|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.
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.