APRIL REPORT – From the TAR Government Affairs Department

APRIL REPORT – From the TAR Government Affairs Department

This Article was written By Nick Bokone, TAR Government Affairs Consultant

April Article 1 of 2, 2018 |

Code Enforcement Discussion Affects REALTORS® and Homeowners

In the last few weeks, a hot topic around Telluride has been the city’s code enforcement division and how aggressively current ordinances are being enforced. While the discussion has centered around parking, snow removal, and pets lately, it’s a good time for our industry to take stock of the laws and rules affecting our daily life.

Codes are enforced to protect the community standards built over years of citizen input through the city’s elected officials. Whether it be ordinances regulating the placement of real estate signs, snow removal obligations for homeowners, short term rental options, parking restrictions, height restrictions or other laws relating to property, the codes are there to protect the quality of life expected in Telluride and other surrounding areas.

Clearly, the enforcement of these codes can cause problems. When codes are being enforced too strictly or when the city is lax in enforcing the laws, problems like this most recent discussion can occur. While the city sorts out what the proper tone should be, we’re all reminded that the easiest way to avoid such problems is to follow the law to the best of our ability. By placing your real estate signs correctly and advising your clients and property owners to be mindful of current laws, you’re doing your part to uphold the quality of life you’ve come to expect in Telluride and San Miguel County.

Vacancies on Town Boards and Commissions

The Town of Telluride has a number of vacant spots on various boards and commissions that need to be filled. This is an excellent chance for REALTORS® to give back to the community by volunteering your time and your expertise to further the best interests of Telluride. Vacancies exist on the Board of Adjustment, the Elections Commission, the Ethics Commission, The Open Space Commission, Parks & Rec Commission and the Airport Authority. Applications for any of these positions must be turned in by April 23rd, so if you have an interest you’re encouraged to act quickly.

More information for these commissions and the length of service can be found here: https://telluride-co.civicweb.net/document/60273/4a%202018%2005%2003%20Vacancies%20SG.pdf?handle=B18A429A02884807A8C98418C6DA655A

State News – Transportation Infrastructure Compromise Reached

Last week, Democrats and Republicans came to compromise on a bill that would allow voters to approve funding of the state’s transportation needs during the 2019 election while still allowing Colorado’s citizens to weigh in on ballot measure in November of this year first.

SB18-001, sponsored by Senator Baumgardner (R-Grandby), Senator Cooke (R-Greeley), and Representative Buck (R-Windsor) is the major transportation funding vehicle this legislative session. Last week a major compromise was reached that would allow for annual funding of transportation up to $250 million a year and it delays this referred measure to the 2019 ballot for Colorado voters. This would allow voters to make their own decisions at the ballot in 2018 on any existing transportation ballot initiatives, but should all of them fail at the ballot box this year, the legislative compromise would be referred to the voters for the 2019 ballot.

SB18-001, the legislative compromise, would divert 10 percent of state sales and use tax revenue from the General Fund to the State Highway fund and offer CDOT the ability to issue 3.5 Billion in trans-bonds with one-third of the issuance occurring in FY 2018-2019, FY2019-2020, and FY2020-2021. The bill would also require the money to be spent in counties with populations of 50,000 or less (at least 25%), highways (no more than 90%), and transit (at least 10%).

The Colorado Association of REALTORS® (CAR) Legislative Policy Committee (LPC) supports this compromise legislation. And CAR will continue to watch Senate Bill18-001 as it evolves with budget negotiations.

Real Estate License Renewal Flexibility

HB18-1227, sponsored by Representative Wist (R-Centennial), Representative Herod (D-Denver), and Senator Cooke (R-Greeley) is a clean-up bill for the 2017 real estate sunset bill. In the sunset bill, the expiration date of real estate licenses changed from an anniversary date to a calendar renewal on December 31st of the third year after issuance.  However, the legislative legal services committee had a few concerns about some rules promulgated to effect this change and therefore a clean-up bill this year will address those concerns to ensure that real estate licenses can be renewed on the calendar date instead of the anniversary date. CAR’s LPC and the Division of Real Estate support this legislation.

Several of our rural members and local boards previously did not have the same access to a quality transition course. Some do not have offerings because only one type of education service provider can offer the course, and this would mean members would have to travel long distances to meet their requirements. Additionally, depending on the timing of their renewal date during that transition period, some transitioning licensees could be closer to a more current annual update course offering and the transition course would be dated since it is only updated once in 5 years. The number of continuing education requirements will remain the same under the amendments, but in the transition license period two annual update courses will be required and the rest of the requirements can be met with elective courses.  As amended in the House and Senate committees the bill now will allow for calendar renewals of licenses and clear up some of the confusion around the transition period.  On Tuesday, HB18-1227 passed unanimously on third reading in the Senate.

National News – NAR Testifies on Association Health Plans

On Tuesday, March 20th, NAR testified before the U.S. House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions in support of current regulatory efforts to expand association health plans (AHPs).  At the hearing, which focused on U.S. Department of Labor’s recently proposed AHP rule, Mike McGrew, a REALTOR® for more than 30 years in Lawrence, Kansas, and former NAR treasurer, expressed NAR’s strong support for the rule’s provisions to allow self-employed individuals with no employees to participate in association health plans. You can watch the hearing here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWcuzwm2kYQ&feature=youtu.be

NAR Involved in Anti-Money Laundering Event

Last week, NAR participated in an all-day conference hosted by George Mason University’s Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center on “Money Laundering in Real Estate.” NAR staff presented the industry perspective on a panel along with Nick D’ Ambrosia, a REALTOR® broker and SVP of Education and Licensing for Long & Foster Real Estate Companies. Also on the panel were representatives from the American Land Title Association and the American Escrow Association. The conference provided valuable insight in the vulnerabilities of the real estate industry as a target for money laundering schemes. As a result, many in attendance were in favor of increased regulations on the industry as a means to gain more intelligence on buyers and sellers in an attempt to crack down on illicit financing schemes. However, such regulations would prove burdensome and unnecessary given the existing anti-money laundering regulations that already apply to U.S. financial institutions

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