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Annual Lobby Day to be Held Virtually on April 27
ALBANY—The annual NYSAR Lobby Day event will be held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The conventional program will be held on Tuesday, April 27 from 8 a.m. to noon.
In advance of Lobby Day, HGAR’s Legislative Council has advanced a preliminary Public Policy Priorities Agenda for HGAR’s Westchester, Putnam, Orange, Rockland, Bronx and Manhattan Legislators Delegation. At press time, the agenda was to be finalized prior to the Lobby Day event.
The HGAR Public Policy Priorities Agenda includes:
STATEWIDE “GOOD CAUSE EVICTION” STANDARD (S.3082-A – Salazar/A.5573-A – Hunter) HGAR strongly opposes legislation that would establish an onerous and overly restrictive “good cause eviction” standard and impose de facto rent control statewide without any home rule option. This bill essentially provides tenants with a perpetual lease even when terms of that lease have expired, which is simply impractical. The legislation’s overly restrictive “good cause” standard would stifle investment in rental housing and reduce the market value of these properties.
ENSURE FAIRNESS AND TRANSPARENCY IN COOPERATIVE HOUSING (S.2874 – Kavanagh/A.1623 – Perry) HGAR supports legislation that would bring greater transparency to the process of considering the sale of shares in a cooperative housing corporation by requiring a timeline for cooperative boards to act on applications. This updated process would provide uniformity and predictability to the application procedure to the benefit of all parties involved. Similar legislation has been enacted at the local level in Suffolk, Rockland and Westchester counties, as well as in the Village of Hempstead.
PRESERVE PROPERTY RIGHTS Wetlands Oversight (HGAR strongly opposes legislation which would increase the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s oversight of wetlands from the current threshold of 12.4 acres or more to wetlands as small as one acre. The DEC already has authority over all wetlands determined to be of “unusual local importance,” and local municipalities have the authority to regulate wetlands. The significant expansion of the state’s regulatory authority would create an unnecessary imbalance with significant negative ramifications for homebuyers, developers and the overall economic health of New York State.
COVID Rent Relief Program—It is critical that New York provide relief to tenants who are unable to pay their rent due to impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is equally important to provide relief to building owners who are struggling to pay their mortgage and property taxes as a result of non-payment of rents. In order to promote economic recovery and housing stability, HGAR supports the following: Provide additional state funding and resources to the COVID-19 Rent Relief Program and utilize federal funding to provide direct relief to building owners hurt by nonpayment of rent or reduction in rental income due to COVID-19.
Oppose “Flip tax” on Properties in New York City (A.3529 – Dilan) HGAR strongly opposes legislation that would impose an additional 20% real estate transfer tax on residential properties sold in New York City within one year and a 15% transfer tax on residential properties sold after one year but less than two years from the prior purchase or conveyance. This bill would not achieve its intent and would dramatically increase the tax burden imposed on the real estate transaction in New York City making home buying and renting less affordable for city residents.
Oppose Expanding Cease and Desist Zones: HGAR strongly opposes cease and desist zones, which specifically target licensed real estate professionals while ineffectively allowing unlicensed individuals and firms to continue engaging in unwanted practices unfettered. Real estate marketing practices are consistent with other professions and businesses, making it improper to single out one type of business. NYSAR does not condone illegal real estate practices and is heavily involved in educating its members on ethical and legal standards in real estate transactions.
PROTECT INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR STATUS FOR REAL ESTATE LICENSEES A.2685– Joyner) HGAR strongly opposes any legislation that would result in removal of independent contractor status from licensed real estate brokers and salespersons. This bill seeks to define the terms “dependent worker” and “employee,” however, unclear language in the bill could be misinterpreted to include qualified real estate licensees under its provisions, thereby threatening current independent contractor status. This interpretation would also conflict with existing Labor Law exemptions for licensed real estate professionals. Without language providing for an exemption for services of a licensed qualified real estate agent, NYSAR opposes this bill.
There is no cost to register but any member that wishes to participate in Lobby Day MUST register for the meeting. Anyone wishing to participate in the event must register before Friday, April 23.
Lobby Day registration will be very similar to registering for the NYSAR business meetings, through the member portal at www.nysar.com. For more information go to: https://www.hgar.com/event/virtual-lobby-day-20210427