Legislative Update: Jan. 16, 2018

Legislative Update: Jan. 16, 2018

Legislative Update: January 16, 2018

Lead paint; new appeals board;
potential tax relief for first-time buyers

By BOB QUINN
Government Affairs Director

Here are a few items being explored in the New Hampshire legislature that are of potential interest to the real estate community and being watched closely by your New Hampshire REALTORS government affairs team:

Lead paint bill appears poised to pass; NHAR objects to funding scheme

After nearly a year of debate, Senate Bill 247, relative to lead in paint and water, appears to be close to a conclusion. The House of Representatives passed a significantly amended bill earlier this month. Highlights of the bill include:

  • Changes the blood levels for notifications to property owners relative to blood lead levels in children from 5 micrograms per deciliter to 3.5.
  • Requires testing for blood lead levels in children at the age of one and 2.
  • Lowers child blood threshold for abatement orders from 10 micrograms to 7.5 micrograms in 2019 and the down to 5 micrograms in 2021.
  • Creates revolving loan fund to provide loans to property owners to make units lead-safe.

NHAR has objected to the revolving loan fund as insufficient and probably unworkable. The Senate version of the legislation including a grant program which mimics tax credits provided by other states. NHAR supported the grant fund. The House is attempting to fix the issues with the revolving loan fund, while NHAR continues to advocate for grants.

NHAR is pleased that legislators did listen to our concerns to the extent that the House version of the bill requires property owners to only abate units with children and pregnant women as opposed to current requirement that all units must be abated. This should lower overall costs to property owner. Final action on the bill is expected before the end of the month.
 
Legislation would create new Board of Housing Development Appeals

Appealing municipal planning board or ZBA decisions to the Superior Court can be costly and time consuming for property owners. Senate Bill 557 would create an alternative for property owners and developers to appeal to a state Board of Housing Development which would have appellate jurisdiction similar to the Superior Court. Any decisions made by this new board could only be appealed to the Supreme Court.

The board would have three professionals, experienced in questions of land use law or housing development, appointed by the supreme court and commissioned by the governor. The intent is to lower cost and time for appeals. NHAR supports the bill.
 
Tax relief for first-time homebuyers?

Senate Bill 301 would temporarily reduce the Real Estate Transfer Tax for first-time buyers from $0.75 per $100 down to $0.50 per $100, translating to approximately a $500 savings on a $200,000 home. The tax reduction would apply to sales between January 1, 2018 and December 31, 2019. The legislature will attempt to track the increase or decrease of first-time buyers because of the tax decrease. NHAR supports the legislation although would prefer to see a larger tax reduction.

For the most recent legislative chart, click here.

For more information, please contact Bob Quinn at 603-225-5549 or bob@nhar.com.

“Amidst the sea of change to which the New Hampshire Association of REALTORS has played witness in its 85 years, one thing that has remained constant is the Realtor 'R' and the value we bring to every real estate transaction in which we take part. We are part of a unique community where our familial cooperation transcends our business competition. These are not mere platitudes, but our living ideals, and they are, in fact, the foundation on which we conduct ourselves in our day-to-day affairs.”

 

Gerry O'Connell, 2018 President, New Hampshire REALTORS

“Amidst the sea of change to which the New Hampshire Association of REALTORS has played witness in its 85 years, one thing that has remained constant is the Realtor 'R' and the value we bring to every real estate transaction in which we take part. We are part of a unique community where our familial cooperation transcends our business competition. These are not mere platitudes, but our living ideals, and they are, in fact, the foundation on which we conduct ourselves in our day-to-day affairs.”

 

Gerry O'Connell, 2018 President, New Hampshire REALTORS