Weekly Update: March 6, 2014

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HF 572        Statute of limitations/HSB 173; withdrawn; support      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

hba-iowa-mapThe 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.


Weekly Update: February 27, 2014

Monitored Legislation that Survived Funnel Week

Last week was funnel week at the Statehouse and many of the items that we were following died or changed around. Here is the latest culled list of the bills that we are currently monitoring or working on:

HF 572            Statute of limitations/HSB 173 (passed house in 2013) – support

HF 2108           Property tax assessment/HSB 508 (2/12 passed house)

HF 2230           Vehicle permits/const permits/HF 2059 (2/25 passed house)

HF 2273           Vehicle regist/levee districts/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

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 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 2408           Excavator notification requirements/HSB 518 (2/18 passed com) – against

HF 2410           Exceptions from city zoning regs/HSB 627 (2/21 passed com)       

SF 431             Solar income tax credit (passed Senate 2013)

SF 2017           Tax exemption wetlands

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 2260            Min. wage increase/SSB 3194 (2/21 passed com) -against

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 regist/levee/SSB 3140/HSB 605/HF 2273 (2/21 passed com)

SF 2273            Trustees of ag land in dranage districts/SSB 3172 (2/21 passed com)

SF 2304            Restriction of rental property/SSB 3068 (2/21 passed com) – against

SF 2312            Regulating multi-housing/HSB 583(2/21 passed com)

SF 2315            Land use restrictions/SSB 3115/HSB 573 (2/21 passed com)

Now this is a Great Member Benefit – .015 Back on Fuel

hba-aarpHow 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.

Hole Sponsors Needed for HBAI EC Inaugural Doug Mayo Golf Outing

hba-iowa-doug-mayo-scholarshipThe support has been overwhelming for our inaugural Doug Mayo Memorial Scholarship golf outing set for June 27 – nearly all of the sponsorships are sold and there are only a few spots for foursomes available. We do need quite a few more hole sponsors though. They are $150 if you want to be the exclusive sponsor or $100 if you don’t mind sharing. Please email Jay Iverson as soon as possible to be added to the list.



HBAI Executive Officer Jay Iverson discussed NAHB and HBAI issues with U.S. Congressional Candidate David Young, who is running for the third district spot in Iowa currently held by Tom Latham.  They talked about a number of NAHB and HBAI issues.  Young served as Senator Chuck Grassley’s chief of staff for many years.

Be Very Proud of Iowa and Area 10

While we were at the IBS, our Region 10 group got together and kicked butt with the BUILD-PAC Olympic Games. A big part of it came from Iowa. Congratulations Areas 10 (1st place), 5 (2nd place) and 3 (3rd place) for going above and beyond to recruit new BUILD-PAC contributors and encourage existing members to upgrade their donor clubs!  Area 10 alone raised almost $30,000! 


Join the BUILD-PAC Community!

During IBS, BUILD-PAC launched a new brochure highlighting NAHB advocacy efforts, why YOU should consider a contribution to BUILD-PAC and how becoming a part of the BUILD-PAC community helps strengthen the foundation of the housing industry.  Click here to view, or print, a copy of the new brochure.

Donate online by clicking here and then selecting “Make a Donation to BUILD-PAC” on the left hand side (login required). Mail your personal check (payable to BUILD-PAC) or credit card information to 1201 15th St, NW, Washington, DC, to the attention of Katie Oehmen or Charles Liuzzo. OR contactBUILD-PAC staff today and they can take your credit card information over the phone.