Weekly Update: May 1, 2014

HBAI Legislative Recap for 2014 

As we release this weekly newsletter, the 2014 Iowa Legislative Session is in its final hours. This session was an interesting series of election year positioning and limited bipartisan cooperation. Recurring news headlines painted graphic attacks on the operation of state government by first highlighting a multitude of issues involving the Governor, more recently focusing on the Department of Administrative Services and the Secretary of State’s office. The Senate Oversight Committee hearings on alleged “secret settlement agreements” monopolized a great deal of legislator time which has extended the session longer than originally predicted.

Overall, progress was made in regard to issues affecting our industry. One of the highlights this legislative session for HBAI was to further establish our association as a community partner by building positive relationships with other associations and industry groups. Additionally, our legislative team monitored all introduced bills in order to adequately defend our profession against undesirable changes in the industry. Your HBA federation membership provides an inside track concerning legislative pitfalls and political responsibility, informing you of movement as it happensat the Capitol. As you are aware, the necessity to stay apprised of policy changes is vital to prevent enactment of restrictive legislation that could adversely affect the building industry.

HBAI monitored over 50 bills this legislative session. Of these pieces, a few of the key initiatives are outlined below:

Taxation: While taxation legislation is more general in nature, the impacts of such policy changes are far reaching, affecting the building industry as well as home owners. HBAI seeks to educate policy makers and the public on issues that will keep Iowa competitive and ensure future generations have the opportunity of home ownership. Property taxes are always at the top of the list. In addition, bills regarding solar energy tax credits, capital gains tax exemption for the sale of small businesses, and housing tax incentives, among others, comprised the landscape this session.

Housing Affordability:  Our members are true patriots for housing affordability-they are small business owners under constant attack through unnecessary code changes and increased government regulation. These proposals drive up the cost of home ownership, creating unnecessary burdens for Iowans. At the state level, positive legislative initiatives like the Homebuyer Savings Account proposal that allows Iowans to contribute to a savings vehicle for purchase of a first home and bills that provide incentives for military veterans align with HBAI’s mission to provide homeownership opportunities to all Iowans. Additionally, our efforts with the National Association of Home Builders resulted in a savings of $6,200 per housing start in 2013.

 

Statute of Limitations: Attempts to limits the discovery period in a property lawsuit from five years to three years were well received by the legislature this session. The proposed reduction benefits both consumers and homebuilders by encouraging mitigation of a problem much earlier than what is currently happening today. By starting the process earlier the overall damage is reduced, thereby reducing repair time and insurance rates.

 

Collaboration: We enthusiastically keep ahead of safety, energy, and health issues. As the industry evolves we prefer to collaborate and work within the market rather than constantly change Iowa Code. Window fall protection, which has been in the news and in front of the legislature for the past few years, is an example of how collaboration is working. HBAI partnered with Blank Children’s Hospital, the Iowa Chapter of the Academy of Pediatrics, the Hannah Geneser Foundation and Governor Branstad to promote child safety.

 


Inaugural Doug Mayo Memorial Golf Tournament Sponsors

We are so excited about the awesome sponsor participation in our Inaugural Doug Mayo Memorial Golf Tournament – that alone is a great testament to Doug. The field of players is full, as well as the sponsorships. We are still in need of door and raffle prizes though, so if you have any great ideas please contact Jay Iverson as soon as possible. He would be glad to pick up any prizes as he’s out and about. All proceeds will go towards scholarships awarded within our HBAI Educational Corporation to students pursuing the trades. Here are the key sponsors for this first ever event.

hba-iowa-doug-mayo-scholarshipEvent Sponsor

Wells Fargo Home Mortgage

Hole in One Sponsor

Deery Brothers (hole #12)

19th Hole/Driving Range

Kitchen & Bath Ideas

Prize Sponsors

Bell Brothers

Cascade

Clarity Construction

Des Moines HBA

Hubbell Homes

Iowa City HBA

Prairie Pella

TS Construction

Beverage Sponsors

Beisser Lumber

Electrical Installations of Iowa

Lundy Decorating

Metro Heating & Cooling

Northwest Bank

Reynolds & Reynolds

 

“Pick your Hole” Sponsors

Tari & Linda Dailey

R. M. Madden Construction

TS Construction

Wayne Dalton Doors

Hole Sponsors

Ames HBA

Beisser Lumber

Beth Bezdicek: Coldwell Banker

Bob Christian

Cable Plumbing

Capital Sanitary Supply

Cascade Manufacturing Co./Weyerhauser

Fleming Construction

Floor Coverings International

Flooring America

Furman Corporation

Jake and Amy Ganske

Gary’s Tree Services

Granite, Marble, and Tile Solutions

Heuss Construction

Jim and Patty Jansen

KCCI TV (hole #8)

