The Pennsylvania Association of Realtors® Legislative Committee met to discuss legislative priorities for the 2017-18 legislative session. They include:
- First-Time Homebuyer Savings Account – PAR is working to gather support to introduce a state First-Time Homebuyer Savings Account, similar to a college savings account. The National Association of Realtors® encourages these programs, which provide a tax-assisted avenue for individuals, couples or family members to contribute to the purchase of a home. NAR believes individuals or families saving for homeownership should be able to plan to put a percentage of income or maximum amount of funds into an account that is tax-free, to be used within a specific amount of time for the purchase of a home. Homebuyer Savings Accounts are typically used for first-time homeowners or returning homebuyers. Three other states have adopted Homebuyer Savings Account programs.
- Property Taxes – PAR continues to support efforts to eliminate property taxes and encourage assessment reform. No bill to eliminate property taxes has been introduced in the new session and PAR will look to review bills in the future. PAR is also working with some stakeholders to discuss assessment reform.
- Real Estate Licensing and Registration Act – Rep. Greg Rothman, also a Realtor®, is working to garner co-sponsors on his bill with changes to RELRA. Rothman’s bill, which had been introduced last session, would increase pre-licensure education requirements and allow broker price opinions.
- Home Inspector Licensing – PAR continues to support Rep. Sue Helm’s proposed legislation to license home inspectors. Her bill has not been re-introduced yet this session.
- Oil and Gas Lease Royalty Payments – PAR continues to support efforts to require gas companies to pay a minimum of 12 percent in oil and gas royalty payments to landowners.
- Septic Alternate Systems – PAR continues to support efforts to allow new developments to utilize alternate septic systems.
- 1031 Exchanges – PAR continues to support Sen. Mike Fulmer’s and Rep. Stephen Bloom’s efforts to authorize like-kind exchanges in Pennsylvania.
- Municipal Utility Liens – PAR will encourage efforts to limit local municipalities from placing liens on rental properties for unpaid renter bills.