BY COMMERCIAL BROKERS FOR COMMERCIAL BROKERS
REALTOR® Political Action Committee (RPAC) is a voluntary political action committee whose membership consists of REALTORS® interested in actively and effectively protecting the real estate industry by participating in government affairs at the local, state and federal levels. Please donate to RPAC through CFCAR and support our continued efforts to gain a discount of the Business Rent Tax in Florida and more...
March 2, 2018 - Call For Action from Florida REALTORS®
Take action and support a reduction to the sales tax charged to businesses that lease commercial space. Lowering the business rent tax provides Florida businesses with funds to expand, hire more employees, improve benefits and raise salaries. Help cut the business rent tax by asking your Senator and Representative to include a reduction in this year's tax package.
Click HERE to send them a message and for more information.
February 14, 2018
NAR is currently conducting a Call for Action with our Commercial members in support of HR 620, the ADA Education and Reform Act.
This bipartisan bill adds a crucial "notice-and-cure" provision to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), giving business owners an opportunity to fix an alleged violation before costly legal proceedings are initiated. Currently, attorneys around the country are taking advantage of the ADA's lack of a notice requirement, filing lawsuits indiscriminately against commercial property owners, often for minor, easily corrected infractions. The property owners must then either settle or use their time and money on legal proceedings - resources that could have instead gone to fixing the alleged violation.
HR 620 would restore the integrity of the ADA by curbing these abusive practices and incentivizing business owners to quickly correct ADA infractions. For more information on this bill, see NAR's issue summary on ADA Lawsuit Reform here.
February 15, 2018
Update on CFA:
Thursday, February 15th, the House passed HR 620, the ADA Education and Reform Act, by a vote of 225-192. The "yea" votes included ten Democrats. NAR strongly supports this bill, and ahead of the vote engaged in an advocacy campaign to help its passage.
HR 620 is a bipartisan bill that adds a crucial "notice-and-cure" period to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), giving business owners accused of a violation the opportunity to fix it before a costly legal process begins. In recent years, a small group of attorneys have taken advantage of the ADA's lack of a notice requirement and filed lawsuits indiscriminately against commercial property owners under the ADA. Those business owners, who often in good faith believe that they are in compliance, then have the choice of paying a settlement or hiring an attorney and taking the time to deal with a costly legal proceeding.
Now that HR 620 has passed the House, we will move on to focus on companion legislation in the Senate.
Dear Commercial Alliance and Legislative Breakout Committee Members,
Before we get into our legislative update for week five of the 2018 Legislative Session, let me first say that our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and families affected by the school shooting in Parkland this week. I don't know if any of you were directly impacted by the event, but as Realtors there is no doubt you are feeling the hurt and sadness in each of your communities.
Here in Tallahassee we are certainly feeling that sadness as well, and the conversations being had in the halls of the capitol have definitely pivoted in the wake of this tragedy.
While we don't yet know where those conversations will take us, we do have several updates for you regarding our legislative priorities. You can find those updates below, and as always, if you have any questions on these items or anything else, please don't hesitate to ask.
Assignment of Benefits (AOB)
No new activity took place this week regarding the AOB bills that Florida Realtors supports. As a reminder, the House has already passed HB 7015. This leaves SB 62, which is still awaiting consideration in its first committee. The main difference between the two bills is the manner in which attorney fees are treated. The Senate bill preserves one-way attorney fees for policyholders but extinguishes them for contractors. The House bill allows both insurers and contractors to recover attorney fees, depending on who the prevailing party is and the size of the recovery, if any.
Business Rent Tax Cut
The House Ways & Means committee filed their tax cut bill this week. The proposed committee bill WMC3 includes a 0.3% reduction of the Business Rent Tax. This rate cut is estimated to have a $92.4 million-dollar impact to the state. The committee passed WMC3 by a vote of 14 to 6. The proposed committee bill will be filed and given a bill number and move on for further consideration.
House Bill 773 by Rep. Mike La Rosa (R- St. Cloud) would allow municipalities to enact a local law, ordinance, or regulation to regulate activities that arise when a property is used as a vacation rental provided the regulation applies uniformly to all residential properties without regard to whether the property is used as a vacation rental. Last legislative session, Rep. La Rosa filed similar legislation that made its way through the legislative process but ultimately died when the Senate and the House could not come to an agreement. The bill has been referred to the Government Accountability Committee and the Commerce Committee. It was scheduled to be heard in committee this week, but was postponed due to time restrictions.
Senate Bill 1400 by Sen. Greg Steube (R-Sarasota) is waiting to be heard in its final committee stop, the Appropriations Committee. Below is the summary of what the bill would do:
The bill preempts vacation rentals to the state which would prohibit municipal governments from regulating vacation rentals.
Single Family and Multi Family Homes would not be affected by this legislation. The current licensing requirements would remain in effect; however, the license application would now require the operator's emergency contact telephone number.
The bill adds occupancy limits for vacation rentals which are set at the lesser of four persons plus two additional persons for each sleeping room, or one person for each 150 square feet of finished area.
Preempts the inspection of vacation rentals to the state. Inspections will only take place if a complaint is filed with the department.
When five or more vacation rentals in multifamily dwellings are under common ownership and any such vacation rental is rented out more than 180 days per year they will be subject to biannual inspections.
The bill maintains the grandfather provision so that any local law or ordinance passed before June 1, 2011 relating to vacation rentals would be maintained.
The House and Senate have already passed their respective budget bills. Each chamber has a different level of funding for the State and Local Government Housing Trust Funds. The legislature will now move into the budget conference process. This process will begin with the appointment of budget conferees and specific "allocations" for the budget subcommittees. We are working with legislators to advocate for the increase in the level of appropriation for the Housing Trust Funds.
Legislation that enables Florida notaries to support digital closings moved closer to passage in both chambers this week. The Senate bill (SB 1042) passed the Government Oversight and Accountability Committee, and the House bill (HB 771) passed the Transportation & Tourism Appropriations Subcommittee. The bill authorizes Florida notaries to perform notarial acts in the traditional manner (in person) or by use of a secure, recorded two-way live audio-video call. Enhanced requirements for identity verification, security and recordkeeping for electronic notarization are included in the bill. The legislation must still be considered in two more committees -- one in each chamber -- and has the potential to simplify transactions that involve out-of-state and out-of-country buyers and sellers. It's supported by the Florida Realtors.
Constitution Revision Commission (CRC)
The Commission has announced additional public hearings to get additional input from Floridians about potential changes to the Constitution. The full meeting schedule is listed on the Commission's website: flcrc.gov/Meetings/PublicHearings.
***PAC Major Investor***