LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS: Latest Realtor News from Washington, DC

Philip Weiden | March 2017

Phil Weiden, HGAR
Government Affairs Director

There are many issues of concern to Realtors on the political horizon this year. Congress is currently absorbed considering the nomination of a Supreme Court Justice as well as the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) so, tax reform, while currently not yet at the forefront, has serious implications for Realtors.

1031 exchanges are being targeted in tax reform preliminary discussions as is the deductibility of state and local property taxes.

1031 exchanges help to facilitate commercial real estate transactions that otherwise would not have closed. If the 1031 provision were eliminated, it would hurt many parts of the state where downtown development is booming. Please contact your senators and congressional representatives and urge them not to touch the 1031 like kind exchanges.

The tax deductibility for state and local property taxes is one of the most important parts of the tax code for New Yorkers. Homeowners save hundreds and potentially thousands of dollars a year in taxes due to the fact that they are able to deduct the state and local portion of their property taxes.

Finally, Dr. Ben Carson has been confirmed as HUD Secretary. NAR President William Brown stated, “Dr. Carson should be proud of his achievement. The task at hand is a big one, and we applaud his commitment to the challenges that lie ahead. NAR has been the voice of real estate for over a century. In that time we’ve seen changes in markets, in Washington and in the business of our Realtor members. But there’s a reason that homeownership is called the ‘American Dream,’ and that hasn’t changed one bit. Homeownership helps build communities and build wealth for families. And we know that the policies set in Washington can make a real difference for Americans as they work to realize their dream of homeownership,” he said.

NAR President Brown added, “We’re committed to helping them get there, which means addressing the hurdles that buyers, current homeowners and investors face in the marketplace. Housing inventories are tight and mortgage credit is hard to come by, and at the same time far too many buyers are saddled with high rents and student debt that stand in the way of saving for a down payment. We look forward to working with Secretary Carson to meet these challenges head on.”

 

Philip Weiden
Legislative Affairs columnist Philip Weiden is the Government Affairs Director for the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors.