MAR and its REALTOR® Members got their message through on Beacon Hill: That the Commonwealth’s economic house is built on Real Estate, and that economic recovery relies on the strength of the housing market. Here are some of our key accomplishments as of October 31, 2013.
GOVERNOR PATRICK’S FISCAL YEAR 2014 BUDGET RECOMMENDATION: Successfully Fought Repeals of Important Tax Provisions
In January Governor Patrick filed his FY ’14 budget recommendation containing the repeal of three very important
tax provisions for REALTORS®. MAR worked tirelessly to ensure that House of Representatives and Senate
understood the importance of these provisions detailed below and maintained them in the budget.
- CAPTIAL GAINS EXCLUSION ON HOME SALES: This section of the budget would have removed one of the main ways in which families accumulate wealth for retirement and the purchase of future homes. Had the Governor succeeded in eliminating this provision, the average homeowner would have been subject to a tax bill of over $4,000 just for selling a home. This would be the equivalent of an annual quarter-billion dollar sales tax on homes sales in Massachusetts.
- LEAD PAINT TAX CREDIT: The repeal of this tax credit would have put children at a much greater risk for lead poisoning; particularly those children of low and moderate-income families who own or reside in older homes. The credit is also important as it can help bring much-needed vacant apartments back online that have been kept off the market because they have lead paint.
- TITLE V TAX CREDIT: The repeal of this tax credit would have added significant financial strain on low- and moderate-income homeowners. Without this incentive, fewer people will upgrade failing septic systems which, as a result, would put the environment at significant risk.
BROKER PRICE OPINIONS – (BPOs): Successfully Advocated for Amended Language in Legislation
As the legislature moved to license and regulate home appraisals, MAR worked to ensure that the committee included language in the bill to allow REALTORS® to continue to offer BPOs without having to acquire an additional license. BPOs and CMAs are an important component of many listings, purchases, and sales that will now be protected as this bill advances through the legislative process.
SHORT SALE PROTECTION: Successfully Advocated for Amended Language in Legislation
MAR effectively lobbied to amend the Debt Management Services bill to allow REALTORS® to continue to work with lenders and sellers in short sales without the fear of violating the law. As drafted, this bill would have prohibited REALTORS® from discussing or negotiating with the seller’s lender to modify the terms of an individual’s obligation to repay a loan secured by a listed property. Absent a change in the bill, real estate licensees involved in short sales would have been out of compliance with the law without having first obtained a new license.
HOUSING BOND BILL: Successfully Advocated for the Removal of Harmful 40B Provisions
The five-year housing bond bill authorized $1.4 billion for housing in the commonwealth. More importantly, however, it originally contained harmful 40B provisions that would have severely weakened the affordable housing law in Massachusetts. MAR successfully advocated to the appointed conference committee to delete those harmful provisions from the bill.