Kohles & Bach

Leachman Lumber

Pro Comfort Heating & Cooling

Reynolds & Reynolds

Speck USA

Ten 25 Designs (Cooper Riley)

Top Deck Media

Tyler Homes (Linda Harmeyer)

 

We Need a Few More Volunteers to Judge the IC Parade Homes

The Greater IC HBA has nine judges recruited, but needs 15.  There are 33 entries and the homes are in scattered site locations in Iowa City, Coralville, North Liberty, and Johnson County. Homes range in price from $200,000 to over $1 Million.  Representatives that agree to judge for Iowa City Area Parade should not supply product or work directly with our parade builders.

Details:

A breakfast is planned at 7:30 am., June 3, 2014, at the River City Beefstro, Coralville in the board room. All judges and drivers will meet at this location.  You will be given a few brief instructions and will be assigned a driver to take you to the homes.  Packets and guidebooks will be sent after we receive your commitment to participate.  Lunch is provided and it should take about half of a day. Hotel arrangements can be made for members traveling a long distance if needed.  Please contact Joan directly if you are interested in helping to judge our parade homes.  Thanks in advance for helping.

 

New Issue of Construction Liability and Risk Management Update

The latest issue of NAHB’s Construction Liability and Risk Management Update features information on current legal cases affecting insurance coverage, including what it means to be an “additional insured” and two recent cases concerning California’s right to repair statute.

Also featured in this issue are decisions concerning the statute of repose in Minnesota, worker misclassification in Illinois, OSHA’s multi-employer policy and much, much more. Go to the Construction Liability and Risk Management Update.

May is National Home Remodeling Month

In May, during National Home Remodeling Month, this is your chance to reach out to your local media and consumers with a focus on the benefits of hiring a professional remodeler.  Whether it’s tips for why, when and how to choose a professional remodeler, May is the time to celebrate the remodeling industry.

The campaign includes sample social media posts, web banners, press releases, fact sheets and other consumer materials. Members and local remodelers councils can download government proclamations, articles and op-eds, fact sheets and a how-to kit for implementing the campaign. These materials are easily customizable and can be used however you wish. Or follow our simple step-by-step guide to lead you through the campaign.  Click here for the entire package.

Weekly Update: April 24, 2014

   Our final “Bringing Housing Home” meeting was with Congressman Bruce Braley (at head of table) at the Greater Cedar Rapids HBA offices.  It was an excellent meeting, as were the others. We have their ear and our issues were discussed in detail.

 The Legislative Session Should End By End of Month

Last Tuesday, April 22, was the official end to the session, but it’s looking like it will continue through the end of the month.  State budget bills are holding things up a bit and nearly all of the major budget bills have passed one chamber or the other.  There are a few that are ready for the Governor’s signature, but many more have been sent to special conference committees to reach an agreement. All of this combined with keeping issues concerning Governor Branstad in the media and the forefront – no one is for sure when the session will end.  Here is the list

 

HSB 646            Homestead property tax credit; passed sub, support 3/7

HF 2094            Statute of repose/HSB 504; 2/27 passed House; sub 3/5

HF 2108            Property tax assessment/HSB 508; 2/12 passed House

HF 2129            Cap gains ex for sale of stock, sm bus/HSB 502; 3/4 passed sub; support 3/7

HF 2230            Vehicle permits/const permits on ag land/HF 2059;

                   2/25 passed House; 3/26 passed Senate

HF 2317            Veterans homeownership fund/HSB 617; support 2/26

HF 2321            Commercial property tax

HF 2344            Drainage/levee districts/HF 460   3/31 sent to Gov

HF 2408            Excavator notification requirements/HSB 518; 3/26 signed by Gov; against 2/26

HF 2411            St/local govt powers/eminent domain/HF 289

HF 2452            First time homebuyer tax credit/HF 2353/HSB 638; 3/26 passed House

HF 2453            Historic preservation tax credit/HF 2415/HSB 624; 3/26 passed House;

                    SSB 3142 and SF 2281

HF 2448            Econ dvlp/jobs prgm/housing tax incentives; 3/26 passed House

                    HSB 542/HF 2305

SSB 3205          Homebuyer sav acct/HSB 638/HF 2353/HF 2452   3/18 sub

SSB 3214          Wages paid by debit card; 4/3 sub

SSB 3215           Approps for rebuild IA infrastructure fund

SF 366              Radon testing/mitigation in schools/SF 49; passed Senate 2013; against 2013;
3/18 passed House with amend: S-5084; back to Senate for floor vote

