Monday, March 17, 2014

44th Annual HBASC Bird Supper is March 25

Are you attending the Bird Supper?  You should if you want to be a part of solving excessive regulation instead of just being a victim of it.

Since 1970, Home Builders Association members and South Carolina’s legislators have been attending the Bird Supper. It is the longest standing event on the South Carolina legislative calendar.
  • When: Tuesday, March 25, 2014, 6:30 p.m.
  • Where: Seawells in Columbia, SC (1125 Rosewood Drive)
The S.C. Builders PAC Reception will be held at 5:30 p.m. for Silver Hammer donors and higher.

Join us as we gather with our legislators over a delicious supper of fried quail, grits, green beans, biscuits and other fine southern cuisine.

Tickets are $35 per person. Contact the Home Builders Association of Greenville at (864) 254-0133.

The Bird Supper Day agenda is as follows:
  • 3:30 p.m. - Board of Directors Meeting
  • 4:30 p.m. Governor and Lt. Governor Candidates Round Table
  • 5:30 p.m. - SC Builders PAC Reception Honoring Hammer & Trowel Award Winners
    • Invitation Only - SC Builders PAC $250 + Contributors
  • 6:30 p.m. The Bird Supper and Hammer and Trowel Ceremony 
Below are talking points for your discussions with your legislators:

While the General Assembly will deal with a variety of subjects, there are several issues of importance to home builders and that our industry are likely to receive consideration this session and the next.

Local Business Licenses:
H.3986 - Rep. Samuel Rivers
The HBASC has long been working to improve the business license environment in South Carolina. A number of our members have expressed significant concerns with the current process that makes compliance extremely difficult and places a heavy burden on small businesses. Rep. Samuel Rivers has filed H.3986 to freeze business license fees charged by municipalities to existing levels as of January 1, 2013 and allow counties to become the centralized collection point for those fees.
Share with your Representatives and Senators how
your company is negatively impacted by the business
license process and this issue needs to be addressed
as soon as possible.
House: Rivers, Bowen, Simrill, Atwater, Toole, Huggins, Ballentine, Delleney, Finlay, Hixon, Lowe, D.C. Moss, Norman, Pope, Putnam, Sandifer, Thayer, Loftis, Burns and Goldfinch

Local Lobbying Requirements:
H.3945 – Rep. G.M. Smith
During debate on the Senate floor, an amendment to the Ethics Reform bill was proposed to require any individual who is retained for the expressed purpose of testifying before a county council, city council, or other political subdivision – regardless of whether or not the individual is compensated – to register as a lobbyist with the State Ethics Commission. This would mean any builder or contractor who goes before a local governing body for any action (i.e. permits, variances, zoning changes, etc.)
would be required to register as a lobbyist. This would create a hindrance not only for our local HBAs, but also for any HBA member by placing them under the same provisions (fees, personal financial declarations, and detailed issue reports) as a state level lobbyist.
Ask your Representative to support ethics reform, but oppose any attempts to require builders and contractors to be required to register as a lobbyist at the local level.
House: Harrell, Lucas, Bannister, Toole, Stringer, Hamilton, Sottile, Barfield, Bingham, Spires, Hardwick, Owens, Hiott, Long, Erickson, Murphy, Horne, Willis, Gagnon, Simrill, Funderburk and Henderson

Patent Trolling: 
H.4629 – Rep. Finlay & S.1121 – Sen. Campbell
This legislation addresses the demand letter issue that builders across the country are beginning to face. In these situations, a builder receives a letter claiming that a particular building method they are using is patented by the “patent troll” and thus the builder is guilty of patent infringement. The letter will threaten legal action unless the builder pays a license fee to the supposed patent holder. This issue surfaced in Oregon when a supposed patent holder sent a letter to builders claiming to hold a patent covering all aspects of moister remediation during construction. The letter claimed all moisture remediation procedures other than natural drying or use of the home’s furnace was a patent infringement. The “patent troll” offered to license the procedure to the builder for $150/house in lieu of legal action. According to a Boston University study, patent trolls cost US companies more than $29 billion in legal fees and settlements in 2011 alone.
Ask your Representative to co-sponsor and support H.4629, and your Senators to co-sponsor and support S.1121, to prevent patent trolls from threatening baseless lawsuits against builders and contractors.
House: Ballentine, Cole, Delleney and Huggins
Senate: Setzler, McElveen and L. Martin

Property Tax Discount for Active Duty Military:
H.3027 – Rep. G.M. Smith
In light of current action being taken by the Federal government as part of the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process, H.3027 provides a property tax credit for active duty military personnel in South Carolina. The bill will allow for active duty members of the military who are relocated or reassigned for at least one year to qualify for the 4% special assessment ratio. This bill is expected to provide addition help to members of the military stationed in South Carolina, and to help the state
avoid potential closures as part of BRAC by creating a better environment for military personnel.
Thank your Representatives and Senators for supporting this legislation to protect South Carolina’s military installations. Special thanks goes to Jimmy Derrick for spearheading the effort to make this bill a reality.
House: Pitts, Ballentine, J.E. Smith, Bernstein, Harrell, Cobb-Hunter, Whipper and R.L. Brown

South Carolina Building Code
The HBASC is working with a number of interested groups to create the South Carolina Building Code. This state-specific code would allow for a more efficient and effective code adoption process. The code would be tailored to South Carolina and take into consideration the specific needs of the building and development industry in our state. The SC Building Code would also change to a five year code adoption cycle to mirror other building published building codes and recent legislation in other states.
Tell your Representatives and Senators how burdensome the current code adoptions process and how a South Carolina-specific building code would benefit our industry and affordable housing. This bill is expected to be filed in the next legislative session.

Home building generates substantial economic benefits for S.C., including income and jobs for
residents of the state, and revenue for the state government and local governments within the
state. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has developed a model to estimate these
economic benefits.

The model captures the effect of the construction activity itself, the ripple impact that occurs when
income earned from construction activity is spent and recycles in the state’s economy, and the ongoing impact that results from new homes becoming occupied by residents who pay taxes and buy goods and services produced within the state. In order to fully capture the positive impact residential construction has on a state’s economy, it’s important to include the ripple effects and the ongoing benefits.

S.C. is projected to build 20,000 single family homes in 2014. The estimated economic impact is at least:
  • $3.2 billion in income for South Carolina residents,
  • $690.2 million in taxes and other revenue for the state and local governments in the state, and
  • 57,120 new jobs in South Carolina.
The additional, annually recurring impacts of building 20,000 single-family homes in South Carolina include:

  • $554.2 million in income for South Carolina residents,
  • $203.2 million in taxes and other revenue for the state and local governments in the state, and
  • 11,284 new jobs in South Carolina.

These are ongoing, annual local impacts that result from the new homes being occupied and the occupants paying taxes and otherwise participating in the state economy year after year.

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