Legislative Update: February 12, 2019
By BOB QUINN
Vice President of Government Affairs
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:
Commission payments to business entities clears the House
NHAR-backed legislation to allow a principal broker to pay a commission to an LLC or other business entity, as long as all partners of the business entity have a valid and active real estate licensee, has passed out of the House of Representatives. House Bill 268 is in response to the 2018 Declaratory Ruling by the NH Real Estate Commission which indicated that such commission payments to unlicensed business entities are prohibited. The Senate will take up the bill in March or April.
Legislation would provide long-term funding for housing
NHAR testified in favor of Senate Bill 15, which requires that $5 million of revenue generated from the Real Estate Transfer Tax (RETT) be allocated to the Affordable Housing Fund each year. That fund is used by the NH Housing Finance Authority to facilitate the purchase, rehabilitation or construction of affordable housing. NHAR argued that at least some state revenue derived from the RETT should be used for housing, as long as the RETT rate is not increased. The legislation is being considered by the Senate Finance Committee.
Hearing on Housing Appeals Board shows broad support
NHAR joined a broad coalition, including some municipalities, in supporting Senate Bill 306, which would set-up a new state Housing Appeals Board designed to expedite appeals from local land use boards. The Appeals Board would be an alternative to an appeal to Superior Court, which can take up to 18 months. The new board would have a maximum of six months to reach a decision and would be heard by professionals with a knowledge of land use law.
This new Housing Board would have no more authority and jurisdiction than the Superior Court currently enjoys, which is why the NH Municipal Association is taking no position on the bill. The City of Nashua and others are supporting the legislation because they also see the need for cost savings in the appeal process. The legislation is currently being debated in the Senate.
To view the most recent legislative chart, click here. If you have questions regarding these or any other pieces of legislation from the 2019 New Hampshire legislative session, please contact NHAR Vice President of Government Affairs Bob Quinn at email@example.com or 603-225-5549.
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.
Dan O'Halloran (at right), 2019 President, New Hampshire REALTORS