Treasury, IRS Give Big Win to Real Estate Professionals in Qualified Business Income Rule

img_0100Late last week, the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service issued final regulations regarding the new 20 percent deduction on qualified business income. As Americans begin preparations for the 2018 tax filing season, real estate professionals have been uncertain about the true impact of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on their respective businesses. Friday’s ruling from Treasury and the IRS, however, signaled a significant victory for the real estate industry and for many of the National Association of Realtors®’ 1.3 million members. Continue reading

Mecklenburg County Property Revaluations Online Now

County SealThe 2019 Mecklenburg County Property Revaluation is complete, and property valuations are now online at the Assessor’s website.  Look for your Notice of 2019 Real Estate Assessed Value in your mailbox in late January 2019, and remember that this Notice is NOT a bill. Your property tax bill will be determined by the tax rates adopted by Mecklenburg County and the City of Charlotte later this year (probably around July).

You can also use the tools on the County website to file an informal appeal if you think your property has been improperly valued. If you disagree with the results of your Informal Review Request, you have a right to file a Formal Appeal to the Board of Equalization and Review. You may request an appeal any time prior to the adjournment of the Board of Equalization and Review or within 30 days of your Notice of 2019 Assessed Value. All requests for appeal must be made in writing and on the proper form.

State law requires the County to conduct a property revaluation at least every eight years to determine its market value. All property (commercial, land and houses) is being visited and observed by a County Assessor to:

  • Verify the accuracy of characteristics on record for the property,
  • Compare similar property sales and
  • Consider improvements or changes that have been made to the property.

Mecklenburg County Assessor Ken Joyner has said that residential property values increased an average of 40% since the last revaluation in 2011, with commercial values up by an average of nearly 80%. The County hopes to shorten the window of revaluations to no more than 4 years, meaning the next reval would occur as soon as 2023.

UNC Charlotte Study Shows Region Has a Substantial Housing Deficit

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A comprehensive report issued last week by the Childress Klein Center for Real Estate (CKCRE) at UNC Charlotte offered a sobering picture of the State of Housing in the eight-county Charlotte Region. Using a wide range of housing data from 2010 – 2017, the report concludes that our region is woefully under-producing both for-sale and rental housing, leading to a growing affordability crisis that is most directly impacting middle-income families.

Speaking at the Regional Housing Summit Thursday afternoon, where the study results were unveiled, CKCRE Director Dr. Richard Buttimer said the study showed almost every county in the region was suffering from a growing supply gap in every segment of the market, but most dramatically in the lower end of the price distribution. The result is that middle-income housing affordability is becoming a growing challenge that could eventually impact Charlotte’s ability to attract economic development.

“The bottom line is that region is not producing enough housing to meet the demands of population growth,” Buttimer said. “As a result, prices are rising for all housing faster than inflation.”

Screenshot_2019-02-24 State of Housing in Charlotte Report 2019_FINAL pdf(4)

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County Code Enforcement Issues New Guidelines on Townhome Egress

A new Mecklenburg County interpretation of a section of state building code means builders of many urban townhomes will have to adopt one of two approaches to ensure compliance with life health safety requirements.

The issue involves language in IRC Code Section R310.1 – Emergency escape and rescue required. One provision in that section states that ‘Emergency escape and rescue openings shall open directly into a public way, or to a yard or court that opens to a public way.’ In late 2018, Mecklenburg County code officials began interpreting that provision to mean that an easement agreement was required in either the community Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CCRs) or on the recorded plat. Continue reading

New State Law Exempts Charlotte Redevelopment Projects from Stormwater Controls

State legislation passed last month at the conclusion of the 2018 session of the General Assembly means redevelopment sites in Charlotte are no longer required to include on-site stormwater controls if no additional impervious surface is created. A provision in SB 469, a Technical Corrections bill initially vetoed by Governor Cooper but ratified through a legislative override, specifically mandates the change to local stormwater ordinances, regardless of where a local government obtains its regulatory authority.

While a redevelopment exemption for stormwater has been state law for years, the City of Charlotte has previously required controls on all projects, citing its adherence to a federal NPDES stormwater permit that called for higher local standards. REBIC has long argued that stormwater controls should not be required on redevelopments where no additional impervious surface is created.

The provision in SB 469 also allows development within a vegetative buffer, as long as the runoff from the entire impervious area of the project is collected, treated, and discharged through a portion of managed vegetative buffer. Of course, stormwater controls will continue to be required on sites whenever additional impervious surface is created.

Thanks are due to the North Carolina Home Builders Association (NCHBA) and State Representative Dean Arp (R-Union) for their support of this critical legislation!

 

 

Charlotte Sets Public Hearing Date for New TOD Ordinance

img_1355.jpgThe City of Charlotte has set a February 25th Public Hearing date for a new Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Zoning Ordinance, despite a key Building Height Bonus provision still undergoing revision.

REBIC and other industry groups have worked with City staff on the draft for more than a year, as part of a comprehensive stakeholder review process that has seen a number of restrictive provisions pared down or eliminated. But the Building Height Bonus provision, intended to encourage the construction of Affordable Housing units along transit corridors, was only unveiled on December 13th, and has yet to be modeled for effectiveness.

The Height Bonus, which is designed to advance City policy priorities such as affordable housing, open space preservation and sustainability, will give developers the opportunity to amass points that can be used to increase their building height. It would allow buildings to rise as high as 300′ in the highest-density TOD district when the maximum amount of points are obtained. Developers would also be able to increase their building height by paying a fee-in-lieu that that would go into the city’s Housing Trust Fund. Continue reading

What a Government Shutdown Means for the Real Estate Industry

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As of midnight on December 21, 2018, the President and Congress were unable to agree on the provisions of a Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the federal government. As a result, a partial shutdown of some government operations has occurred. This partial shutdown includes some federal housing, mortgage, and other programs of interest to the real estate industry. A summary of the impact on selected agencies is provided below.

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