Legislative Priorities

PAR monitors hundreds of bills impacting real estate and property owners each legislative session, advocating for policies that positively impact the real estate industry and consumers.

 Legislative Priorities  Advocacy  RPAC

Current Key Legislative Priorities

First-Time Homebuyers Savings Account

PAR is advocating for legislation that would create a First-time Homebuyer Savings Account program. House Bill 128, introduced by Rep. Rosemary Brown (R-Monroe) would allow first-time homebuyers to deposit money into a savings account, where it goes for the exclusive purpose of purchasing a first home, and the money can be deducted from their state income tax. This bill passed out of the House by a vote of 188 to 1 and is now in the Senate Urban Affairs and Housing Committee awaiting consideration.

Senator Bob Mensch (R-Montgomery) also has introduced companion legislation - Senate Bill 309 - which unanimously passed the Senate and has moved to the House for consideration.

The First-Time Homebuyers Savings Account Program would allow Pennsylvanians to save money toward the purchase of a home and the money saved would qualify as a tax deduction for their state income tax return. Parents and grandparents would be eligible to save for children and grandchildren as well. To learn more about First Time Homebuyers Savings Accounts, visit FirstHomePA.com

Private Roadway Maintenance Agreements

PAR supports House Bill 523, introduced by Rep. Gary Day (R-Lehigh) that would amend the Private Road Act to require homeowners who access their properties through a private roadway to contribute to the maintenance of that road. The legislation is necessary because new banking regulations would prevent homeowners who access their houses through a private road from obtaining certain loans because they lacked a written agreement for the maintenance of the private road. PAR has heard from Realtors® throughout the state who have experienced challenges with home sales that include a private road way.

HB 523 has passed the House and is awaiting consideration in the Senate Local Government Committee.

Regulation of Real Estate Teams

House Bill 1572, introduced by Rep. Todd Polinchock (R-Bucks), also a past PAR president, amends the Real Estate Licensing and Registration Act (RELRA) to recognize and regulate the practice of real estate teams. This bill is currently in the House Professional Licensure Committee.

A PAR presidential advisory group has studied the issue and discussed the issue for two years before making recommendations regarding real estate teams. The PAG determined that "teams" and "team leaders" need to be defined in RELRA in order to protect consumers and provide clear guidance as to the supervision of these teams. Because there is currently no definition of teams provided in RELRA, they are operating without standard guidance. Teams have become more prevalent in the real estate industry, seeing a 115% increase in the number of transactions from 2011 to 2017.

Key Legislation PAR is Monitoring

Core Issue: Taxes – Taxes relative to the real estate transaction, such as the realty transfer tax, and those associated with homeownership, such as the property tax, are a major burden to buyers and homeowners alike. An increase in any industry-related tax would have a negative impact on housing costs and the industry as a whole.

Core Issue: Practice and Professionalism – The Real Estate Licensing and Registration Act (RELRA) governs the practice of real estate licensees in the Commonwealth and serves to protect consumers who work with real estate licensees. It is incumbent upon the association to enact laws that enhance the industry, both for its members and for consumers.

Core Issue: Housing – An estimated 12 million renter and homeowner households across the U.S. pay more than 50 percent of their annual incomes on housing. It is vital that the association play a role in helping to ensure that housing of all types is available at all income levels, and that programs are available to help homeowners achieve the dream of homeownership. The association must also contribute to the creation of revitalized communities while maintaining private property rights.

Core Issue: Local Issues – While municipalities in Pennsylvania have the authority to enact local ordinances on such issues as the registration of tenants, sewage lateral inspections, and installation of residential sprinkler systems, it is important for the association to monitor these ordinances in order to forestall any pending statewide implementation.