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New Federal Stimulus Package Passed by Congress

NAR’s Federal Advocacy team has been working closely with Congress and the Administration to ensure the interests of REALTORS®, their families, consumers, and the entire real estate industry are protected in any federal action in response to COVID-19.

On December 21, Congress passed a COVID-relief package, which also included an Omnibus spending bill for FY21, and some tax extenders. Below is a summary of the major provisions of that bill impacting REALTORS®:

COVID-RELATED PROVISIONS

Unemployment Assistance

Extends the maximum number of weeks individuals may receive unemployment benefits, from 39 weeks to 50 weeks.
Extends all unemployment assistance, including the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program and the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation from December 26, 2020- March 14, 2021.
Limits payment of retroactive PUA benefits to weeks of unemployment after December 1, 2020, and PUA requests end on March 14, 2021.
Eligible individuals may receive PUA benefits until April 5, 2021 as long as the individual has not reached his or her maximum number of weeks of unemployment.
Extends Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) at $300 per week for 10 weeks. This provides supplemental unemployment benefits for individuals receiving PUA or regular unemployment compensation for weeks after December 26, 2020 until March 14, 2021.
Extends Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) for a maximum of 24 weeks for eligible individuals.
Phases out the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program and ends the program on April 5, 2021.
Extends interest-free loans to states to keep their unemployment insurance trust funds running.
Reimburses states at 50 percent for the first week of compensable regular unemployment benefits for states with no waiting period.
Provides individuals seeking unemployment benefits with the right to appeal any state determination or redetermination regarding rights to PUA.
Provides a repayment waiver for individuals who received Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), but who were not entitled to receive PUA, if the PUA payment was the fault of the individual and repayment would be “contrary to equity or good conscience.” State labor agencies must make all individual determinations regarding one’s repayment or waiver status.
Requires individuals to continue to re-certify weekly with the state that the individual’s loss of income is due to a Covid-related reason or issue and the individual is unemployed for a such week.
Adds additional program measures requiring individuals seeking unemployment to provide documentation of earnings and employment to state agencies as a mechanism for states to verify the identity of individuals seeking unemployment benefits.
Imposes “return to work” reporting requirements for states to provide a way for employers to report when someone turns down a job and to notify claimants of the requirement to accept suitable work, unless there is a good cause for refusal.

Paycheck Protection Program

Appropriates $284.45 billion for PPP loans and $20 billion for EIDL Grants.
Certain eligible businesses may receive second-draws of PPP loans of up to $2 million: 300 employees or fewer (or meets alternative SBA size standards) and saw at least a 25% drop in gross receipts in 2020 to a comparable quarter in 2019.
The maximum loan amount a business can get (for both first- and second-draw PPP loans) is $10 million within 90 days.
PPP borrowers who receive $150,000 or less in PPP loan money may submit a one-page forgiveness form online certifying their compliance with the program requirements.
Extends the deadline for PPP “covered periods” (the 8- or 24-week period from which a borrower has to use their PPP funds) through September 30, 2021.
Expands allowable expenditures of PPP funds to cover purchasing PPE for employees;
501©(6) organizations can access PPP funds if they have 300 employees or fewer, do not receive more than 15% of their receipts from lobbying activities and lobbying activities do not comprise more than 15% of their activities, and the cost of the lobbying activities of the organization did not exceed $1,000,000 during the most recent tax year.
PPP funds cannot be used for lobbying activities of any kind.
Repeals the requirement that borrowers who receive both an EIDL advance grant and a PPP loan deduct the forgiven amount of the EIDL grant from the forgivable amount of their PPP loan.

PPP Tax Forgiveness

Allows for deductibility of business expenses paid for with forgiven PPP loans.

Eviction Moratorium & Rental Assistance

Provides $25b through September 30, 2022 for rental assistance. The monies will be allocated to states through the Department of Treasury.
States allocation will be based on population, no state will receive less than $200 million.
Allows landlords to apply for funds on behalf of tenants.
Includes payments for rent in arrears as well as utilities and “and other expenses related to housing.”
States should prioritize families with incomes below 50% of area median income (but no set % of funds distributed is required).
Rental assistance will not be included in recipient’s income for federal tax purposes.
Extends CDC moratorium through January 31, 2021.

