Colorado Association of Realtors: Legislative Update

Here’s an update on some of the positions adopted by the Legislative Policy Committee (LPC) –
SB-85 “Increase Documentary Fee & Fund Attainable Housing” OPPOSE. This bill would raise the doc fee for recording or filing to five dollars. The first dollar would go towards electronic filing costs under existing law and the remaining four dollars would go towards a statewide attainable housing investment fund.

CAR believes increased documentary are akin to transfer taxes and fees; they are regressive. They wind up creating barriers to homeownership by impacting those that can least afford it because they increase the amount of money needed to purchase a home. Moreover, these types of transfer taxes and documentary fees are extremely sensitive to market forces making the frequency of transactions and value of property variable in relation to the strength of the economy, which makes these types of funds a poor revenue source for affordable housing. Finally, it is likely that transferring a portion of this fee to a different fund is unconstitutional.

SB-45 “Equitable Allocation of Costs of Defending a Construction Defect Claim” NEUTRAL. CAR staff says this bill won’t solve the problem. The only reason the LPC didn’t oppose it is because it is co-sponsored by the Speaker of the House and Senate President. Industry attorneys that have reviewed the bill are unsure whether it can be salvaged by revisions if the bill moves forward.

SB-65 “Authorize Local Governments Inclusionary Housing Programs” OPPOSE. Introduced by Senator Steve Fenberg (Boulder SD-18). This bill would clarify the existing rent-control statute and allow local governments to adopt inclusionary housing programs. These inclusionary housing programs can include: a) setting aside a percentage of new development for affordable units, developer incentives to promote affordable housing, cash-in-lieu or land dedication to local governments, specifying periods of time that housing remains affordable or targeting a certain income range. CAR believes this legislation could be back door erosion for the current prohibition of municipal rent control, which was the foundational legal ruling in the 2000 Colorado Supreme Court case Town of Telluride, Colorado v. Lot Thirty-Four Venture LLC.

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