Legislative Update May 8, 2018

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May 8, 2018

Reconciliation is at hand 

By BOB QUINN
Vice President of Government Affairs, NH REALTORS

Both the House and Senate have taken action on all bills in the 2018 session, and the only thing left to do is work out their differences on specific bills. Here are some of those impacting real estate which are likely headed to a Committee of Conference.
(Committee of Conference: A temporary, ad hoc panel composed of House and Senate conferees which is formed for the purpose of reconciling differences in legislation that has passed both chambers.)

Senate votes to bring back the first-time homebuyer credit

Last month, the House rejected Senate Bill 301, which created a small reduction in the Real Estate Transfer Tax for first-time homebuyers. Instead, the House decided to spend the rest of this year studying the proposal.

Last week, the Senate decided not to wait and attached the first-time homebuyer credit to House Bill 1817. It is not clear if the House will accept the Senate version, seek changes to the bill or reject it altogether.

Temporary seasonal docks bill gets a committee of conference 

After nearly 15 months, Senate Bill 119, relative to the extension of temporary seasonal docks, appears to be coming to a conclusion. Both the House and Senate versions of the bill alter the maximum length of seasonal docks from 40 to 50 feet, but they disagree on the process a property owner would have to utilize to extend an existing dock. The Senate and House version also expand the size of boat slips.

A Committee of Conference will try to work out the differences.

Arsenic study bill makes it out of the Senate

Earlier the session, the House passed House Bill 1592, which requires the Department of Environmental Services (DES) to review current groundwater standards for arsenic and, if they determine that the arsenic standard should be lowered, initiate rulemaking to lower the level.

Last week, the Senate altered the bill and removed DES rulemaking authority on arsenic instead, requiring DES to provide the legislature with a report on the costs and benefits to affected entities that would result from a lower standard.

The House and Senate will have to work out the differences before the bill can be sent to the Governor for his signature.

Interest rates on delinquent taxes

House Bill 1673, relative to interest a municipality can charge for delinquent taxes, was amended in the Senate last week, lowering interest rates from 12 percent to 8 percent pre-lien and 18 percent to 14 percent post-lien. The House version of the bill lowered those maximum interest rates by an even greater amount.

It appears interest rates on late taxes will be reduced, but the House and Senate will need to work out how much they are going to drop.
  
For the most recent legislative chart, click here.

If you have questions regarding these or any other pieces of legislation from the 2018 New Hampshire legislative session, please contact Bob Quinn at bob@nhar.com or 603-225-5549.

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