Members of the REBIC Board of Governors met last week with two Charlotte-area Members of Congress to discuss a number of federal legislative issues impacting the real estate industry.
On Tuesday, Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC 9) met with a group of Charlotte home builders, Realtors®, commercial developers and brokers to talk about issues ranging from patent and tax reform to the EPA’s new Waters of the U.S. rule. The Congressman confirmed that he fully supports H.R. 9, “The Innovation Act of 2015,” and said he would vote for it when it reaches the House floor, potentially in September.
Congressman Robert Pittenger meets with the REBIC Board of Governors in Charlotte on August 18th.
Pittenger also said he did not expect Congress to take up any sweeping tax reform in the near future, but acknowledged there may be some limited actions. He reiterated his strong support for the Mortgage Interest Deduction and 1031 Like-Kind exchanges, as tax provisions that create jobs and boost economic growth. He also said he would oppose any effort to raise Capital Gains taxes.
When asked about the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recent adoption of an expanded Waters of the United States rule, Pittenger confirmed his strong opposition and expressed his frustration with what appears to be excessive and regular overreach by the executive branch. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the National Association of REALTORS®, and other key trade groups strongly oppose the expanded rule, which has the potential to place thousands of acres of private land, including drainage ditches and man-made retention ponds, under federal jurisdiction.
Pittenger voted earlier this year to pass H.R. 1732, the ‘Regulatory Integrity Protection Act,’ which would force the EPA to withdraw the final rule and address many of the issues raised by the business community. Companion legislation is awaiting action by the U.S. Senate.
Congressman Richard Hudson (at far left) meets with REBIC members on August 21st
On Friday, Congressman Richard Hudson (NC 8) had his turn in front of a group of REBIC members. Hudson agreed with Pittenger on many points, but took the opportunity to touch on some additional matters, including his desire to see increased energy production in the state of North Carolina, specifically drilling for oil and natural gas off of the eastern shore.
He also expressed his frustration with ongoing congressional efforts to find a long-term fix for the Federal Highway Trust Fund, which was recently reauthorized until October 29th of this year. Hudson said funding for roads and bridges should be a priority for the federal government, but conceded that the current strategy of paying for these improvements through a gas tax was insufficient to address our nation’s growing infrastructure needs. Both houses of Congress are expected to debate a longer-term fix for highway funding after the August break.
REBIC thanks both Congressmen Pittenger and Hudson for taking the time to meet with our members and discuss these critical issues.