State and Local Funding

Extend by one year (until Dec. 31, 2021) the availability of funds provided to states and localities by the Coronavirus Relief Fund in the CARES Act.

Individual Stimulus Payments

Provides for one-time direct payments of $600 for individuals making up to $75,000 and $1,200 for couples making up to $150,000, as well as an extra $600 per eligible child dependent.

Broadband Expansion

Provides $7 billion for broadband internet access: $285 million for connecting minority communities.
$3.2 Billion for an Emergency Broadband Benefit for Low-Income Americans
$300 Million to Promote Broadband Expansion to Unserved Americans
$65 Million for the development of new, more accurate, and more granular broadband maps

Tax Provisions (related to COVID)

The Employee Retention Tax Credit is modified by:
Increasing the credit rate from 50% to 70% of qualified wages.
The eligibility is expanded by reducing the year-over-year gross receipts decline from 50% to 20%.
Increasing the limit on per-employee creditable wages from $10K per year to $10K per quarter.
Increasing the 100-employee delineation to 500 or fewer employees.
Allowing businesses with PPP loans to qualify.
Extending the credit through June 30, 2021.
Extends payroll tax credits for paid sick and family leave enacted in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act through March 31, 2021.
Tax Extender Provisions

The exclusion from income for mortgage debt forgiveness is extended for five years (through 2025), but the maximum amount is reduced from $2 million to $750,000.
The energy-efficient commercial buildings deduction is extended permanently, its efficiency standards are updated, and the deduction rates are indexed for inflation.
The energy investment tax credit for solar and residential energy-efficient property tax credit is extended for two years (through 2023).
The mortgage insurance premium deduction is extended for one year (through 2021).
The energy efficient homes credit is extended for one year (through 2021).
The nonbusiness energy tax credit (for qualified energy efficiency improvements) is extended for one year (through 2021).

Other Provisions

Provides for the tax deduction of 100% of business meals (up from 50%) for 2021 and 2022.
Corrects a technical problem in depreciating residential rental housing – under certain circumstances, some real estate businesses were forced to depreciate residential rental housing over 40 years instead of 30 if they elected out of a limitation of interest deductibility under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The recovery period is corrected to 30 years in the Act.
The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit is enhanced by the creation of a permanent 4% floor for the portion of the LIHTC that is typically used for rehabilitation of older rental housing and the preservation of subsidized rental developments.
Requires carbon monoxide detectors in all federally-assisted rental housing.
Provides for $49.6 billion for HUD’s budget, which is $561 million above the 2020 enacted level. This bill includes:
$152 million for the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity and its grant programs, $7 million above the 2020 enacted level:
Funding for HUD’s fair housing grants, activities, and assistance, increased by $2.3 million to $72.5 million.
Funding for HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity staffing and expenses increased by $4.8 million to $79.8 million.
$25.8 billion for Tenant-based Rental Assistance, $1.9 billion above the 2020 enacted level; and $13.5 billion for Project-Based Rental Assistance, $895 million above the 2020 enacted level.
$40 million for HUD/VA Supportive Housing for Homeless Veterans (same as 2020).
$43 million for new incremental vouchers for homeless individuals and families.
$200 million for the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative, $25 million above the 2020 enacted level.
$3.5 billion for Community Development Block Grants, $50 million above the 2020 enacted level.
$77.5 million for Housing Counseling, $25 million above the 2020 enacted level.
Reauthorizes the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), which funds various critical water infrastructure projects in communities nationwide, including water management, flood control, drinking water and resilience. In turn, these projects make communities safer and support economic stability and growth.
Authorizes various renewable energy, energy efficiency and other energy projects, which will make energy more abundant, affordable, provide jobs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.


Bryan Greene
Vice President, Policy Advocacy
National Association of REALTORS
Washington, DC 20001

Fayetteville City Council Update

The following agenda items were voted on by the Council as they pertain to the real estate industry.

