No One is Safe

The General Assembly is in session. If you’re not paying attention, you really should be. The best tool I’ve found to keep up is Richmond Sunlight. Educate yourself (start at the blog).

Richmond Sunlight *

*as of Sunday, 18 January at 10am

There are 14 bills tagged with “real estate” and 349 with “real estate” in the titles, summaries or texts.

Think this bill might affect you and your business? – Notice for setting local real property tax rate. (SB1131)

Notice for setting local real property tax rate. Reduces from 30 days to 10 days the public notice required by localities under certain circumstances for increasing the local real property tax rate above the rate that would generate 101 percent of the prior year’s real property tax revenues.

Or this one? –Real Estate Board; compensation to referring attorneys prohibited, exception. (HB2040)

Real Estate Board; compensation to referring attorneys prohibited; exception. Provides that an attorney-at-law referring a client to a licensee shall not receive any compensation from a listing firm or offered in the common source information company to cooperating brokers, unless the attorney is also licensed as a real estate broker or salesperson. The bill contains technical amendments.

198 bills have the word “assessment” in the title or description.

Surely, they wouldn’t pass this bill – Use value assessment; roll-back taxes. (SB1043) :

Use value assessment; roll-back taxes. Allows counties, cities, and towns to assess and collect roll-back taxes for up to 15 years under a use value assessment program if all roll-back taxes, interest, and penalty are promptly deposited into a special fund and used to fund the locality’s purchase of development rights program.

What??? Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation; Virginia Real Estate Board; waiver of broker (SB1210)

Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation; Virginia Real Estate Board; waiver of broker education requirements. Requires the Virginia Real Estate Board to waive the broker education requirement for any applicant for a brokers license who has owned a real estate brokerage firm for more than 15 years and during that time and maintained an active license as a real estate salesperson.

Think they’ll ban smoking in restaurants?

Here’s my question – or challenge – what are your “favorite” bills?

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to No One is Safe

  1. Vonda Lacey says:

    Shouldn’t the BEST place to keep up with the bills is on VHA website? I think there should be a place that post all the upcoming bills to the General Assembly in regards to Real Estate (if they are there, I missed them). Also, another idea is to create a blog on the VHA site as well. I think I read that this blog is more for Realtors, maybe VHA could have a blog for Realtors & the Public. Just a thought.

  2. As a matter of fact, it’s in the works and scheduled for launch in the next week or two. Prepare yourselves for VARbilltrackr! (Seriously. It’s my project this week to finish it.)

  3. Jim Duncan says:

    Those are great ideas, Vonda. I’m thinking that more Realtors read this than the VHA site, but I could be wrong – and Realtors are my target audience with this post.

    One benefit of Richmond Sunlight is that it is based on (I believe) all open-source software and – this is huge – you don’t need to login to access the information, as seems to be the case with the VHA site. (seriously, even to click through the news stories, I have to login? I’d rather google the particular headline than login)

    Great news, Andrew – will the VARbilltrackr have similar functionality? Will the audience be the public or Realtors? Why not just pull from RS’ API?

  4. Are you kidding me!?!? Exempting Brokers with greater than 15 years experience is the dumbest, most self-serving regulation I’ve ever seen promulgated.

  5. Jim Duncan says:

    Matthew – Yeah, I thought that was a joke at first.

  6. Jim Duncan says:

    Reading on Richmond Sunlight, Cindy says it all –

    So for the last 15 years the person you are waiving the requirements for has been acting as a Broker with out the proper license? This bill is a slap in the face to properly licensed Real Estate Brokers in the state of Virginia. With our current real estate market, you want to lessen requirements for Real Estate Brokers? I am a Broker and this is an insult to me and every other licensed Broker in the State.

    Where is VAR on this bill?

  7. Sorry, Chrome and VARBuzz weren’t playing well this morning….

    There are several screwy things with this exception.

    1. First these same brokers who you are expempting from taking the training cannot figure out to how to renew their license in the first place, so now you’ve made it more complicated.

    2. It’s only EIGHT hours in TWO years to get updated on recent regulation changes and new practices. It’s not enough time.

    3. (I know I’ll get yelled at for this) Those with the most experince are the most ignorant to the the current policies, regulations and trends. This is by far one of the easiets roles to get complacent in.

    4. For an industry that crys out to “raise the bar”, how can we then sit back and encourage lowering it for those people who most need the training but are least likely to seek it out?

    5. I personally would be afraid to hang my license under someone who is fights taking a days worth of training in a two year cycle.

    To be fair this is the fault of education providers. Schools and instructors keep re-hasing stuff that relevant 15 years ago and not concentrating on current trends and changes. This has caused a level of disregard for the importance of training.

  8. Sorry again… I forgot to read the comments when I got fixated on this one issue.

    Vonda – your idea of getting this information to VHA is good, but I think that VAR should have a link to Sunlight or whatever Andrew is working on. VHA should be updated by the local Associations with the information they think is important to the their region. If you put everything out there, I would be concerned that consumers would just glaze over when the majority of stuff doesn’t apply.

  9. I also think waiving the CE hours for brokers who have owned their own company for 15 years is a lousy idea.

  10. I’m with Mike and Matt on this one. No hours should be waived for brokers owning their company 15 years. These guys are part of the problem in the first place.

  11. For the record, VAR has opposed this broker CE exemption in the past and, provided that VAR’s bill review committee takes the same action it has in years past, will do so again.

  12. You can have the data on your own website and use Richmond Sunlight. Everything on Richmond Sunlight can be syndicated. It’s all available as XML/RSS/CSV for your mashup pleasure. :)

  13. Jim Duncan says:

    Thanks for the update Ben. It’s good to know that VAR will be against it. The beauty of Richmond Sunlight is that we’re able to know that this type of idiocy is making its way through the hallways of the General Assembly.

  14. Scott Brunner says:

    Jim’s a member of our Public Policy Committee, so I know he knows this, but for others who may not: The Legislative session only began last week, and bills are still being introduced. Our Bill Review Committee will meet this Friday to review hundreds and hundreds (literally) of real estate related bills and determine VAR’s position on them. As Ben notes. we’ll almost certainly oppose the bill Jim mentioned above that waives the broker education requirement — just as we opposed and effectively killed the same bill last last year. Which is all to point out that just because a measure gets introduced and is listed on the Sunlight site Jim mentions does not mean it is headed for passage; in fact, in most cases, quite the opposite is true. If you’re really interested in legislation affecting real estate, I suggest you keep your powder dry for now, wait until VAR’s Bill Review takes positions on the bills that impact your business, then take a look at those bills on VAR’s website so you’ll be well informed about what really has legs in this session and which bills do not — and where your association stands on them. And of course, be prepared to respond when we issue calls to action!

  15. Jim Duncan says:

    Thanks, Scott. I’d love to see a post about the Bill Review Committee’s process if only as a way to express gratification for what they do.

    While VAR does remarkable work, it is important for the individual Realtor to be aware that there are hundreds of bills that potentially impact our business, sometimes a little poke in the ribs is needed to make sure we’re all aware of the importance of what the GA does, and therefore, what VAR and the volunteers do.

    It’s still astonishing that this sort of bill was introduced at all, and hopefully this serves as a reminder that without constant vigilance – by everybody – things like this always have a chance to slip by without notice.

    I wish I could come to Richmond today to sit in on the committee and listen to the bill’s presentation and debate.

    Sunlight is good for all of us.

  16. This is the stuff that Virginia Realtors and the public need to know that VAR and its members are fighting for/against.

    Not sure why every local R association doesn’t have this information cleary posted on their site and translated into layman’s terms for everyone to know about (and comment on). Hmmmm…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *