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State Update

Geoff McIntosh
By Geoff McIntosh
C.A.R. President

C.A.R. Sets Its 2017 State Legislative Agenda

This year, the California Association of REALTORS® will be sponsoring eight bills, including one to restore the California Bureau of Real Estate (CalBRE) to Department status.

Federal Legislative Concerns

During February, C.A.R.’s Leadership Team and I were in Washington, D.C., meeting with members of Congress, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to discuss the issues most important to your business.

At the Capitol, we discussed protecting real estate tax incentives, such as the mortgage interest deduction and like-kind exchanges (a.k.a. 1031 exchanges), as well as mortgage finance reform to ensure that California’s home buyers will have access to safe and affordable mortgages. We asked Congress to pass a long-term reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program so that there will be no gaps in policy coverage, which would bring uncertainty to the housing market.

In our meetings with regulators, we talked about increasing opportunities for home ownership. Finally, we talked about California’s use of the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing and its impact on transactions and mortgage availability.

C.A.R.’s 2017 Legislative Agenda

This year, C.A.R. will be sponsoring eight bills, including the following: SB 173 (Dodd) CalBRE “Department” Status Restoration.
In 2012, the Brown Administration made changes to the state’s organizational structure in an effort to streamline government practices. These changes included moving the Department of Real Estate to the Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency (BCSH) to function under the Department of Consumer Affairs as a Bureau. This bill returns CalBRE to its standing as the Department of Real Estate within BCSH.

AB 690 (Quirk-Silva) Homeowners Association (HOA) Management Company Disclosures: Fees and Conflicts of Interest. Among other things, AB 690 requires HOAs to deliver, within the annual budget report, an itemized estimate of fees that may be charged by a professional management company for documents necessary to facilitate a real estate transaction.

Pending amendments clarify that sellers may request to purchase some or all of thesedocuments, but shall not be required to purchase all of the documents listed on this form. Management companies will also be required to disclose any conflicts of interest when initiating a management contract or presenting bids for service to the HOA board.

C.A.R. is sponsoring AB 690 to help unit owners prepare for costs associated with the transfer of real property and to ensure that the board of directors has the tools necessary to make informed decisions regarding proposed service providers.

AB 1333 (Dababneh) Property Owner Notification: Proposed Taxes and Bonds. Under current law, resident property owners receive notice of proposed taxes and bonds with receipt of their ballot pamphlet while nonresident property owners do not receive any notice whatsoever. This bill requires a city, county, or special district (e.g., hospital district) to provide an electronic notice to all property owners within seven days of a proposed tax or bond qualifying for the ballot.

For a complete list of 2017 C.A.R.-sponsored bills, visit the State Government Affairs section on car.org.

This column is based on and has been excerpted from the Monthly Message by C.A.R. President Geoff McIntosh that was distributed via email on March 17, 2017. It is being reprinted here with permission.