Weekly Update: October 12, 2017

HBA Iowa Des Moines rezoning   

  The room was packed last week for a proposal from the City of Des Moines on zoning.  Will it potentially have an impact on you in your community?  We do not know, so that’s why we try to keep up on proposals all over the state.  If you want an interesting read, check out the issues that the DM Developers Council has put together here.  A letter from the HBA of Greater Des Moines is here.

NAHB Tax Reform Policy Changes

NAHB unanimously voted to revise its policy regarding the nation’s tax code in light of recent discussions on tax reform between congressional leadership and the Trump administration.  The NAHB Executive Board decision provides greater flexibility as the tax debate unfolds and stakeholders seek consensus to shape a tax code that best serves the nation’s consumers and small businesses.

“This is the first time in NAHB’s 75-year history that we have been open to the idea of broader options regarding housing tax incentives,” said NAHB Chairman Granger MacDonald. “Now is the time to reform tax policy and housing will not be left behind in this process.”

NAHB supports a tax system that is simple and fair, and that promotes greater housing opportunity for Americans across the economic spectrum.  The tax policies that NAHB is promoting include:

  • A homeownership tax incentive;
  • The low-income housing tax credit, along with additional resources to meet the affordability crisis;
  • Tax incentives for remodeling, including energy efficiency tax credits;
  • The exclusion of capital gains on the sale of a principal residence; and
  • Business interest deductions for small businesses.

“Tax policy is key to homeownership, affordable rental housing, business success and job creation,” MacDonald said. “That’s why NAHB will be fully engaged in this debate and pushing for innovative solutions that bring a better policy environment for American enterprise and lasting prosperity for our nation’s people.”  For more information, visit nahb.org/taxreform.

Treasury Withdraws Regs that Would Hinder Home Building

Big wins for reducing unnecessary roadblocks for home builders came out of the U.S. Department of the Treasury late last week, as it announced plans to withdraw two proposed regulations that would be costly and burdensome.

In its announcement, the Treasury said it plans to withdraw proposed regulations under Section 2704 that would have hurt family-owned and operated businesses by limiting valuation discounts. The regulations would have raised taxes on family businesses when an owner passes away and chooses to leave the business to the next generation. The valuation requirements of the proposed regulations were not sensible from an economic standpoint, were unclear and could not be meaningfully applied.

Treasury also plans to withdraw proposed Section 103 regulations on the definition of political subdivision. The proposed regulations would have prohibited most development districts, which are used in many states to finance the construction of sewer systems, water lines and other infrastructure necessary to incorporate a new development into a city, from issuing tax-exempt municipal bonds.

For example, community development districts in Florida, municipal utility districts in Texas, metropolitan districts in Colorado, and rural utility districts in California have been set up to issue tax-exempt bonds to finance public infrastructure for a wide array of development projects. NAHB had urged Treasury to rescind this rule that would have severely limited such districts.

As we reported in July, the Treasury Department had identified eight tax regulations that were considered burdensome, costly and ineffective. These are two regulations from that list. NAHB backed the rescinding of the eight listed burdensome regulations, with particular concerns about the rule that would have restricted eligibility for developments that are deemed “political subdivisions.”

“The withdrawal of these two regulations is a big win for the home building industry,” said J.P. Delmore, AVP of Government Affairs at NAHB. “Home builders benefit in a real way knowing they can pass down their company to a family member without the government blocking their way. And when new development can be financed through development districts – providing a cost effective mechanism to fund the infrastructure needed for new development – it’s a win for the entire community.”

hba iowa charles schneider

   It’s the season for political fundraisers.  We have been represented at events for approximately 14 legislators on both sides of the aisle.  Here is Senator Charles Schneider’s last week at the Stine Barn.  It should be a most interesting session again, somewhat more tame than this past assembly, but with lots of stuff on the list of to dos.  We will be working it and paying attention to everything that comes out.

MidAmerican Notice of Adverse Construction Conditions Charges

Here is a note from HBAI Board of Director Member Eric Heikes to developers, homebuilders, and contractors on behalf of MidAmerican Energy:

MidAmerican Energy Company’s base installation costs for electric and gas facilities assume installation under normal weather, soil, and site conditions. If installation is required under adverse conditions, additional charges will be applied. Adverse construction conditions include snow, freezing rain, ground frost, extreme cold, or unusually muddy or rugged terrain. These adverse conditions are most prevalent between November 15 and March 15.     Projects that are ready for construction by October 31, 2017 will be completed without adverse construction conditions charges.  All projects that are ready after October 31st may be subject to additional charges based on existing conditions at the time of installation.

The following conditions must be met for your project to be considered ready for MidAmerican Energy to schedule installation of electric and/or gas facilities:

  • MidAmerican Energy has received a signed Gas/Electric Service Facility Service Application Agreement and/or a signed extension contract and any required payments.
  • Customer has met all the requirements on the extension contract for extensions.
  • Customer has met all the requirements for site readiness noted on the back (or second page) of the Gas/Electric Facility Service Application Agreement.
  • All applicable permits or inspections have been approved and released by the appropriate parties.

If you have any additional questions regarding these adverse construction conditions charges, please contact your local MidAmerican Energy representative or dial 888-427-5632.

hba iowa homes with porches

   This is an interesting pictogram showing the number of new homes with porches.  There are lots of interesting demographics available on our industry.

Iowa Skilled Trades Limited Edition Shirt

This is a limited edition (150) Iowa Skilled Trades shirt just like you saw at the Iowa Skilled Trades event. Just like the event, all proceeds will go to Skilled Trades scholarships throughout the State of Iowa.  Shirt sizes run big and will not shrink.  Click here to claim yours today.

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