Weekly Update: February 22, 2018

   We had an excellent meeting with Congressman David Young last Monday at the HBAI office – a very interesting dialogue and very much on track.  From the right counterclockwise – Congressman David Young, BUILDPAC Trustee Rich Fitch, Des Moines HBA Executive Officer Dan Knoup, Des Moines Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Lance Henning, Past HBAI President Keith Butz, and Iowa Prison Industries Director Dan Clark.

Capital Improvements and Home Equity Loans

In a victory for remodelers, the IRS issued a letter yesterday clarifying changes to home equity loans and lines of credit to confirm that households may take a tax deduction when these loans are used for home improvements.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, enacted Dec. 22, suspends from 2018 until 2026 the deduction for interest paid on home equity loans and lines of credit, unless they are used to buy, build or substantially improve the taxpayer’s home that secures the loan, the letter said.  “This is a major victory for remodelers and for home owners who want to invest in their homes,” said NAHB chairman Randy Noel.

Total Housing Permits for 2017 Just In

This is pretty interesting, fresh data shows:
  • Total national single-family permits for 2017 were 817,300, up 10% from 2016.
  • Iowa single-family permits for 2017 were 8,743, up 6% from 2016.

Siders Appointed to DNR Mitigation Advisory Team

HBAI Past President and Legislative Chair Glenn Siders was appointed to an Iowa DNR Mitigation Advisory Team and will participate in his first meeting with the group today.  They will be investigating the feasibility of an in-lieu fee compensatory mitigation program (ILF program) to serve the needs of USACE permittees for stream mitigation work in Iowa.

Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) Courses in Iowa City

The CAPS 1 Marketing and Communications Strategies for Aging and Accessibility will be held March 20 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and the CAPS II Design / Build Solutions for Aging and Accessibility class will beMarch 21 from 9 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.  Click here for the brochure.

Health Care Solutions Move Forward

There were two different Iowa Senate bills to bring Iowans health care options that made it through the funnel last week.

SF2349 allows the creation of Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements, also known as MEWAs. The bill will remove the current time restrictions found in Iowa code, which will allow the creation of MEWAs under current federal laws and regulations.  Additionally, the bill will require the Commissioner of Insurance to adopt rules to allow the creation of a more flexible type of MEWA which will be allowed once proposed U.S. Department of Labor regulations become final.

Another bill SF2329 would allow certain agricultural organizations to offer health benefit plans. Under this bill, these plans would not be considered insurance under state or federal law, taking these plans out of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirements. Previously, Iowa had tried the stopgap measure to fix the problem for Iowans who can’t afford health insurance under the ACA, but that proposal was ultimately withdrawn. This option is for Iowans who should not have to pay $40,000 a year for health insurance. Passing this bill will let certain associations to offer health benefit plans to their members in need of this product.

Many of our members are looking for options due to the collapse of Iowa’s individual health insurance market. These bills will provide two options for all Iowans, including our small businesses and sole proprietors who are in desperate need for solutions.

Canadian Softwood Lumber and US Exports

As punitive duties averaging more than 20% were imposed on Canadian softwood lumber imports in 2017, domestic producers responded by shipping record amounts of lumber overseas.  U.S. exports overseas climbed 9% in 2017, compared to a modest 1% increase in 2016 and a sharp 16% drop in 2015. Exports to China, the largest U.S. offshore customer, were up 21% from 2016. Producers of southern yellow pine exported 41% more to China in 2017 than they did in 2016.

At the same time that domestic lumber producers claimed they were being harmed by Canadian imports, they were sending record amounts of softwood lumber overseas because they could charge a higher premium to foreign nations.  Meanwhile, the tariffs are harming housing affordability, causing extreme price volatility and incentivizing foreign nations to boost lumber exports to the U.S. because of record-high prices.

Lumber imports posted their fifth consecutive yearly gain in 2017. However, unlike the previous four years, the increase was accompanied by a decline in imports from Canada-the first such decline in six years.  Roughly one-third of the lumber used in the U.S. last year was imported. Even with rising imports from other nations, the bulk of imported lumber – more than 95% – came from Canada.

It is imperative that the U.S. and Canada find an equitable long-term solution in lumber trade that provides a steady supply of lumber at a reasonable price.  At the same time, we are calling on domestic producers to curb their timber exports when there is a gaping need at home.

 

   The Iowa Truss Manufacturers Association held it’s annual legislative day yesterday morning.  HBAI is in step with their priorities and vision, so we participate in the event.  Next Wednesday, the HBAI Board of Directors will hold our hill visit day and meeting at the Capitol.

