Hundreds of REALTORS® from across Connecticut will descend on Hartford on April 10, 2013 to attend REALTORS® at the Capitol where they will lobby legislators on real estate issues. Two busloads from eastern Connecticut will attend. Our job that day will be to protect your private property rights.

A few of the issues we will be discussing include:

 1. Restore Fiscal Sustainability — Require Government to Live within Its Means.

More must be done to drive down the cost of government at both state and municipal levels to make Connecticut more attractive for homebuyers and businesses alike. The state’s high level of taxation, fees, and per capita debt are unacceptable. New city fees on rental housing owners, plus proposals this session to give new tax options to towns (like HB 5100 which allows municipalities to impose their own locaL sales taxes and land value tax! ) are not the answer. The Realtors Five Budget Principles for Eliminating Deficits offer responsible policy guidance for fiscal sustainability.

2. Create a Modern Method of Foreclosure.

Realtors advocate a “foreclosure by market sale” option to give owners more opportunity for a fair price than likely under our Colonial-era strict foreclosure and foreclosure by auction methods. Under court supervision, the owner could list the property for sale in the open market. This would encourage greater exposure, making properties available to first-time buyers using CHFA and other programs, and should lessen the impact of “dumping” large numbers of lender-owned properties in the market.

3. Ban Private Transfer Fees (“Capital Recovery Fees”)

Unlike govermnent imposed real estate conveyance taxes, private transfer fees benefit a private developer or associated entity, generally through a long-term covenant (99 years) on the deed that requires repeated payment of a percentage of the selling price every time the property is sold. With few exceptions, there is little or no benefit to the encumbered property. Connecticut needs to join the ranks of 33 other states that have clamped down on these fees.

4. Support Housing Incentives for a Skilled (and Younger) Workforce.

For every 100 home resales, 50 jobs are created. New home sales produce an even bigger economic multiplier. Legislation already on the books must be implemented to speed-up the housing market recovery. Especially, the “Learn Here, Live Here” tax savings program should be put into action to help skilled vo-tech, college, and health school grads buy their first home in Connecticut.

5. Energy Scoring of Homes and other Properties

Realtors oppose mandatory “time of transfer” audits and energy labeling of real estate and, instead, recommend voluntary incentives for energy efficiency improvements and green building practices.

6. Coastal Area Management Proposals

A Shoreline Preservation Task Force created last year by CT legislators has made about 40 recommendations, including new coastal setback requirements for structures and increased rules for real estate sellers in property condition disclosure. Realtors are

concerned some of these may be counterproductive or,may unduly deny property owners of their rights to preserve and protect their investments.