Weekly Update: April 10, 2014

White Birch HOA Case Update

We received notification late last week that the Iowa Supreme Court Case of the Village at White Birch Town Homeowners Association vs. Norandex Building Materials Distribution, Inc. and Wolf Construction Commercial was affirmed by operation of law.  The court was equally divided, which automatically defaults to the affirmed by operation of law.  Basically we were victorious right now.

This case was a really interesting one and had strong leadership and financial support from the Greater Des Moines HBA, HBAI, and the NAHB.  The suit was brought forward when the general contractor of the development filed for bankruptcy and the HOA attempted to sue the subcontractors with alleged negligence and breach of the implied warranty of workmanlike construction.  The case number is 11-1842.

The Session End is Near – Working Hard on a Balanced Budget

There has been substantial progress made for passage of a balanced budget.  The House is moving forward and several components of that are in the Senate awaiting consideration.  There were many attempts to push through budget-busting amendments or adding other new obligations for the state amounting to tens of millions of dollars, but so far it’s been fought and everything seems to be advancing.  There are mixed reports of an end date to the session, perhaps next week or the week after.  Our next legislative call will be Monday, April 14 at 10:00.  Here are the items of interest that may affect you: 

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

State of Iowa Revenues Much Stronger Than Expected

March state revenue numbers were much stronger than expected – general revenues up 4.3% over last year and sales tax is up $11.5 million more this year than last year at the end of March (+8%).  The Revenue Estimating Conference predicted corporate income tax rising 5.4%, but it is at 5% and falling a little short of projections.  All good signs for our state’s economy.

   We had yet another excellent “Bringing Housing Home” meeting with Senator Chuck Grassley at his office at the Federal Building in Des Moines last Friday.  As always, Senator Grassley is very supportive of our issues.  Participating in the meeting, from left to right are: Senator Grassley, Keith Butz, Drew Retz, Rich Fitch, and LaDonna Gratias.  Also present was HBAI Executive Officer Jay Iverson.

Bringing Housing Home

We’re nearing the end of the Bringing Housing Home campaign, with only one meeting remaining with Congressman Braley at the Cedar Rapids HBA office on April 17 at 3:00 p.m..  Here is a copy of the PDF of the brochure that we’re handing out.  Please email Jay Iverson if you’d like to participate in the remaining meeting.

Member Rebate Program on Facebook

Our Member Rebate Program is on Facebook – you can click here to check it out. Over 70% of our members had rebates that more than paid for their annual HBA dues. It’s super easy to do – HBAI has some members who are rebated $5-8k annually, and they’re not huge builders either.

 

Lake Erie Walleye Tournament Anyone? 

There is a window of opportunity to participate in a walleye fishing tournament on Lake Erie at the beginning of next month.  It’s such a busy time of the year for everyone, but it’s worth thinking about.  There is an opening for a team of six or an opportunity to fill an existing team with four more individuals.  The openings are a result of cancellations.  It’s an Iowa based deal, with most of the teams from Eastern Iowa and several more from Central.  It’s a great time, inexpensive, and there are great prizes like $1,500 cash for the largest walleye each day.  It’s all guided and everything is included.  This is Jay writing this and several years ago I participated in it every year.  I think most of the years I won enough prizes or prize money to pay for the trip.  My largest walleye was 36″ long, a monster post-spawn female.  Fish in the 30-32″ category are not uncommon.  Email me if you have any interest and I can get the details to you.

Weekly Update April 3, 2014

The Session is Winding Down

As we continue to move toward the conclusion of this year’s legislative session, there are several bills that we continue to monitor and lobby.  There continues to be a big push for multiple bills that benefit Iowa veterans through the Governor’s Home Base Iowa plan.  Here are the items of interest as of today: 

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

 

We had a fantastic meeting with Congressman Dave Loebsack (second from left) at the Quad Cities Builders and Remodelers Association last Friday.  Representative Loebsack (D) is in his fourth term with Iowa District 2, which is Southeastern Iowa.  He was very supportive of our issues.  It was one of our meetings for Bringing Housing Home.

Bringing Housing Home

We’re still in the midst of the Bringing Housing Home campaign.  Here is the schedule for upcoming meetings and a copy of the PDF of the brochure that we’re handing out.

The schedule will also include:

Senator Grassley – his Des Moines office, Friday, April 4 – 11 a.m.

Congressman Braley – Cedar Rapids HBA, April 17 – 3:00 p.m.

Please email Jay Iverson if you’d like to participate in the remaining meetings.

Member Rebate Program on Facebook

Our Member Rebate Program is on Facebook – you can click here to check it out. Over 70% of our members had rebates that more than paid for their annual HBA dues. It’s super easy to do – HBAI has some members who are rebated $5-8k annually, and they’re not huge builders either. 

Fax machine – FREE

We gave up our dedicated fax line when we moved into our new office space. We have a super nice unit with extra toner. It’s been on Craigslist and in this newsletter – no one has been rushing in to buy it, so it’s now FREE to a member or a charitable organization. That free price may even include delivery. Email Jay Iverson if you want it. 

Iowa Revenue Estimating Conference Report

The state’s Revenue Estimating Conference met last Thursday to review and revise state revenue estimates for fiscal years 2014 and 2015.  The meeting produced a unique result – no change.  General Fund revenue for FY 2014 is projected to by $6.6822 billion and for FY 2015 the figure remains at $6.9832 billion.

The group did revise the gaming revenue projections down for both FY 14 and FY 15.  They agreed that gaming receipts would be $3.6 million less in both years.  This will result in a $7.2 million reduction of available Rebuild Iowa and Infrastructure Fund (RIIF) dollars for FY 2015.

Millennials and Changing the World

It’s not too hard to figure out future issues with the Millennial generation, all of the entitlements and related work issues. They will have a dramatic impact on our future though. Here is a report that came out of Oregon, which would normally be enough said right there, but it still contains info that is quite interesting. The report looks very professional and is the result of qualitative research from Quinn Thomas Public Affairs. They say that “it provides important context about how this generation of emerging leaders will impact the economic, political and social institutions of our region.” 

 

Clean Water Act: Proposed Rule is More Federal Overreach

NAHB is warning that the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposal released last week to expand the reach of the Clean Water Act will increase the cost of new homes without a corresponding benefit to America’s lakes, rivers and other water bodies. Staff is seeking members’ assistance as it prepares comments on how the proposed rule may also affect low-impact development practices such as rain gardens and swales, which may be subject to more intense federal scrutiny.

While NAHB has long asked for the rulemaking, EPA’s proposal goes too far. “EPA was told to make changes to the rule so that everyone understands exactly when a builder needs a federal wetlands permit before turning the first shovel of dirt,” said Kevin Kelly, NAHB chairman and a home builder and developer from Wilmington, Del. “Instead, EPA has added just about everything into its jurisdiction by expanding the definition of a ‘tributary’ – even ditches and manmade canals, or any other feature that a regulator determines to have a bed, bank and high-water mark. It’s a waste of taxpayer resources to treat a rainwater ditch with the same scrutiny as we would the Delaware Bay.” 

HBAI Executive Director Jay Iverson and Greater Des Moines HBA Executive Director Creighton Cox met with Iowa Congressional District 3 candidate Robert Cramer  (on left) last week.  It was an informal meeting and Mr. Cramer is very supportive of our issues.