Banks in California may be able to file a judgement against a person, again, if a short pay off is agreed to in a sale of their home-or if losses are incurred to the bank, due to a Foreclosure…This, is again being proposed.
Are we going to be a Nation of Owners, or Renters?? Is Commercial Real Estate going to stay within reach of small investors? “We are going to have to educate our Lawmakers, and more than ever Realtors must step-up AND stay engaged…” NAR President William E. Brown.
For More information-or If you would like an update to this or other Legislation-feel free to give me a call! I will also be one of the roughly 1500-2000 Realtors that will be lobbying our Legislators at the Capitol, in Sacramento, May 15th-20th. My goal, is to do my part in protecting Private Property Rights today, and for years to come.