Barbara Koelzer, Regional Government Affairs Director
Real Estate Loses Ally: The Longmont City Council election will not result in much change. Mayor Brian Bagley easily won re-election, which is good for our industry.
With four candidates for the at-large seat, it isn’t surprising that incumbent Joan Peck easily beat opponents Jeff Moore, Ron Gallegos and Matt Garrett. They split the vote. If Gallegos or Garrett had not run it is entirely possible that former Council member Jeff Moore, who was endorsed by LAR, could have won the seat.
Unfortunately, REALTOR® Regan Sample was unsuccessful in his attempt to represent Ward 3. Bonnie Finley, who had held the seat for eight years was term-limited. Finley had always been outspoken in her support of real estate issues and the end of her tenure is a loss for our industry. Susan Hildago-Farhring, who beat Sample decisively, will be another progressive voice on Council. She was endorsed by Mayor Pro Tem Polly Christensen, who has often criticized the real estate community.
Tim Waters ran unopposed in Ward One and was endorsed by LAR because he has historically voted with Bagley and Finley on key issues. Mayor Bagley will have to work hard to get support from the Council on key issues affecting real estate. Don’t expect this to happen on the dais, however. The wily mayor is known for getting a lot done behind the scenes.
The bottom line: The majority of this Council is not real estate or business friendly but that has been the case for the past four year, so status quo.
Rodriguez Elected Mayor Pro Tem: On November 11 the new City Council elected Aren Rodriguez as Mayor Pro Tem. The mayor pro tem runs the Council meetings when the mayor is out of town.
Polly Christensen had previously served in this capacity, but given the controversy surrounding Christensen and fellow Council member Joan Peck, it is probably just as well that the Council chose another member to fill the role. It was simply a lucky coincidence that the decision was made prior to news of the controversy, which broke in the Times-Call on November 16.
COLORADO ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
Proposition CC Fails: 54 percent of Colorado voters said no to Proposition CC, which would’ve allowed the State to keep TABOR excess revenues and allocate them to transportation/transit, higher education and K-12. According to analysis from Colorado Politics, “The tax issue galvanized and motivated a Colorado conservative base still reeling from a pummeling in statewide races last year.
That raises new questions about whether those who would like to fully repeal TABOR — the exceedingly complicated measure that limits government spending — are willing to chance putting it on the ballot during next year’s presidential campaign, featuring a U.S. Senate race that could tip the balance of power in the nation’s capital.”
House Speaker KC Becker who sponsored the measure, said, “I know that there are groups and people that understand how badly we’re funding K-12 and higher-ed and roads, and they’re going to keep trying to solve that problem. So, if this isn’t the solution, not raising taxes, if that’s not the solution, they’re going to keep proposing tax increases because this is an unsustainable path.”
Note: CAR opposed the measure, saying it did not create enough reliable revenue for these important programs.
Legalized Betting Will Fund Water Plan: Proposition DD which will allow sports betting at casinos and use taxes from casino profits to fund Colorado’s Water Plan, passed by 114,000 votes. CAR supported the measure because water storage will be important in light of our state’s projected growth. The plan was released several years ago but had no funding allocated towards its implementation.
Changes to FHA REO Policy: BIG WIN!!! NAR expressed concerns to the FHA about HUD’s policies regarding commissions and the conflict with NAR MLS policy. Changes are coming December 1.
At NAR’s urging, REALTORS® shared comments with HUD, noting that “HUD’s platform for REO/HUD Homes prevents brokers with an ownership interest from receiving a commission, which … conflicts with Multiple Listing Service (MLS) policy regarding the payment of commissions.”
HUD released a statement saying, “HUD has undertaken further research on the impacts of restricting broker commissions. As a result, HUD is currently working to update our system, to allow brokers to be paid commissions on all competitive sales irrespective of the individual/entity purchasing the HUD REO property. The system will retain the existing question about the Selling Broker/Agent and their ownership interest, to ensure that we can continue to gather and analyze this data; however, entering zero in the Selling Broker Commission field will no longer be required.”
In addition, the following warning notice will be removed: “HUD will not pay a sales commission if the selling broker or agent submitting the bid is also a purchaser or has an ownership interest in an entity identified as a purchaser. In such cases, the selling broker must enter zero in the Selling Broker Commission field (6a) of the Bid Submission Screen.
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