A trend among local legislators is to raise taxes through legislation or ballot measures to pay for city services or legal fees related to rent control protections. NAHB’s State and Local Fund (SLIF) supports HBA efforts to fight against tax increases and impact fees.
Income and Property Tax Increases, Vote No on Amendment 73
Colorado Association of Home Builders
The HBA had to fight against a ballot initiative that would increase income tax rates and modify property tax rates. If this ballot measure were to pass, the top income tax bracket would increase to 8.25%, which is a 78% increase. In addition, the corporate tax would increase to 6% representing a 30% increase. The measure sets the residential property tax assessment rate to 7% and the non-residential rate at 24%. If passed, small businesses would pay a higher income tax rate than multimillion-dollar corporations.
Estimated project cost: $2.8 million-$4.6 million
Funding request: $20,000
Ballot results: Defeated; 53.57% of voters voted “NO” on the ballot.
Tax Abatement Preservation Campaign
Building Industry Association of Philadelphia
The City of Philadelphia’s ten-year property tax abatement program is critical to the health of the city’s housing market. Unfortunately, city council members introduced two bills that propose changes to the program, so the BIA will use SLIF funds to conduct research and develop a public relations strategy to educate decision makers and gain support for the existing program.
Estimated project cost: $40,000
Funding request: $15,000
Eliminating Mortgage Interest and Property Tax Deductions
Kansas Building Industry Association and Wichita Area Builders Association
The HBAs ramped up lobbying activities, worked with coalition partners and engaged lawmakers at the constituent and grassroots levels in response to the Governor’s proposal to eliminate the mortgage interest and general property tax deductions for Kansas home owners who itemize deductions when filing their state income tax returns. KBIA and WABA oppose this proposal due to the negative impact this would have on the Kansas housing industry still struggling to recover from the recession.
Estimated project cost: n/a
Funding request: $25,000
Protect Oregon’s Mortgage Interest
Oregon Home Builders Association
Oregon taxpayers can deduct their mortgage interest on their state income tax return just as they have on their federal return. However, faced with a state budget deficit, state lawmakers are looking at “disconnecting” the state tax law from the Internal Revenue Code – and have talked explicitly about targeting the mortgage interest deduction. With the Oregon Association of Realtors as a coalition partner, the HBA planned to run a campaign with polling, grassroots mobilization, radio and print media, a website and lobbying days to protect the mortgage interest deduction.
Estimated project cost: $350,000
Funding request: $20,000
Contributions in Aid of Construction Payments
New Jersey Builders Association
Contributions of Aid of Construction payments made by builders are included in a utility’s taxable income due to an updated provision in the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Due to this change, utilities in many states began to pass on the cost of this tax to the developer. In response, the HBA applied for SLIF funding to gather information and build a team to work with state officials and utility companies in order to secure a “no gross-up” modelled arrangement which would not require the developer to pay additional taxes.
Estimated project cost: $20,000
Funding requested: $20,000