The Annual REALTOR® Day on Beacon Hill is on June 11 at 10 a.m. at the Massachusetts State House in Boston. This is an annual event that provides REALTORS® with a terrific opportunity to meet with state legislators and relay your views on the issues affecting your businesses the most.
MAR works diligently on your behalf to protect the real estate industry and homeownership. Below are a few of the key issues on this year’s agenda that should be discussed with legislators at Day on Beacon Hill.
- AN ACT REGULATING SECONDARY METALS DEALING
MAR supports the statewide regulation of secondary metal dealers. In recent years, a
significant increase in damage has occurred to homes, vacant and occupied, caused by
copper pipe and wire theft. Vacant homes and buildings are an increasing concern as
many fall into disrepair, attract crime, and create safety issues in neighborhoods. Further, metal piping and other fixtures are stolen from the structures, thus making the
titles unmarketable for mortgage loan qualification purposes. The problem is becoming widespread, hurting home values in neighborhoods in which thefts occur.
Increasing housing production continues to be a top priority. Unfortunately, An Act Promoting the Planning and Development of Sustainable Communities would have a significant negative impact on real estate development and affordability. This legislation does nothing to prevent municipalities from continuing their practice of imposing arbitrary and ad hoc mitigation requirements on development – a practice that hinders and burdens the development of needed housing and job creating commercial growth. Additionally, the authority for municipalities to impose mandatory inclusionary zoning
requirements on individual developments does so without providing density bonuses or other incentives. One further concern is that the bill’s elimination of the simple and cost-effective Approval Not Required (ANR) process which would make it more expensive and complicated to undertake the development of new lots with frontage on
- LOCAL IMPOSITION OF ROOM OCCUPANCY TAXES
Room occupancy legislation would create a new tax on all homeowners who choose to rent their homes for a short term (under 90 days). In addition to established businesses like hotels, motels, and bed and breakfast establishments, a city or town could levy a room occupancy tax on any apartment, single or multiple family housing, cottage, condominium, or timeshare unit. Seasonal owners pay property taxes at the same rate as full-time residents, yet utilize significantly fewer services. It is unfair to impose a tax on them, particularly when they cannot cast a vote in the decision.