*Rezoning of property from Office Institutional to Limited Commercial located at the intersection of McArthur Road and Stacy Weaver. The city’s paperwork does not state the commercial development. This rezoning PASSED.

*Annexation APPROVED along the western side of Ramsey Street, across from Slocomb Road and South of Wolfpoint drive. The property is 15.29 acres will be developed as commercial.

*APPROVED a conditional use zoning from Planned Neighborhood Development to Single-Family zoning for a 38 lot single family residential subdivision that is located at the end of Saddle Ridge Road. The property is 31.01 acres. Property is owned by Appleton South, LLC.

*Annexation APPROVED along the southern side of Hampton Ridge Road and adjacent to Kings Grant Subdivision. The property is 30.01 acres and is owned by Appleton South, LLC (Ralph Huff and David Vannoy, managers). The proposed development will have a low density residential subdivision consisting of 38 lots.

*APPROVED a Community Commercial Zoning for apartments and multi-use recreation facility. The property is located at the end of Jim Johnson Road and contains 69.94 acres. The property is owned by Charles Graham Johnson. The project title is the Cedar Creek Multi-Use Park.

*Annexation APPROVED along the southwestern side of Cedar Creek Road and Jim Johnson Road. The property is 72.91 acres and is owned by Charles Graham Johnson.

Cumberland County Commission Update

The following rezoning’s were voted on as they pertain to the real estate industry.

Wayne Younts Realty & Construction requested a rezoning from A1 Agricultural District to R40 Residential District for 35.83 acres. The property is located adjacent to Wade Stedman Road and Royal Williams Road. The planning board and staff recommended APPROVAL. The purpose of the rezoning is to create single family residential. The proposed rezoning was approved by county staff and the Cumberland County Joint Planning Board.

Commissioner Jeanette Council made a motion to deny the rezoning and it was seconded by Commissioner Tony Stewart. The motion passed UNANAMOUSLY and the rezoning failed.

Rezoning of 12.36 acres from A1 Agricultural District to Planned Commercial District or to a more restrictive zoning district, located east of Cedar Creek Road, north of Tabor Church Road. The rezoning would allow the property owners to develop the property with a commercial nonresidential use. This property aligns with Southeastern Cumberland Land Use Plan and falls within a Commercial Node.

Vote – the rezoning was denied

Reconsideration of 12.36 acres from A1 Agricultural District to Planned Commercial District. The property is located east of Cedar Creek Road, north of Tabor Church Road. The property will be used for a Family Dollar store. The property is not consistent with the Southeastern Cumberland Land Use Plan.

Motion: Jimmy Keefe made a motion to approve but the motion failed with Commissioners Council, Stewart, Evans and Adams voting in opposition. The rezoning FAILED.

PWC Update on Customer Rates

(from Public Works Commission memo)

The Fayetteville Public Works Commission took action Wednesday July 27 that maintains PWC’s current base electric rates, reduces customer fees, introduces optional electric rates that will offer customers’ choice and continue to support PWC conservation efforts as well as support economic development.

PWC’s NEW optional Whole Home/Business rate will provide additional incentive for off peak energy use by introducing a NEW SUPER-OFF-PEAK rate, that is 50% less that PWC’s current off-peak electric rate.

___________________________________________________

Super Off-Peak energy period will be available in February 2023.

Super Off-Peak is 9:00 PM to 5:00 AM

There are also NEW and cost saving changes to electric vehicles, renewable energy & economic development. To view the changes and to view the entire power point, please click the link below.

In other changes, PWC lowered fees for connection, reconnection and meter testing, passing along savings achieved by new technology and operations.

From Elaina Ball (PWC CEO/General Manager)PWC is pleased to be able to hold our customers’ base electric rates steady, reduce certain fees and offer NEW optional rates that can help customers save energy and money. Electricity use and technology are rapidly changing , and we are excited to provide options to our customers that will encourage the adoption of new technologies such as roof top solar and electric vehicles.

Town of Hope Mills Update

Town Manager Scott Meszaraos gave an update to Hope Mills Commissioners on the “State of the Town.” The following information was presented as it pertains to real estate.