SF 431              Solar income tax credit; passed Senate 2013

SF 2017            Tax exemption wetlands

SF 2034            Tornado resistance infrast prgm/HF 2100

SF 2085            Real property enhancement/HF 2057

SF 2091            co-ownership/SSB 3082  3/31 sent to Gov

SF 2191            financing work drainage districts/SF 2055; 3/26 signed by Gov

SF 2242            Vets home ownership assistance/SSB 3178; 3/3 passed Senate; support 3/7

SF 2256            Redevelopment tax credits/SSB 3050

SF 2265            Vehicle regist/levee/SSB 3140/HSB 605/HF 2273

SF 2273            Trustees of ag land in dranage districts/SSB 3172; 3/31 sent to Gov

SF 2317            Job training/apprenticeship prgms

SF 2335            Business tax credit/corp income tax

SF 2339           Redevelopment tax credits/SSB 3050/SF 2256; 3/26 passed Senate;

HSB/HF 2415/HF 2453; 4/1 passed House

SF 2340            Solar income tax credit/SSB 3201; 3/27 passed Senate

SF 2343            Renewable energy tax credit/SF 2032; 3/27 passed Senate

 

Does this look familiar?  Everywhere in Iowa pretty much – what if the government deems it “Waters of the US?”  This is a huge deal, make sure that you pay attention as it unfolds.

Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska HBA’s to Meet with EPA

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) released a pre-publication at the end of March that proposed federal rules that would redefine and expand the meaning of the term “waters of the U.S.” under the federal Clean Water Act (CWA).  The proposed “waters of the U.S.” rule was formally proposed Monday, April 21 in the Federal Register marking the beginning of a 90 day public comment period.

HBAI and our sister state associations in Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska are planning be a part of the public outreach meetings through the EPA’s Midwest Regional Office located outside of Kansas City, MO.

Background:

The proposed rule by EPA and the Corps rule marks the first time since 1986 the meaning of “waters of the U.S.” has been redefined.  The significance to land developers and builders of this upcoming federal CWA rule is difficult to overstate; once finalized virtually all future residential and commercial land development and construction activities will be impacted.  Consider just two examples of impact upon NAHB’s members:

  • Federal wetland permits – Clean Water Act (CWA) prohibits the placement of any fill or dredge material into “waters of the U.S.” including wetlands unless those specific activities have been authorized by the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) by issuance of a federal wetlands permit under CWA Section 404.  Corps issues over 50,000 federal wetlands permits annually (both nationwide permits and individual permits) and a majority of those wetland permits are for residential land development and construction activities.  According to EPA’s draft economic analysis the cost (consultant fees, mitigation fees, and delay) of those federal wetland permits average up to $40,000 for nationwide permits to over $250,000 for individual wetland permit.
  • Federal, state, and local stormwater permits – CWA also prohibits the discharging of any “pollutant” including sediment from any active construction site into any “waters of the U.S.” unless those activities have been expressly authorized by a CWA permit called a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit by either EPA or an EPA-delegated state stormwater program. Land developers and builders file for over 200,000 stormwater NPDES permits annually.

The objective of EPA and Corps proposed “waters of the U.S.” rule is to redefine the regulatory definition of “waters of the U.S.” to extend CWA’s federal regulatory authority various isolated wetlands and non-navigable and ephemeral water bodies (i.e., ponds, ditches, and streams).  Recall following two NAHB legal victories before the U.S. Supreme Court (SWANNC in 2001 and Rapanos in 2006) the Court has already called into questions whether the CWA, including the definition of “waters of the U.S.” can reasonably be interpreted to extend CWA federal protections over various types of isolated wetlands and non-navigable ephemeral streams.  NAHB staff hosted webinar on April 2, 2014 providing an overview of the draft pre-publication “waters of the U.S..” The webinar provides NAHB’s professional staff’s insights regulatory, legal, and legislative into the potential impact of the draft rule on homebuilding activities.

If you are interested in possibly being a part of this meeting, please email HBAI Executive Officer Jay Iverson as soon as possible.

May is National Home Remodeling Month

In May, during National Home Remodeling Month, this is your chance to reach out to your local media and consumers with a focus on the benefits of hiring a professional remodeler.  Whether it’s tips for why, when and how to choose a professional remodeler, May is the time to celebrate the remodeling industry.

The campaign includes sample social media posts, web banners, press releases, fact sheets and other consumer materials. Members and local remodelers councils can download government proclamations, articles and op-eds, fact sheets and a how-to kit for implementing the campaign. These materials are easily customizable and can be used however you wish. Or follow our simple step-by-step guide to lead you through the campaign.  Click here for the entire package.