 

Legislative Update February 16

SF2127 – Economic Development Authority and Eligible Housing Business – agreements with eligible housing businesses required the project or rehabilitation to be completed within two years of the date the eligible housing business began the building or rehabilitation. The bill allows an extension to be granted by the economic development authority, as approved by the economic development board, for up to one year from the date the extension is granted for the eligible housing business to complete its building or rehabilitation project.  HBAI undecided

SF2182 – Association Health Plans – An Act relating to association health plans, a type of multiple employer welfare arrangement, established by bona fide associations of employers and including contingent effective provisions.  The United States department of labor issued proposed rules in 83 Fed. Reg. 617 (January 5, 2018) that broaden the criteria under Title I of the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) to allow more employers to form an association health plan to offer a group health plan to employees, former employees, family members, and other beneficiaries of the employer members of the association.  HBAI in Favor

SF2236 – Mechanics Lien – (Successor to SSB3039) – Under current law, a lien statement may only be amended by leave of court in furtherance of justice or as to the amount demanded. The bill provides that a claimant may only amend a lien statement by leave of court in furtherance of justice or to decrease the amount demanded. An amendment to decrease the amount demanded must be accomplished through the mechanics’ notice and lien registry. The bill provides that amending a lien statement to decrease the amount demanded does not affect the priority of the lien statement. The bill also provides that a lien statement shall not be amended to increase the amount demanded.  HBAI in Favor

SSB3093 – Public Utilities – (Companion to HSB595) – This chapter provides a means for the joint financing by public agencies of works or facilities useful and necessary for the collection, treatment, purification, and disposal in a sanitary manner of liquid and solid waste, sewage, and industrial waste, facilities used for the conversion of solid waste to energy, gasworks and facilities useful for the delivery of gas service, and also electric power facilities constructed within the state of Iowa, except that hydroelectric power facilities may also be located in the waters and on the dams of or on land adjacent to either side of the Mississippi or Missouri river bordering the state of Iowa, water supply systems, swimming pools or golf courses. This chapter applies to the acquisition, construction, reconstruction, ownership, operation, repair, extension, or improvement of such works or facilities, by a separate administrative or legal entity created pursuant to chapter 28E or chapter 389. When the legal entity created under this chapter is comprised solely of cities, counties, and sanitary districts established under chapter 358, or any combination thereof or any combination of the foregoing with other public agencies, the entity shall be both a corporation and a political subdivision with the name under which it was organized. The legal entity may sue and be sued, contract, acquire and hold real and personal property necessary for corporate purposes, adopt a corporate seal and alter the seal at pleasure, and execute all the powers conferred in this chapter.  HBAI undecided

SF2237 – Rent Limitations – (Successor to SSB3037; Companion to HF2284) – This bill increases the five-year statute of limitation period that a person has to collect rent pursuant to a judgment in an action on a claim for rent to 10 years.  HBAI in Favor

HF2316 – Home Improvement Fraud – The bill provides that a person, who is acting as a contractor, is guilty of home improvement fraud if the person enters, or offers to enter, into a home improvement contract, and intentionally does any of the following: uses or employs a false pretense or false promise to convey that there is a need to enter into a home improvement contract; knowingly creates or reinforces a consumer’s false impression or belief concerning the condition of a consumer’s dwelling or property that is the subject of the home improvement contract; makes a false statement or omits a material fact as to the terms of the home improvement contract or the condition of a person’s dwelling or property that is the subject of the home improvement contract; receives moneys for the purpose of paying for services, labor, materials, or equipment and fails to apply such moneys for such purpose by failing to substantially complete the home improvement for which the moneys were provided within specified time periods, failing to pay for the services, labor, materials or equipment provided incident to such home improvement, or diverting the moneys to a use other than for which the moneys were received; provides a false individual name or a false business name, address, or telephone number to a consumer; or enters into an unconscionable home improvement contract with a consumer.  HBAI undecided, but this did not make the funnel.

HF2343 – Explicit Authorization – (Successor to HSB574, Companion to SSB3063) – Prohibits a state agency from implementing or enforcing any standard, requirement, or threshold, including any term or condition of a license issued by the agency, unless that standard, requirement, or threshold is explicitly required or explicitly permitted by a state statute, rule adopted pursuant to Code chapter 17A, or a federal statute or regulation.  HBAI in Favor

Doug Mayo Memorial Golf Outing Registration Open

Let’s think about the nice weather that we’ll have next June 22 for the Fifth Annual Doug Mayo Memorial Golf Outing.  It will be a great time, as it always is.  The registration is open now, so gather up your foursome and sign up before it sells out.  Once again it will be at Copper Creek Golf Course and begins with a 10:00 a.m. shotgun start.  Click here to register.  There are plenty of opportunities for hole, beverage, and prize sponsorship’s too – so get your company name in early for maximized exposure in our promotional materials.

