Large HGAR Contingent Lobby Albany Lawmakers on Key Issues
John Jordan | May 2016
ALBANY—A total of 45 members of the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors traveled to Albany on May 24th by car and bus to present state lawmakers representing HGAR’s four-county area the association’s 2016 legislative priorities.
HGAR President Marcene Hedayati, Caro and Legislative Committee Chair John Lease III led the HGAR delegation. Also providing support for the delegation were HGAR CEO Richard Haggerty, HGAR COO Ann Garti and HGAR Government Affairs Director Philip Weiden.
The lobbying effort was part of the New York State Association of Realtors’ Annual Lobby Day. This year’s event drew the largest number of Realtors from associations across New York State in the history of the Lobby Day program.
HGAR met with a number of state lawmakers in a meeting room in the Capitol Building Room in the Senate Office Building and then visited all members of the Hudson Valley state delegation to discuss HGAR’s legislative priorities individually or with their staff.
Among HGAR’s chief legislative priorities include: support for the NY First Home proposal that would establish a first-time home buyer savings account; opposition to any mortgage recording and transfer tax proposals; support for an increase to the threshold of the Mansion Tax; support for proposals that would foster transparency and disclosure in the cooperative housing purchase process; and support for vested rights for property owners.
HGAR’s legislative priorities also include: opposition to legislation that would add “Source of Income” as a protected class; opposition to expanded agricultural disclosure notice requirements; support for reform of the Scaffold Law and opposition to any legislation that would require disclosure of the availability of certain sex offender information upon the sale or lease of a property. HGAR notes that it supports disclosing sex offender information, but opposes the legal liability created by any such disclosure requirements.
During its presentation to some state lawmakers and staff at the Capitol Building Room, which included State Assemblywoman Shelley Mayer of Yonkers, HGAR officials stressed its opposition to the proposed transfer tax now before the Yonkers City Council. The proposal, part of Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano’s budget, would increase the transfer tax by $7,500 on the purchase of a $500,000 house in Yonkers.
Editor’s Note: Look for further coverage of Lobby Day in the June print edition of Real Estate In-Depth