Development

Between the period of June 2021 through July 2022 there have been 10 voluntary annexations for commercial and residential development

*1,000 plus proposed single family residential development
*Multifamily development
*20 acres of industrial development
*Commercial development
*Total acreage = 397

Subdivisions

The Town of Hope Mills has recently completed the second phase of an existing subdivision and has construction in 4 additional separate reidential communities. These are all subdivisions that are within Town limits and separate from recent annexations.

*Valley End 2 (completion)
*Preserve at Lake Upchurch Phase 3
*Sheffield Farms Phase 5
*Sweetwater Phase 1
*Georgetown Estates Phase 3

Commercial Development – recent commercial development

*2 Starbucks (standalone)
*Fit 4 Life Fitness Center
*TJ Robinson Life Center
*Popeyes
*Dirty Whiskey Distillery
*2nd Jersey Mikes
*2nd Taco Bell
*Barbara Anns Chicken
*Mavis Tire

Industrial Development

Liberty Point – 77 acre development that consists of 3 separate proposed industrial operations. When completed, Liberty Point will consist with over 40 million square feet of industrial development.
Building 1 – United States Postal Service
Building 2 – permitted for construction
Building 3 – permitted for construction
The Town has also recently annexed a 30 plus acre industrial development in this area.

Community Meeting re: Gen X Next Week

You Don’t Want to Miss This
    Rep. John Szoka, 45th NC House District Cumberland County, North Carolina     Important Community Meeting Information Below I wanted to make certain that my constituents were aware of the upcoming meeting DEQ has scheduled. The details are below along with more information. The DEQ links to their websites have the “latest” updates and news regarding GenX and worth your time to review periodically.   I will be attending the meeting, hope to see you there.   John Szoka   Click this link to visit my NCGA Website. ‌  

DEQ hosting community information meeting July 26 in Fayetteville to discuss updates related to GenX and Chemours’ Fayetteville Works facility    

When: Tuesday, July 26, 2022 Schedule: 5:30 pm Registration Meeting Begins: 6 pm Where: Crown Theatre / Crown Complex –1960 Coliseum Drive, Fayetteville    

RALEIGH – The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) will host an in-person community information meeting on Tuesday, July 26, at the Crown Theatre, located in the Crown Complex at 1960 Coliseum Drive in Fayetteville to share information and answer questions about how the Environmental Protection Agency’s newly released, lower health advisory for GenX impacts private drinking water well sampling in Bladen, Cumberland, Robeson and Sampson counties.   Along with well sampling information, DEQ’s air, water and waste management divisions will provide additional updates. Officials from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services will provide an overview about potential health effects and ways to reduce exposure.   DEQ estimates more than 1700 additional private well users will now be eligible for whole-building filtration or connection to a public water supply.  

If you live near Chemours’ Fayetteville Works facility: Call Chemours at (910) 678-1101 to have your drinking water well sampled or for more information.   Information for residents in Bladen, Cumberland, Robeson and Sampson counties can be found at: https://deq.nc.gov/news/key-issues/genx-investigation/genx-information-residents. # # #

From NC REALTORS®…Remote On-Line Notarization Bill Signed by the Governor


Remote On-Line Notarization

Even with the legislature focused on a specific agenda, NCR was able to advance one of our top legislative priorities. House bill 776, Remote Online Notarization (RON), was signed into law by Gov. Cooper on July 8. North Carolina now joins 39 other states who have passed this necessary legislation that’s a reflection of the technology-based world we live in.

The pandemic highlighted the need to be able to notarize and safely sign documents electronically. The NCR lobbying team passed legislation during the 2020 session to allow real estate transactions to continue during the pandemic. Therefore, RON was allowed as a temporary solution. Once the temporary solution expired, NCR knew that this pandemic-driven necessity should become a permanent solution.

After months of negotiations and strategizing, a consumer, attorney and/or notary can now be in different locations and safely sign documents electronically. The passage of RON marks a major win for our industry.

Please stay turned for the July 22nd Advocate for the second part the legislative wrap-up.

If you have any questions, please contact Pam Melton, Director Political and External Communications.