LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

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It’s that time of the year again in Minnesota when we realize that summer has gone by too quickly and, before we know it, we will be scraping ice from our windshields.

It’s also an election year. Combine an upcoming election where all 201 State House and Senate seats are on the ballot with summer in Minnesota and what we typically see is nothing of significance happening at the State Capitol.

This summer deviated from that pattern is one important way…Since the Legislature adjourned in May, there has been steady discussion about a potential Special Session to address a number of items leftover from the Regular Session, including the “pocket-vetoed” tax bill, and a transportation funding bill.

Ultimately, the Speaker of the House, the Governor, and the Senate Majority Leader could not agree on the terms of a Special Session.

The tax bill included important federal tax conformity provisions, including the mortgage debt forgiveness provision, which would exempt from taxes the “phantom income” associated with a lender forgiving debt in a short sale situation.

In order to extend the federal tax benefits signed into law by the President in December for federal tax purposes to Minnesota taxpayers for state tax purposes, the Minnesota Legislature must pass legislation and have it signed into law by Governor Dayton.

Minnesota REALTORS® lobbyists testified in support of federal conformity in committee hearings and discusses the importance of the mortgage debt forgiveness provision with key legislators. Support for addressing this issue was bipartisan.

We will continue to advocate for federal conformity in the event a “lame duck” Special Session is called after the election or in January when the 2017 Session convenes.

The Minnesota REALTORS® is the largest professional trade association in the state with more than 17,000 members who are active in all aspects of the real estate industry.

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