LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS: Realtors to Present Priorities at Lobby Day in Albany

Philip Weiden | May 2019

Picture from the Lobby Day event held in Albany in March 2018.

Members of the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors will be heading to Albany on Tuesday, May 7th to present HGAR’s legislative priorities to our Senators and Assembly members.

Realtors achieved a victory this year when Governor Cuomo made the property tax cap part of the budget and which caps real property taxes at 2% or the rate of inflation, whichever is lower, and has served to stabilize property taxes.

There are however, many items on our agenda that we will be addressing with our legislators when in Albany. One item is co-op transparency and fair housing legislation. There are two bills. One bill sponsored by Assembly Member Chuck Lavine would set a 45-day time period in which a co-op board must accept or reject a prospective purchaser and also acknowledge within 10 days of receiving the application that the board is in possession of it. The other bill would require a co-op board to give a reason in writing if an application is rejected. Compromise legislation was passed last year at the county level in Westchester and thus far there has been about one rejection a day in the county recorded by the human rights commission.

Also, on the agenda would be HGAR opposing legislation, which would increase the Department of Environmental Conservation’s oversight of wetlands from the current threshold (12.4 acres) to wetlands of as little as one acre in size. This legislation would wipe out local control of land use in New York State.

HGAR continues to oppose any increases in the mortgage recording or transfer taxes as took place in the budget in New York City. Such taxes will have a negative effect on real estate in the high-end market at a time when high-end home sales have been in a slump. The legislature has also proposed a levy of 15% tax on home flipping if homes are sold in less than one year from the purchase date or 10% for homes sold in less than two years.

These are all issues HGAR members will be discussing with legislators when in Albany. We will keep you updated on all of this legislation as the session moves forward.

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