Take Action on Patent Trolls

During the week of July 21,  the U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on H.R. 9 – The Innovation Act of 2015 which will take vital steps to protect the real estate industry from frivolous lawsuits brought by patent trolls. It is critical that you urge your Member of Congress to support this important legislation.

 
Realtors® are targeted by patent trolls at alarming rates for simply using common business technologies like dropdown menus and search functions on websites or scan-to-email technologies found in every office scanner. Patent trolls exist solely to purchase old patents and to use the threat of expensive lawsuits to extort money from legitimate businesses.

 
Contact your U.S. Representative and urge them to support H.R. 9, the Innovation Act

Changes to Vermont Property Transfer Tax Returns

During the legislative session, law was passed to create a “Clean Water Surcharge” on all property transfers. The revenue that will be generated by the surcharge will be deposited in the “Clean Water Fund” to help clean the bodies of water throughout the State of Vermont.

This charge is an increase of 0.2% on the value of property subject to the property transfer tax.  The current rate is 1.25% and combined with the surcharge, will now total 1.45%.  Some special rates do apply for some transfers and the information fact sheet attached will illustrate who the special rates will be applicable for. The surcharge is scheduled to sunset on 7/01/2018.

As of Wednesday, June 17th, all closings on or after this date, will have a total surcharge for the property transfer tax at a rate of 1.45%.

The Department of Taxes has issued a new updated property transfer tax return (Form PT-172) that includes the Clean Water Surcharge.

Click here for the information Fact Sheet.

Vermont Gas Systems Addison Natural Gas Project

On December 20, 2012, Vermont Gas Systems, Inc. filed a petition with the Public Service Board for approval to construct approximately 43 miles of new gas transmission pipeline along a specified route from Colchester to Middlebury. Vermont Gas Systems filed significant amendments to its petition on February 28, 2013, reflecting certain changes in the proposed route of the pipeline. Also included in the proposal are distribution mainlines that would connect the new transmission pipeline with locations in Vergennes and Middlebury, along with new pressure regulation stations in Williston and New Haven.  (For details of the specific routes and facilities, please see the amended petition.)  Vermont Gas Systems must obtain a “Certificate of Public Good” from the Public Service Board for the project in order to go forward. The case in which the Board will consider the company’s petition is Docket 7970.

Public Participation/Hearings

Significant Documents

Shoreland Permitting: What You Need to Know

Effective July 1, 2014, the Vermont Legislature passed the Shoreland Protection Act (Chapter 49A of Title 10, §1441 et seq.), which regulates shoreland development within 250 feet of a lake’s mean water level for all lakes greater than 10 acres in size. The intent of the Act is to prevent degradation of water quality in lakes, preserve habitat and natural stability of shorelines, and maintain the economic benefits of lakes and their shorelands. The Act seeks to balance good shoreland management and shoreland development.

The Vermont Watershed Management Division has developed important resources to help Vermonters understand their responsibilities in helping to protect the state’s shorelands. Please visit their resource page for important information such as which activities need a permit, application resources. shoreland registration, delegated municipal authority, lake encroachment and shoreland permitting event, and much more.

SHORELAND PERMITTING RESOURCES

Get Low APR & More with the Realtor® Credit Card

Now available in partnership with REALTORS® Federal Credit Union, a Division of Northwest Federal Credit Union: NAR’s official REALTOR® Credit Card.

This unique card program is available to existing and new Credit Union members and includes card options for personal and business use. Features of the REALTOR® Credit Card include:

  • Customized real estate-themed designs
  • REALTOR® branding options
  • Competitive interest rates as low as 8% APR*
  • No annual fees, balance transfer or cash advance fees
  • Comprehensive rewards program (points never expire)

realtor-credit-card postManage Personal Purchases and Business Expenses

For record keeping and tax planning, apply for two separate personal consumer cards – one for making personal purchases and a second to track business expenses, and select different card designs for each. Apply online.

Members concerned about credit also have an option of the Secured Credit Card. A minimum balance of $500 is required, and is a great option for Credit Union members seeking to increase their credit worthiness. To see if you qualify for this option, start the application process here.

For Associations and Brokerages

Operate or manage an office with staff? A business (corporate) card option is also available to state and local associations, brokerages, MLSs, and business account holders. To apply, click here and select the Business (Corporate) Expenses option or call 866-295-6038.

Membership and Application

Membership in the Credit Union is required to apply for the REALTOR® Credit Card. REALTORS®, state and local association staff and family members are eligible to enroll in the Credit Union and apply. A complete Eligibility List is available online at REALTORSfcu.org.

If you are not yet a Credit Union member, the process is a streamlined for both Credit Union membership and REALTOR® Credit Card application. Apply today.

Realtors® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo

The REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo is where NAR members take an active role to advance the real estate industry, public policy and the association. Join us in Washington, DC, for special issues forums, committee meetings, legislative activities and the industry trade show.  Visit the event website here.

Mid Year SliderHighlights

Meeting Schedule
Legislative Activities
Trade Expo

Property Valuation Forum
Uncover how new technology is guiding valuations, including automated valuation models (AVMs), during this forum.
Read

Risk Management Forum
Examine the law on three hot topics – teams, independent contractors and safety – during this three-prong program. Read

Federal Water Regulations
Do federal water regulations impact real estate activity in your market? Then, you won’t want to miss this session. Read