Weekly Update: February 15, 2018

 hba iowa right to repair bill
   These photos are all starting to look the same, but this legislative session has been a blur of non-stop meetings covering a wide variety of topics.  This is the first funnel week, so everyone is scrambling to clean up the giant volume of bills that everyone threw at the wall to see what would stick.  It should be a little more orderly from here on out.  HBAI has been successful in keeping our bills alive thus far, other than the “Right to Repair” bill, which has an uncertain future.  Mainly because there were so many organizations, including the State Attorney General, all attorney groups, and many unions against it.

 

Doug Mayo Memorial Golf Outing Registration Open

Let’s think about the nice weather that we’ll have next June 22 for the Fifth Annual Doug Mayo Memorial Golf Outing.  It will be a great time, as it always is.  The registration is open now, so gather up your foursome and sign up before it sells out.  Once again it will be at Copper Creek Golf Course and begins with a 10:00 a.m. shotgun start.  Click here to register.  There are plenty of opportunities for hole, beverage, and prize sponsorships too – so get your company name in early for maximized exposure in our promotional materials.

February 23 is Last Chance for 2017 Rebate Claim

The deadline to file your fourth quarter 2017 claim is going to be Friday, February 23. Claim for any single family home, remodeling project or multi-family units completed from October – December 2017. CLAIM TODAY and be rewarded for your loyalty to our 50+ manufacturer brands!

Click here for the claim form.

Click here for a text reminder.

Click here for a calendar reminder.

BUILD-PAC Leaders

If construction is your business, then politics is your business.  We work hard to elect pro-housing candidates at the Federal and State level.  If you do not care about harmful regulations and laws affecting your business, that’s one thing, but BUILD-PAC is an investment in your business.  We’re proud to have the following leaders give, but we could do so much better.  South Dakota alone has 49 Gold Keys.  It’s like that in many states.  Here are your industry leaders so far in 2018:

 

Capitol Club ($5,000 or higher)

Don Beal

Scott Webster

 

Platinum ($2,500 or higher)

Keith Butz

Richard Fitch

 

Gold Key ($1,000 or higher)

Steve Archer

Karyl Bohnsack

Douglas Burgess

Jerry Cable

Mike Farr

Mary Fitch

Zachary Fleming

Rachel Flint

LaDonna Gratias

Jay Iverson

Bill Kimberley

Dan Knoup

Drew Retz

Tim Ruth

Steve Shuey

Glenn Siders

Bryan Thumma

Federal Senate Banking Committee Ask

The Federal Senate Banking Committee has been asked to move forward on a long-term reauthorization of the program to ensure accidental lapses between short-term reauthorizations like we have seen in the past do not occur.  The budget package also includes the following provisions that are positive for housing:

  1. Mortgage insurance premiums. Consumers who file their taxes can deduct premiums paid for private mortgage insurance in 2017. The deduction does not apply for mortgage insurance premiums paid in 2018.
  2. Mortgage forgiveness tax relief. The budget accord eliminates any taxes home owners might face due to renegotiating the terms of a home loan, which result in forgiving or canceling a portion of the outstanding mortgage, particularly in connection with short sales. The debt forgiveness pertains to debt discharged in 2017 but not in 2018.
  3. More funds for worker training. The spending bill proposes an additional $100 million to retrain workers in areas hit last year by hurricanes Harvey, Maria and Irma. It also includes $30 million to rebuild Job Corps centers in Puerto Rico.

Energy-Efficient Home Credit Extension

The Bipartisan Budget Bill of 2018, which President Trump signed into law on February 9, 2018, has extended the Energy-Efficient Homes Credit for homes sold before December 31, 2017. The extension allows builders a $2,000 credit for each “dwelling unit” built and sold/placed into service before the extended date of December 31, 2017.

This credit has historically been thought to apply to single family “homes,” but is also available for Energy Efficient townhomes, condos, and apartments, assuming they meet the description of a “dwelling unit.” This “dwelling unit” concept dramatically expands the builders and contractors who able to claim this credit.

Additionally, these credits can be claimed on an amended return. Therefore, if you have built energy efficient multi-family dwellings that are less than 3 stories above ground, you could go back and amend your returns to claim a $2,000 credit for each unit built.

Thanks to Jodie McDougal and the Davis Brown Law Firm for the update.

