January 2018 The Legislative Minute

Brought to you by the Carroll County REALTORS®

Realtors® Announce 2018 General Assembly Priorities

As the General Assembly heads back into session this month, the Maryland REALTORS® will be on the ground to advance their 2018 Key Issues. They are:

First-Time Homebuyers Savings Accounts –

This bill would allow a first-time homebuyer to exempt from state taxes up to $50,000 in deposits and interest earned up to $150,000 from this account.

Third Party Escrow Accounts –

REALTORS® will seek legislation to regulate the deposit, holding and disbursement of escrow accounts by third parties.

Maryland Real Estate Guarantee Fund –

Currently, when the Guarantee Fund falls below $250,000, all Maryland real estate licensees have assessed a fee to recapitalize the Fund. This bill would instead allow the Real Estate Commission to direct up to $500,000 of its unused budget allocations to stabilize the Fund.

Brokerage Act –

Current law provides for the continuation of a real estate brokerage firm following the death of a broker but does not contain similar provisions for a broker’s disability. REALTORS® will seek to outline these procedures as has been done in other states.

BAT Septic Systems –

REALTORS® will continue to monitor any legislation relating to the use and installation of septic systems in Maryland and will oppose any effort to mandate BAT system used outside of critically impaired waterways.

You can advocate for these issues during the Maryland REALTORS® Lobby Day on January 17. Register today!

Washington Roundup

Tax Reform Passes:

The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) worked to preserve existing tax benefits of homeownership and real estate investment, as well as to ensure as many real estate professionals as possible would benefit from proposed tax cuts. NAR has compiled detailed analyses and examples of how the final tax law changes are projected to impact both homeowners and REALTORS®.

2018 FHA loan limits:

Each year, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac adjust their limits for conventional, conforming loans based on changes in median home prices. For 2018, the loan limit for Carroll County (in the Baltimore-ColumbiaTowson MSA) will be set at $517,500.

Flood Insurance:

Congress extended the NFIP through Jan. 19 as part of a continuing resolution. NAR will continue working with Congress to ensure that the NFIP does not lapse while the Senate considers its own 5-year reauthorization and reform measure. The House passed its version, H.R. 2874, in November.

The CCAR Legislative Minute is a new monthly newsletter giving you the latest information on federal, state and local issues impacting the real estate industry.



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