The Michigan House and Senate are kicking off their summer break this week, but work continues on a few key REALTOR®-related issues. Below are a few items that continue to work their way through the legislative process:
AMC Legislation - Legislation providing a regulatory scheme for Appraisal Management Companies (AMC’s) has recently passed out of the Senate Banking Committee, and is awaiting a Senate floor vote once the legislature returns.
As you may recall, House Bills 4975 and 5271 sponsored by REALTOR-member Representative Margaret O’Brien (R-Portage) were introduced to get Michigan into compliance with federal financial reforms, which require state regulation of AMC’s. These bills define, regulate and set penalties for AMC’s operating in Michigan. In order to comply with those federal reforms, AMC’s would have to satisfy 4 minimum requirements:
1) Register with and be subject to supervision by a State-appraiser certifying and licensing agency in each State in which such company operates;
2) Verify that only licensed or certified appraisers are used for federally related transactions;
3) Require that appraisals coordinated by an appraisal management company comply with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice
4) Require that appraisals are conducted independently and free from inappropriate influence and coercion pursuant to the appraisal independence standards established under section 129E of the Truth in Lending Act.
Critical Dunes - Legislation aimed at applying a less subjective approach to critical dune regulation has recently passed out of the House Natural Resources, Tourism and Outdoor Recreation committee. The bill is slated to appear back on the Senate floor after break.
Protecting the dunes is in the best interest of property owners as it is one of Michigan’s most unique natural resources, adding both aesthetic and marketing value. However, a property owner and the Department of Environment Quality should have a common understanding on the balance between preservation and property rights. This legislation aims to restore that balance and add clarity to the permitting process.
Property Tax assessment penalties – Legislation introduced by former REALTOR® member and current House Majority Floor Leader Jim Stamas (R-Midland) for instances when a taxing error on a principal residence occurs by the local taxing authority has passed the House and is currently awaiting a hearing in the Senate Finance committee when session resumes.
House Bill 4861 provides for a determination as to whether an error in the filing of a Principal Residence Exemption (PRE) is the fault of the homeowner, or the local government. If the mistake in filing is the fault of the local unit, the homeowner would no longer be liable for back taxes and penalties on the property.