Legislative Update February 9

HF2001 – Service and Assistive Dogs in Rental Property – A bill for an act relating to service dogs and assistive animals in residential rental property, providing for landlord remedies to remove dogs and animals, and providing penalties for misrepresenting an animal as a service dog or assistive animal.  HBAI Supports

HF2233 – (Successor to HSB524) Mechanics Lien – Under current law, a lien statement may only be amended by leave of court in furtherance of justice or as to the amount demanded. The bill provides that a lien statement may only be amended by leave of court in furtherance of justice or to decrease the amount demanded. An amendment to decrease the amount demanded must be accomplished through the mechanics’ notice and lien registry. The bill provides that amending a lien statement to decrease the amount demanded does not affect the priority of the lien statement. The bill also provides that a lien statement shall not be amended to increase the amount demanded. HBAI Supports

HF2234 – (successor to HSB531) (Companion to SSB3053 Succeeded by SF2168) Shortening Periods of Time from Foreclosure – This bill shortens the periods of time associated with redemption of real property from foreclosure in Code chapter 628. It changes the period of time that a defendant-debtor may redeem real property from within one year of sale to within six months of sale. It also changes the period in which the defendant-debtor has the exclusive right of redemption from six months after sale to three months after sale.  HBAI Undecided

HF2240 – (Successor to HF2019) (Companion to SSB3156 Succeeded by SF398 in 2017) – Electronic Wage Statements – Current law requires employers to provide certain employees on each regular payday with statements showing hours worked, wages earned, and pay deductions made. The employer may send the statement by mail or provide it at the employee’s normal place of employment during normal employment hours. This bill permits an employer to also provide the statement by secure electronic transmission or by other secure electronic means.  HBAI Supports

HSB588Utility Charges to Tenants – The bill removes the requirement that a landlord provide the name of a tenant that is responsible for a delinquency in a notice to a city utility or enterprise. The bill also removes the requirement that a landlord provide a new notice to a city utility or enterprise if the tenant responsible for a delinquency moves out.  HBAI Supports

HSB616Alternative Project Delivery Contract Methods – Under current law, all Iowa government entities except the Board of Regents are limited to only using the Design-Bid-Build (DBB) project delivery method to build public projects. This legislation would give all state and local governments (except the Iowa Department of Transportation) the option to use alternative project delivery methods like Design-Build and Construction Manager-at-Risk (CMAR) as well.

Government Entities would be required to disclose its intent to use the design-build or CMAR delivery methods at regular meetings at least one week prior to publishing the request for proposals. Notice of requests for proposals must be advertised by publication in a newspaper of general circulation published in the county where the government entity is located once a week for two consecutive weeks prior to opening the proposals, or by a virtual notice procedure that notifies interested parties for at least twenty various purchases, design contracts, construction contracts, or other contracts each year for the government entity. The government entity shall publish a notice of a request for proposal with a description of the project, the procedures for submission, and the selection criteria to be used. HBAI Undecided

SSB3110 – (Companion to HSB568 succeeded by HF2253) Competitive Bidding Requirements – This bill relates to competitive bidding requirements for construction on properties that certain government entities will lease or lease-purchase. HBAI Supports

SSB3142 (companion to HSB633) – Unenforceable Provisions in Rental Agreements – The bill provides that landlords cannot willfully enforce provisions that the landlord knows are prohibited in a rental agreement for a rental property. The bill also provides that a landlord or a tenant cannot knowingly enforce provisions known to be prohibited in a rental agreement for a space at a mobile or manufactured home park. HBAI Undecided

SF2166 – (Successor to SSB3012) (Companion HSB605)- Redemption of Parcels Sold at Tax Sale – This bill relates to the mechanism by which minors or persons of unsound mind, or their legal representatives, who own real estate which was sold at a tax sale may redeem such parcels. The bill defines “legal representative”. HBAI Undecided

SF2175Partition of Property (Successor to SSB3065) – This bill relates to partition of property in kind and partition of property by sale and creates new Code chapter 651. The bill includes partition provisions currently in the rules of civil procedure. The bill defines terms not previously defined for partition including “ascendant”, “collateral”, “cotenant”, “descendant”, “heirs property”, “owelty”, and “relative”.  HBAI Undecided

HF2232 (successor to HSB504 [HBAI in Favor]) (Companion to SSB3013 [HBAI in Favor] and SF2138) – Mortgage Releases – require that within 30 days of a mortgagor fully paying off a mortgage, a mortgagee must execute, acknowledge, and record a written instrument of satisfaction referring to the mortgage.  HBAI Supports

SF2225Department of Corrections Appropriation for Home Building Program – This bill appropriates project funding ($2 million) for FY 2018-19 from the Rebuild Iowa infrastructure fund for certain costs associated with establishing a home building program to provide low-cost homes for income-qualified buyers.  HBAI Supports

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