Click here to view the updated 2016 NHAR legislative chart, showing a comprehensive list of bills followed by NHAR in the current legislative session.
Following a 2015 legislative session in which NHAR enjoyed an exceptional success rate in terms of legislation the Association either supported or opposed, the NHAR Public Policy Committee is as vigilant as ever in its discerning eye on the 2016 session.
Of particular interest to the committee is our state's extraordinary budget deficit and how closing that gap could potentially impact the real estate industry. Without a sales or income tax, how much of a burden will be placed on property taxes, deeds recording fees and the real estate transfer tax? NHAR will be watching closely and do its very best to guard against an unfair impact on our industry.
The Public Policy Committee spent the first few weeks of the 2016 session reviewing hundreds of bills, of which it chose to take a position on roughly 30 and monitor roughly 40 others, to ensure that they would not adversely impact private property rights and/or the ability of our members to continue to practice as real estate licensees in New Hampshire.
Of general concern to NHAR are several issues that arise on an annual basis, including:
Real estate transfer tax: The state’s real estate transfer tax is a tax that singles out the sellers and buyers of real estate, thus placing a burden on this population to shoulder a significant share of the state’s revenue needs. The transfer tax impacts the low and middle income families the hardest, and the Association opposes any attempt to either raise the rate of this tax or to dedicate the funds generated from the real estate transfer tax or the deed recording fees.
Workforce housing: As house prices continue to increase, it becomes more difficult for citizens of New Hampshire to purchase homes in the communities in which they work and live. The Association supports initiatives that would allow for more affordable housing unit production, including greater flexibility in local regulatory ordinances.
Health insurance: REALTORS® are having an increasingly difficult time finding affordable health insurance coverage. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, nearly one-third of our membership is without health care coverage. In New Hampshire, one of the primary obstacles is the limited number of providers offering coverage. We support initiatives that will make health insurance coverage more affordable and available.
Land use: Creative land use policies can assist in reducing the cost of housing. Local communities must remove exclusionary zoning policies that restrict affordable housing. Towns that adopt innovative zoning practices not only reduce the cost of development, but they can use these tools to preserve open space.
Rent control: The New Hampshire Association of REALTORS® opposes rent control as an unfair, inefficient and outdated public policy approach to the creation and maintenance of affordable housing.