Louisiana REALTORS® held a successful REALTOR® Day in conjunction with the SPRING INTO ACTION Conference last week. Over 500 attendees representing all areas of the state attended the one-day event in Baton Rouge and the presence at the Capitol was noted by the legislators. We would like to extend a THANK YOU to all the local boards and volunteers that took part in the day's activities. A feedback survey on ways to improve future events was sent to all attendees.
On the legislative session front, we have had an active week at the State Capitol!
The Sales Tax on Services Legislation (HB 655 by Representative Gene Reynolds) was deferred another week and will be heard early next week in the House Ways & Means Committee. We believe that the votes are there to defeat this bill, but we must remain vigilant. There will be another Call to Action sent to members on this issue beginning Friday, May 12th. Please redouble your efforts and send your message again to House Ways & Means Committee members asking them to oppose HB 655.
A Residential Lease Bill (Senate Bill 120 by Senator Ward) was also deferred this week due to the work of your Louisiana REALTOR® staff and the Harris/DeVille lobbying team. This legislation would cause longer delays on evictions, places potential damages on property owners and ultimately would increase rents on tenants due to the restrictions placed on lessors. We are in hopes that SB 120 will not be brought back up again this legislative session, but LR will be watching and ready if it is scheduled for hearing.
Louisiana Business Tax (House Bill 648 by Representative Kenny Havard) This legislation was being opposed by many business groups and was deferred by a vote of 11 to 2 in House Ways & Means Committee on Tuesday, May 9th.
Louisiana REALTORS® expects its sponsored legislation (Senate Bill 108 by Senator Bodi White) will be voted on by the full House in the next week or so and then be sent to the Governor for his signature into law. SB 108 would make it a misdemeanor for anyone practicing real estate without a license.
The session has less than thirty days left to go and much activity will occur over the next three and a half weeks! Your Louisiana REALTORS® team will be watching every move to ensure that your profession is protected and that real estate consumers are not burdened with more fees and or more taxes. As a reminder, you can track all activity via the Legislative Session page and download the Bill Tracker. For questions regarding the issues, please contact Norman Morris.