Tuesday, September 15, 2009

What Your HBA Has Been Doing For You Lately

To: Members of the Home Builders Association of Greenville

From: Michael Dey, Executive Vice President

I want to share with you some information about a couple of important meetings that have taken place in recent weeks that bear directly on how the Federal government has intervened in the housing industry.

Meeting with Congressman Bob Inglis

At the request of NAHB, several home builders met with Congressman Bob Inglis and his staff about the challenges being faced by home builders in the new economy. Hal Dillard (2004 HBA President and NAHB Congressional Ambassador to Congressman Inglis), President Bruce Pasquarella, President's Appointee Coleman Shouse (2006 HBA President), Legislative Chairman Rick Quinn, and I sat down with Congressman Inglis and Wayne Roper, his chief of staff, here in Greenville to talk with him about the need for the Federal government to take the following actions:

  • Extend the $8,000 home buyer tax credit until December 1, 2010, and expand eligibility to all home buyers

  • Urge federal banking regulators to improve acquisition, development and construction (AD&C) credit conditions

  • Urge federal housing regulators to correct the flawed home appraisal process

  • Co-sponsor net operating loss (NOL) relief bills: H.R. 2452 in the House and S. 823 in the Senate

We discussed with the Congressman the challenges our members have been having in tackling their credit relationships with their banks as well as the problems many of our members have had in obtaining credit for bona fide projects. We also were thorough in telling the Congressman that our banking members are equally challenged with the constraints of new regulatory oversight and the problems it has created for them in meeting the credit demands of the home building industry.

Congressman Inglis was very attentive to our needs and concerns, although it should be no secret that he is not a fan of stimulus efforts like the tax credit.

Nonetheless, the Congressman took our concerns very seriously and extended an invitation to me to return to his office the following day for a second meeting.

Meeting with Congressman Inglis and the Head of the Charlotte Office of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond

I returned to the Congressman's office the next day for a meeting with the Congressman and Matthew Martin, Senior Vice President and Charlotte Regional Executive for the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.

We discussed the challenges that Home Builders have had with the changing credit standards and the impact it has had on the industry and the real estate market, including home prices, as well as the industry's inability to meet housing demand, particularly at lower price points. While I do not think the meeting was fruitful in influencing the actions of the Fed, it was fruitful in educating Congressman Inglis about your challenges and the need to tackle over-burdensome regulatory standards and the need to extend the homeownership tax credit.

While we were meeting with Congressman Inglis, there were other meetings occurring around the state with other members of Congress. The meeting with Congressman Spratt was crucial because of the Congressman's position in the U.S. House of Representatives as Chairman of the Budget Committee, a key place in the House leadership.

Now that Congress is back in session, the efforts have shifted to Washington, but the need for our continued efforts to influence Congress on the tax credit and other issues remains important. If YOU have not called or written to Congressman Inglis, you should and you can by clicking on this link: http://www.capitolconnect.com/builderlink/

Property Tax Relief for Home Builders

Our efforts are not isolated to Congress. In June I wrote to you to tell you about the property tax relief your association successfully secured for you for spec houses that have never been occupied. Attached is a briefing paper on that topic from the S.C. Department of Revenue.

An important deadline is coming up that you may need to act upon. If you retain in inventory a spec or specs that were built in 2007 or 2008, that have NEVER been occupied, you can receive relief from the property taxes on the improvements (the house itself, the lot will still be taxed). But you need to apply for that relief by September 30.

Your association also has planned a Lunch and Learn so you can hear about all of the details from the official charged with granting the relief, Debbie Adkins, Greenville County Tax Assessor. Here are the details:

  • Lunch and Learn: Tax Exemption for Home Builders

  • Speaker: Debbie Adkins, Greenville County Tax Assessor

  • Monday, September 21, 11:30 a.m., Hubbell Lighting

  • Please RSVP by emailing info@hbaofgreenville.com

Sometimes in the most challenging of times, you might question the value of your membership. Actions like the ones above go on daily in the good times and the not so good times and they take time, energy, and money. Our Officers, Directors, Councils and Committees keep doing what is necessary to serve and protect this industry and I ask that you think about that as we work through these challenging times together. This is why we also ask you to think of our members first when you are in need of any services or products related to this industry. Members pay their dues which allow us to do what is necessary to watch all of our backs and it is only fair that we give them a chance to earn a living. Please do business with members of the Home Builders Association of Greenville. Find out who your fellow members are by clicking on this link: http://www.hbaofgreenville.com/findamember.jsp

No comments:

Post a Comment