July 25, 2022 Government Affairs Committee Update

Karen Bordner, Committee Member

Jim Webster the Boulder Wildfire Partners Program Coordinator emailed me to ask if I wanted to attend the internal meeting on July 29th. The link below describes the public press release about this and the public dates for meetings. 
I will be attending, and I'll send a recap. https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/COBOULDER/bulletins/324b4aa
FYI, Matt Jones is retiring and not seeking another term as a County Commissioner for District 3. He has a long history of supporting fire mitigation as he was a wildland firefighter before becoming a State House Rep and then County Commissioner. The Democratic primary for Boulder County Commissioner District 3 vote was extremely close and will have a recount. Unless an unaffiliated candidate can get enough signatures to be put on the ballot, the winner of the recount will be the next County Commissioner for District 3. Shively has conceded. 
Elaina Shively former Boulder District DA and current Director for the Center for Prevention and Restorative Justice was backed by current commissioner and Realtor Marta Loachiman. Elaina received 27,802 votes, and Lousiville mayor Ashley Stolzmann received 27,870 and was backed by Matt Jones. Both women are progressive leaders and have housing, fire, and transportation, as key issues facing Boulder County. 
On a side and sad note, both men running to replace Sherrif Joe Pelle who is retiring lost their homes in the Marshall fire. Pelle recruited retired Boulder Deputy Chief Curtis Johnson and Lousiville Poice Chief David Hayes ran on his own. Johnson won the primary by a large margin and is unopposed for the general election.


June 24, 2022 Government Affairs Committee Update

Kim Herfurt, Committee Chair and Board Liaison

We had our Legislative Policy Committee meeting this afternoon as a wrap up of the Legislative year. This year LPC reviewed 103 real estate related legislative bill positions. This was the greatest number of bill positions which anyone can remember ever, that the LPC reviewed. It was a very busy legislative year. It was also a difficult year for across the aisle cooperation.
Our Lobbyist Jason indicated that a bill to reduce property taxes cleared the final vote, was successful, and assessed values should remain the same or lower for the next tax assessment cycle.
Two bills relating to the construction of new homes with high efficiency electric kitchen and heating appliances, as well as, an electrical infrastructure to support 240-volt automotive recharging stations, and another bill that mandated using building materials that were fire retardant. Thes bills never made it out of committee. These bills will probably reemerge in the January session with some modifications. All estimates are that these bills would currently increase the cost to build single family dwellings by 25% for each bill, for a roughly 50% increase in building materials cost. The cost to own these household appliances would also increase homeowners' utility bills.
There were no negative statewide bills on short term rentals that passed the legislature this year. A bill to increase STR's property tax assessment to commercial rates was defeated in committee. Jason did indicate however, many county governments have, and will continue to pass regulations on short term rentals.
Lobbyist Karen indicated that the Colorado Division of Housing received $400,000,000.00 from the Federal Government which must be allocated and used by 12/25. She mentioned that most of that money would be used for rentals and grants to developers. She also indicated not much of the money would be allocated for homeownership. This will probably be a topic of discussion by shifting around already allocated 2022 funds during the 2023 Legislative session beginning in January.
The Governor and his office vetoed a bill that that would mandate deed restricted low-income housing with caps on appreciation. That was a bill we were very concerned about in the housing committee, due to the restrictions placed upon buyers. One of the Governors Ades was very instrumental in shaping the governor's office opinion, and CAR is giving her an award for going above and beyond to help us with that defeat.
Several people discussed the issue of Nebraska's' lawsuit against Colorado for additional water because they indicated they are not receiving their share of water. Considering the water levels at several large bodies of water that produce hydroelectric power for many millions of homes (Lake Powell and Lake Meade were mentioned) this lawsuit is critical for the future of Colorado and many other states. A LPC task force was appointed to monitor the progress of the lawsuit and advocate for Colorado's share of the water and electric power.  I have been appointed to assist with that task force until the end of the year when my appointment terminates. I will keep the Board updated as much as possible.
RPAC is holding a phone bank and barbeque at the CAR office on August 25th from 11-2, to try to get us over the top in donations. We are currently about 75% of our 2022 goals. Please encourage your offices to donate the minimum $25.00 to RPAC and help volunteer at the bbq. We are going to need all the help we can get in the next few years to keep the real estate market running efficiently in Colorado.

April 2022 Government Affairs Committee Update

Kimball Herfurt, Committee Chair and Board Liaison

The House and Senate Bills that I reviewed today are the following:

HB22-1356 Concerning the creation of the Small Community Based Non-Profit infrastructure grant program to provide assistance to non-profit organizations that have been economiclly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic

HB22-1362 Concerning the reduction of building greenhouse gas emissions, and in connection therewith, requiring the Colorado Energy Office to identify for adoption three model codes, requiring local governments and certain state agencies to adopt and enforce codes that are consistent with two of the model codes, encouraging local governments and certain state agencies to adopt and enforce codes that are consistent with the third model code, creating the building electrification for public buildings grant program, creating the high-efficiency electric heating and appliances grant program, and establishing the clean air building investments fund.

HB22-1363 Concerning measures to increase accountability of special districts to taxpayers.

SRC22-002 Submitting to the registered electors of the State of Colorado an amendment to the Colorado Constitution concerning the expansion of the existing property tax exemption for certain owner-occupied primary residences, and in connection therewith, increasing the exempt amount of the actual value of the owner-occupied primary residence of a qualifying senior or veteran with a disability and allowing a senior who qualifies for the exemption to move and still claim the exemption without meeting the ten-year ownership and occupancy requirement, so long as the senior has continuously owned residential real property since qualifying for the exemption.

The bills that we have been reviewing since January can be read in their entirety on the link to the Bill Sheet below. The Bills have the Sponsoring Legislators from the House and Senate at the top of the Bill if you would like to contact them.