Legislative Update – Full Steam Ahead
The happenings at the Statehouse have been newsworthy – shouting matches, elder abuse, school radon testing – on and on. As promised long before the session began, they are all working to be done as quickly as possible.
Yesterday the leaders in the split Legislature and Governor Branstad agreed to a spending level for the fiscal 2015 budget year – something that no one seems to remember the last time it happened. It could be a record-setting close to the session.
The spending target for the general fund beginning July 1 is set at nearly $6.972 billion. That is a 7.39 percent increase compared to current year funding that is $6.492 billion. The governor’s $471 million in adjustments for fiscal 2015 included $120 million for property tax replacement, $170 million to provide a four percent boost in state aid to K-12 public schools, $54 million to implement education reforms approved last session, and $86 million to pick up a greater share of the state’s Medicaid obligation not covered by the federal government.
The governor projects his spending plan will result in a $723 million surplus by the end of June 2015. His budget experts however say that the state’s ending balance is expected to decline incrementally in coming fiscal years until settling at about $87 million in fiscal 2019 once the property tax and education reforms are fully implemented.
Here is the latest culled list of the bills that we are currently monitoring or working on:
HSB 646 Homestead property tax credit
HF 572 Statute of limitations/HSB 173; withdrawn; support
HF 2094 Statute of repose/HSB 504; 2/27 passed House; not reg
HF 2108 Property tax assessment/HSB 508; 2/12 passed House
HF 2129 Cap gains ex for sale of stock, sm bus/HSB 502
HF 2230 Vehicle permits/construction permits on ag land/HF 2059; 2/25 passed House
HF 2273 Vehicle registration/levee districts/HSB 605/SSB 3140; 2/25 passed House
HF 2305 Economic development programs/HSB 542/SSB 3129; 2/18 passed com
HF 2317 Veterans homeownership fund/HSB 617; 2/18 passed com; support 2/26
HF 2321 Commercial property tax
HF 2331 Restriction of rental prop/HSB 9/HF 184; 2/17 passed com; support
HF 2344 Drainage/levee districts/HF 460; 2/25 passed House
HF 2353 Creation of homebuyer savings acct/HSB 638
HF 2373 Hiring preference to vets/HSB 512/HF 2234; 2/19 passed com
HF 2375 Land use restrictions/HSB 573/SSB 3115 2/19 passed com
HF 2391 Energy Improvement
HF 2408 Excavator notification requirements/HSB 518; 2/18 passed com; against 2/26
HF 2410 Exceptions from city zoning regs/HSB 627; 2/25 on calendar
HF 2411 State/local government powers/eminent domain/HF 289; 2/25 on calendar
HF 2412 School radon testing/mitigation grant program
HF 2414 Motor fuel tax
SSB 3201 Solar income tax credit
SF 431 Solar income tax credit; passed Senate 2013
SF 2017 Tax exemption wetlands; research more
SF 2034 Tornado resistance infrastructure program/HF 2100
SF 2085 Real property enhancement/HF 2057
SF 2091 Co-ownership/SSB 3082; 2/24 passed Senate
SF 2155 Private construction contracts/SSB 3059/HSB 575; 2/24 passed Senate
SF 2191 Financing work drainage districts/SF 2055; 2/25 passed Senate
SF 2242 Vets home ownership assistance/SSB 3178; 2/19 passed com
SF 2246 Home ownership for military members
SF2247 Home ownership for military members
SF 2248 Rural and urban woodlands & trees/SF 2159 2/20 passed com
SF 2256 Redevelopment tax credits/SSB 3050
SF 2260 Minimum wage increase/SSB 3194; 2/21 passed com; against 2/26
SF 2262 Radon testing in public schools/SF 2127; 2/21 passed com
SF 2264 Construction managers/public works/SF 2177; 2/21 passed com
SF 2265 Vehicle registration/levee/SSB 3140/HSB 605/HF 2273; 2/21 passed com
SF 2273 Trustees of ag land in drainage districts/SSB 3172; 2/27 passed Senate
SF 2304 Restriction of rental property/SSB 3068; 2/21 passed com; against 2/26
SF 2312 Regulating multi-housing/HSB 583; 2/27 passed Senate
SF 2315 Land use restrictions/SSB 3115/HSB 573/HF 2375; 2/27 passed Senate
SF 2317 Job training/apprenticeship programs
New Housing Subdivision Infrastructure Help Needed
The City of Sioux City is interested in how other Iowa communities fund new public infrastructure for new housing subdivisions. Are most communities relying on developers to finance those improvements? Are the cities using TIF financing? Are the cities financing the improvements and assessing those against the new lots? Any information you can provide us is appreciated. Please email Sioux City Inspection Services Supervisor and HBAI board member Darrell Bullock ASAP.
US House Flood Insurance Bill will Keep Housing on Track
The US House approved flood insurance legislation this week that will benefit home buyers and home owners. It’s a boost to home building and remodeling, while providing certainty and financial stability to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The bill now moves to the Senate.
H.R. 3370 will help address some of the costly and unintended consequences of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act, including huge premium spikes and impacts on the sale, construction and remodeling of homes across the nation.
The Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act will:
- Provide a more affordable rate structure for policyholders.
- Repeal the rate increases from the sale or transfer homes to full actuarial rates.
- Create more accurate flood maps.
- Provide reimbursement for successful consumer map appeals.
- Return the “substantial improvement threshold” that triggers a higher flood insurance rate to the historic 50% level of a structure’s fair market value, which would preserve significant remodeling activity.
- Reinstate an exemption in 53 communities nationwide for basements that are built in a flood-proof manner.
March Leading Market Indicators for Iowa
The LMI compares the current levels of economic health of single-family building permits, home prices and employment to their last normal, sustainable level.
A national number and a comparison of individual metropolitan market areas is calculated and scored. Your area’s score is the average of the three component’s proximity to the last period of normality. An index value above one indicates the market has advanced beyond the previous sustainable level of economic activity.
An index value above the national index level indicates the market is doing better than the country as a whole, moving beyond the last period of normal economic growth. Here are the stats for Iowa:
Fuel Rebates for Members – .015 Back on Fuel
How would you like to receive a quarterly rebate check for $0.015 for every gallon of fuel purchased? No set up or monthly fees and no limits. This is the APP Pride Complete Card, which is accepted at more than 90% of all retail fueling stations in the US and 2,100 sites in Canada. Click here to see if your favorite station is listed. For more info and to sign up for this great program, click here.