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Legislative Priorities

The 2019/2020 Pennsylvania Legislative Session legislation PAR is monitoring.

Core Issue: Taxes – Taxes relative to the real estate transaction, such as the realty transfer tax, and those associated with homeownership, such as the property tax, are a major burden to buyers and homeowners alike. An increase in any industry-related tax would have a negative impact on housing costs and the industry as a whole.

  • House Bill 34 (Ryan, R-Lebanon) – Amends the Tax Reform Code to repeal the reporting requirements for 1099-MISC income paid to non-residents. PAR supports this legislation.
  • House Bill 105 (Cox, R-Berks) – Allows for Like-Kind exchanges. PAR supports this legislation.
  • House Bill 274 (Isaacson, D-Philadelphia)– Legislation would remove Philadelphia’s exemption from the requirement that property assessors be certified.
  • Senate Bill 30 (Killion, R-Chester) – Would provide a tax credit that will help increase the economic opportunity for senior citizens, individuals with disabilities and families with children. The credit would be used in conjunction with the federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit.
  • Senate Bill 31 (Haywood, D-Montgomery) – Would lift the cap off Realty Transfer Tax funds to transfer to PA Housing and Rehabilitation Enhancement (PHARE).
  • Senate Bill 76 (Argall, R-Schuylkill) – The legislation would eliminate school property taxes and shift to an increased Personal Income Tax and an increased and expanded Sales and Use Tax. The last time this legislation was introduced, those rates included: Increasing the SUT from the current six percent to seven percent; and increasing the PIT from the current 3.07 percent to 4.95 percent. The new revenue sources would replace dollar-for-dollar the revenues lost by the school property tax elimination.
  • Senate Bill 334 (Argall, R-Schuylkill) – The legislation would eliminate spot appeals of property assessments in Pennsylvania. PAR supports this legislation.

Core Issue: Practice and Professionalism – The Real Estate Licensing and Registration Act (RELRA) governs the practice of real estate licensees in the Commonwealth and serves to protect consumers who work with real estate licensees. It is incumbent upon the association to enact laws that enhance the industry, both for its members and for consumers.

  • House Bill 483 (Readshaw, D-Allegheny)– Would provide for portability of professional and occupational licenses for military spouses.
  • House Bill 64 (Readshaw, D-Allegheny) – Would add a provision allowing professionals under BPOA, who are required to maintain continuing education (CE), to accrue CE credits in excess of any CE credits required for biennial renewal (CE carryover). The carryover shall be valid for one biennial renewal term only. PAR supports this legislation.
  • House Bill 84 (Kauffman, R-Franklin) – Would require revoking the license of any individual or business who knowingly hires an unauthorized alien in connection with the profession in which the licensee is licensed or any business activity related to the licensed profession. PAR opposes this legislation.
  • House Bill 194 (Readshaw, D-Allegheny) – Would reduce the criminal background checks for felony drug offenses for potential licensees from 10 years to five years and allow for a probationary license during the five-year time period.
  • House Bill 787 (Heffley, R-Carbon) – Would regulate host platforms such AirBnB. PAR expressed concern with the bill as proposed, which could require certain real estate brokers to disclose to the department of revenue a list of their clients. PAR sought amendments to exempt real estate licensees who are regulated under the State Real Estate Commission.
  • Senate Bill 217 (Farnese, R-Philadelphia) – Would remove existing exemption from the Assessors Certification Act of 1992 for Philadelphia and require Philadelphia to use certified assessors to ensure professionalism and accuracy in the assessment process. The bill had first consideration in the Senate in late March.

Core Issue: Housing – An estimated 12 million renter and homeowner households across the U.S. pay more than 50 percent of their annual incomes on housing. It is vital that the association play a role in helping to ensure that housing of all types is available at all income levels, and that programs are available to help homeowners achieve the dream of homeownership. The association must also contribute to the creation of revitalized communities while maintaining private property rights.

  • House Bill 71 (Rothman, R-Cumberland) – Allows a landlord to request issuance of an order for possession immediately after judgement and the district judge must immediately thereafter issue the order for possession. In turn, the order must be served no later than 48 hours after the request was filed by the landlord and executed on the TWELFTH day following service upon the tenant of the leased property. PAR supports this legislation.
  • House Bill 122 (Kortz, D-Allegheny/Helm, R-Dauphin) – Would require the home inspection report to include a disclosure of visible evidence of the presence of interior mold with advice to obtain a professional evaluation. PAR supports this legislation.
  • House Bill 128 (Brown, R-Monroe)  and Senate Bill 309 (Mensch, R-Montgomery) – Would create a First-Time Homebuyers Savings Account in Pennsylvania. HB 128 has moved to the Senate for consideration. SB 309 moved to the Senate Appropriations Committee in April. PAR supports this legislation. 
  • House Bill 213 (Schlossberg, D-Lehigh) – Would subject residential rental properties built before 1978 to the same requirements the federal law has laid out for the sale of residential homes. Currently, federal law requires a lead inspection of homes prior to the sale. This legislation will place the same requirements on rental properties every time a tenant vacates a property, or prior to renting to a new tenant. If levels of lead are present, the renter must rectify the problem or face an annual $5,000 penalty until the lead is removed. PAR opposes this legislation.
  • House Bill 328 (Warren, D-Bucks) – Would establish a Flood Insurance Premium Assistance Task Force to make recommendations regarding potential programs that provide insurance premium discounts, programs that incentivize local governments to support flood mitigation efforts and the implementation of any necessary changes to state statute or policy regarding the administration of flood insurance.
  • House Bill 523 (Day, R-Lehigh) – Provides for private roadway maintenance agreements.
  • Senate Bill 80 (Yaw, R-Lycoming) – Would require the owner or lessor of real property to disclose that the property was used as a location to manufacture methamphetamine. The legislation will also set up a decontamination protocol in coordination with law enforcement and the Department of Health to insure that all real property used in the production of methamphetamine is properly decontaminated before the property can be sold or inhabited. This legislation also includes a provision that would provide immunity for real estate professionals if the owner or lessor failed to disclose this information. PAR is monitoring this legislation.
  • Senate Bill 329 (Dinniman, D-Chester) – Would amend Act 34 of 2015 to increase penalties for code violations (such as securing the property) specifically for owners of blighted properties when funds have been received from a state program. PAR supports this legislation. 

Core Issue: Local Issues – While municipalities in Pennsylvania have the authority to enact local ordinances on such issues as the registration of tenants, sewage lateral inspections, and installation of residential sprinkler systems, it is important for the association to monitor these ordinances in order to forestall any pending statewide implementation.

This page was updated on May 9, 2019.

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