A big thank you to everyone who attended Minnesota Association of REALTORS® 2012 Legislative Impact Day. More than 650 REALTORS® attended this year’s event at St. Paul’s RiverCentre. We heard from several Minnesota Legislators as well as leadership at MNAR. The day also featured a great Expo and an insightful address from economist Dr. John Tuccillo on the economy and where things are headed.
MNAR Lobbyists Paul Eger and Ryan Hamilton updated everyone on issues at the Minnesota Legislature, including MNAR’s bill to establish uniform treatment of property owners, such that a licencee’s personal ownership and management of real estate is not held to a different standard. This bill (SF 1739-Kruse/HF 2152-Vogel) was passed unanimously by the Senate Commerce Committee. Be sure to check the weekly e-Resource for updates on legislation.
Several other bills that Paul and Ryan are working on including state budget and tax issues, foreclosure related issues, and land use rights. One bill would involve property tax changes that would increase the maximum refund under the Property Tax Refund Program (PTR) for homeowners with household incomes from $37,280 to $100,779. A current bill on vacation home rentals (SF 1190-Chamberlin/HF 1523-Holberg) would make vacation rental of residential property a permitted single-family or multi-family residential use for the purposes of zoning.
The good news from the Capitol and the state budget is that things are moving the right direction. All of the lawmakers who attended LID reiterated the same themes – this session is about jobs and getting people back to work in Minnesota. Many of the lawmakers also pledged to leave the mortgage interest tax credit alone – saying that they are not going to take that way from homeowners. Senate Majority Leader David Senjem (R-Rochester) told the group, “Let’s get out and sell some houses and get this funk out of the economy. REALTORS® are at the center of the economy in Minnesota and what is important to REALTORS® in Minnesota is important to Minnesota.” Revenue Commissioner Myron Frans gave us an update on the state budget and tax forecast. A big thank you to Senate Asst. Minority Leader Terri Bonhoff (DFL), Revenue Commissioner Myron Frans, Senate Majority Leader David Senjem (R-Rochester), , House Minority Leader Paul Thissen (DFL-Minneapolis), Representative Bruce Vogel (R-Willmar) and Speaker of the House Kurt Zellers (R-Maple Grove) for attending LID!
If you remember one thing from LID, remember what Minnesota Association of REALTORS® CEO Chris Galler stated. “Our theme and NAR’s theme this year is ‘Do No Harm to Housing. We are for one party – the REALTOR® party. We are working for homeowners and protecting private property rights.” Chris also discussed initiatives for MNAR and NAR:
- Learn to lobby: MNAR is setting up classes if you would like to learn more about lobbying and how you can influence your local legislators.
- Debt cancellation relief: the National Association of REALTORS® is also working to make sure debt cancellation relief is continued – people shouldn’t be taxed when they’re already down.
- Financing and down payments are huge issues: 20% down is a killer for many buyers.
- Flood insurance: Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken have sent a letter to get a bill passed for flood insurance money. The majority of this money often comes back to the Midwest.
The afternoon address came from economist Dr. John Tuccillo. He provided great insight into how the economy got into the mess and what is ahead. Here are some highlights:
What led to the economic slowdown?
- Declining competitiveness
- No real advantage in consumer goods in global economy
- Stagnant incomes
- Real estate went from being shelter with an investment at the end to a short term asset
Real Estate Moving Forward
- Financing remains huge issue
- 1 in 3 sales falls apart sometime between the deal and closing.
- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are redundant
- REALTORS® should be tracking employment numbers – people won’t buy houses if they don’t have jobs
What was your favorite part of LID? What did you take away from the presentations?
The Minnesota Association of REALTORS® is the largest professional trade association in the state with more than 19,000 members who are active in all aspects of the real estate industry.