July 2018

House Passes Four-Month Extension for National Flood Insurance Program

On Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 366-52 to pass legislation that will extend the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) until November 30, 2018. The House vote came one day before its members are scheduled to leave on its August recess. Scheduled to expire on July 31, the NFIP now requires Senate approval. A special thanks to everyone who contacted Congress through NAR’s call for action to encourage lawmakers to act on the NFIP extension. 
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COAR, COBA Oppose Construction Excise Tax in Sisters

The City of Sisters is considering a one percent Construction Excise TAX (CET) on new residential and commercial development to be used for “affordable housing.” To date, no specific plan exists for how the funds collected would be utilized and dispersed. A 2016 state law allows Oregon cities to impose such a tax, and seven cities including Bend currently have some version of it on the books. Bend charges a similar fee, though it is one-third of one percent of the total valuation on all building permits submitted to the city. On June 13, the Central Oregon Builders Association (COBA) submitted a letter to the Sister City Council raising concerns with the tax. In the letter, COBA highlighted the fact that without a plan for how the money will be used, the tax makes current middle market housing more expensive. On July 12, COAR also sent a letter to City Councilors outlining concerns regarding the impact on both the commercial and residential markets in Sisters. The letter concluded by suggesting that, “If the city wishes to demonstrate its commitment to affordable housing solutions, it should establish an advisory committee to council, with an initial charge of evaluating potential tools and programs to help incentivize affordable housing within the city.” COAR and COBA are continuing to work together to encourage the Sisters City Council to pursue other options to help address affordable housing – watch COAR emails for updates on this issue.
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Bend’s Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Map Alignment Moving toward a Vote

On July 12, the City of Bend hosted a public open house to provide information on its Map Alignment Project, aligning the City’s comprehensive plan with its zoning maps. Typically, the zoning districts and Plan map designations are consistent with one another. However, for a variety of reasons over the past 40 years, the two maps have become inconsistent. The alignment of the two maps is an important process thatCOAR has supported, because if a land owner’s property zoning isn’t consistent with the Plan designation, prior to any development on that site the owner must apply to rezone the property so it is consistent with the Plan designation. The rezone process is costly – typically thousands of dollars –, time consuming and can set unrealistic expectations. The Bend Planning Commission will hold a work session on the map project on August 13. City Council is expected to hold a public hearing sometime in September, and changes would likely take effect in November. 
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COAR Leaders Advocate for Housing on Capitol Hill

Following NAR’s annual Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in May, REALTORS® often ask, "What difference did our visit make?" This year the answer to that question came pretty quickly. On May 23, the U.S. Senate confirmed the nomination of Brian Montgomery as Assistant Secretary for Housing. Montgomery will serve as the administrator of Federal Housing Administration. REALTORS® visited Congressional offices armed with Talking Points from NAR's Advocacy Group and specific instructions to press Senators to schedule a confirmation vote for Montgomery. It is a clear illustration of REALTOR® Advocacy in Action! Among the REALTORS® advocating for your industry on Capitol Hill were President-elect Tony Levison, REALTOR® of the Year Michael Warren II and Commercial Chair Jenn Limoges. 
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Invest in the Future of the Local Real Estate Industry

November is fast-approaching and there are a number of key races throughout the region, the outcome of which could have significant implications for the business community and local real estate industry. Your investment in COARPAC is critical in ensuring that business-friendly, REALTOR® champions receive support in their campaigns for public office. We encourage you to contribute to COARPAC, because an investment in COARPAC is an investment in the future of the local real estate industry!
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What does a first-time homebuyers’ savings account mean in Oregon?

During the last legislative session, Oregon took a significant step toward addressing the state’s affordable housing crisis by passing a bill that establishes a First-Time Home Buyer Savings Account program statewide. The program will allow Oregonians to take a state tax deduction for saving money towards a down payment and other related costs associated with the purchase of their first home. Interested in learning what a First-Time Home Buyers Savings Account in Oregon will mean for potential homeowners? Click the link below to access some helpful resources, including an Economic & Fiscal Impacts Report.
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Department of Labor Finalizes Association Health Plan Rule

In late June, the U.S Department of Labor (DOL) finalized its long-awaited Association Health Plan (AHP) rule to expand the definition of "employer" to include "working owners." This change allows real estate professionals and other self-employed individuals to participate in association health plans. A key provision, forwarded for inclusion in the rule by NAR, will allow many REALTORS® who have access to coverage through a spouse to be eligible to choose an AHP option. The ruling is a major step forward for NAR's long-standing advocacy efforts to expand AHP eligibility to independent contractors. This ruling allows NAR to keep up its ongoing program to evaluate potential options for expanding REALTORS® options for access to health insurance coverage.
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Upcoming Meetings

Deschutes County Board of Commissioners Business Meeting,
July 30, 10:00 AM
Crook County Court Work Session, July 31, 9:00 AM
Redmond Special City Council Meeting, July 31, 6:00 PM
Jefferson County Board of Commissioners Meeting,
August 1, 9:00 AM
Bend City Council Meeting, August 1, 6:00 PM
Bend Park & Recreation District Board Meeting,
August 7, 5:30 PM
Sisters City Council Meeting, August 8, 4:00 PM
La Pine City Council Work Session,
August 8, 6:00 PM
Prineville City Council Meeting, August 14, 6:30 PM
SROA Board of Directors Meeting,
August 18, 9:00 AM
Madras City Council Meeting - TBD
COAR Government Affairs Video Library
Legal Lot of Record
Bend Sign Code

Government Affairs FAQ's
Sign Code FAQs
Bend Sign Code FAQ 
LaPine Sign Code FAQ
Madras Sign Code FAQ
Prineville Sign Code FAQ
Redmond Sign Code FAQ
Sisters Sign Code FAQ
Sunriver Sign Code FAQ
Crook County Sign Code FAQ
Deschutes County Sign Code FAQ
Jefferson County Sign Code FAQ
Important Issues FAQs
Recreational Marijuana In CO FAQ
Inclusionary Zoning FAQ
Short Term Rentals FAQ
Interim FAQ Bend Septic to Sewer
Legal Lot of Record FAQ
Real Estate Sign Locates FAQ

Disclosure Forms
Legal Lot of Record Advisory Notice - Seller's Notice
Legal Lot of Record Advisory Notice - Buyer's Disclosure
City of Bend Septic/Sewer Advisory Notice-
Oregon Spotted Frog Disclosure Form
Have an issue that you feel we should be monitoring or taking action on? Are you interested in getting involved in COAR's government affairs efforts? Contact COAR's Government Affairs Director, Tyler Neese, at tyler@coar.com or 541-382-6027.