Legislative Update May 2016

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Below is an update on various bills that NHCIBOR has been actively involved with on behalf of our members.  The summary is written by Gerry O’Connell, Chair of the Public Policy Committee and Past President of NHCIBOR.


1)     HB 1579 – NHAR worked with the New Hampshire Real Estate Commission on this bill which alters how out-of-state licensed brokers are permitted to work in NH.   The bill was in response to a potential legal action by an out-of-state commercial broker against the Commission over its interpretation of RSA 331-A:22-a .  CIBOR played a an important role in drafting the legislation.   The new law allows for an out-of-state broker to engage a NH licensee through a cooperative broker agreement in a commercial transaction (non 1 to 4 family).   Such agreements will not be permitted in residential transactions.  NHAR, with CIBOR’s participation, testified to the legislature that the language codifies current business practices   Last week, the Governor signed HB 1579 into law and it will go into effect on July 18th.


2)     HB 1656 – NHAR attached an amendment to this bill in the Senate Ways and Means Committee to exempt entity-to-entity transfers when the ownership does not change and there is no consideration exchanged for the transfer of real estate.  NH Supreme Court cases over the past several years dealing with the applicability of the RETT on certain transfers of real estate to a single-purpose entity for refinancing purposes provided seemingly contradictory guidance.  The bill clarifies those issues and makes is clear that no consideration exists for tax purposes if the sole reason for the transfer is to obtain financing.  The bill also clarifies the RETT for transfers to revocable trusts as well as LLCs for overall estate planning purposes.   As long as no consideration or change in ownership occurs then no RETT is to be paid.  After several weeks of discussion between legislators, the Dept. of Revenue Administration and NHAR, the bill has passed and is now heading for the Governor’s desk for her signature.


3)     HB 1203 – The bill would have altered  the voting process used by Zoning Board Adjustments to require five separate votes on each of the five variance criteria.   Some towns use this method while also take just one vote in support or opposition to the request.   NHAR testified that five separate votes could increase costs as well as the likelihood that a variance would be delayed or denied.  HB 1203 passed overwhelmingly in the House of Representatives but was unanimously killed in the Senate.


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