Association News Rochester Chapter

Real Estate Brokers who were licensed for at least 15 consecutive years prior to July 1, 2008, are NOT exempt from Ethics Training.  However, they are exempt from the Fair Housing and Agency training requirements for their New York State license.

On November 12, 13, 14, & 15, the Upstate CCIM Chapter in conjunction with RAC NYSCAR will present CI 103 "USER DECISION ANALYSIS FOR COMMERCIAL INVESTMENT REAL ESTATE" in Rochester, NY.  Details will be announced shortly.  

Recently, the New York State Department of State, Division of Licensing Services has indicated it would be auditing licenses and the use of corporate titles. In 2013, the DOS issued two opinions prohibiting the use of corporate titles by associate brokers and salespersons. Below, please find an updated article on the matter and the two DOS opinions as well as an article addressing corporate titles and teams. Continue Reading ...

LEGAL ALERT FROM RAC NYSCAR AFFILIATE MEMBER, HARRIS BEACH PLLC: Update: DEC Accepting Additional Comments on Proposed SEQR Amendments

As a follow up to a March 14, 2017 legal alert on proposed SEQR amendments, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation ("DEC") published a notice of revised rulemaking in the New York State Register on April 4, 2018 regarding DEC's proposed amendments to the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act ("SEQR") regulations, codified at 6 N.Y.C.R.R. Part 617 (the "Proposed SEQR Amendments").  The revised rulemaking describes the revisions DEC has made to the Proposed SEQR Amendments based on comments received during the public comment period. Continue reading ...

ADVISORY FROM RAC NYSCAR AFFILIATE MEMBER, HARRIS BEACH PLLC: Proposed General Permit Aims to Standardize Wastewater Management

On March 31, 2018, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation ("DEC") opened a public comment period regarding the potential issuance of a State Pollution Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) general permit that would provide coverage for wastewater discharges to groundwater from licensed wineries, breweries and hard cideries in New York state. In doing so, the DEC is soliciting public input on several questions listed at the end of its Advanced Notice of Proposed Permit.

Under existing law, any winery, brewery or hard cidery discharging process wastewater must obtain an individual SPDES permit if it is making or using a disposal system or point source discharge which may cause or might reasonably be expected to cause pollution to waters of the state (including groundwater). Process wastewater generated in these categories of production is considered an industrial waste that can have significant ranges in pH and contain high levels of oxygen demanding organic material and solids.

In recent years, New York state has witnessed a resurgence in licensed wineries, breweries and hard cideries. Consequently, DEC has determined that there is a need for standardized wastewater management to reduce the potential for water quality impacts. Due to the similar nature of operations of these kinds of processing facilities, DEC believes that a general permit would streamline the SPDES permitting process for these industries, reducing the costs and administrative burden to both itself and the regulated entities, while providing adequate protection to the state's water resources.  Continue Reading ...

LEGAL ADVISORY FROM RAC NYSCAR AFFILIATE MEMBER, HARRIS BEACH PLLC: Opportunity Zones Could Spur Private Investment in Low Income Areas

The latest tax reform passed in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) created a new incentive which will impact real estate development in low-income communities by creating "Qualified Opportunity Zones."[1] The impact of these Qualified Opportunity Zones will be felt by municipalities, businesses and investors.

Impact on Municipalities

Under this new law, the Governor will nominate roughly 500 population census tracts as Qualified Opportunity Zones. These census tracts must either be located within a "low income community"[2] or be contiguous with a low income community. If the nominated census tract is contiguous with a low income community, the median family income in the census tract can be no more than 125% the median family income in the low income community. The governor is limited in the number of census tracts he can nominate, with the number of nominations being limited to 25% of all low income communities in the state and only 5% of these nominations can be census tracts contiguous with low income communities. With over 2,000 eligible census tracts in New York state, this will undoubtedly create a great deal of lobbying and politicking from local municipalities across the state in effort to get their low income communities nominated as a Qualified Opportunity Zones. Continue reading ...

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LEGAL ADVISORY FROM RAC NYSCAR AFFILIATE MEMBER, HARRIS BEACH PLLC: Governor's Proposed Suspension of Tax Credits Could Stall Real Estate Development

Governor Cuomo's recently released Executive Budget may not be well received amongst those planning on redeveloping urban areas, restoring historic structures, remediating contaminated real property or proposing affordable housing developments. Part S of Revenue Article VIII of the FY 2019 Executive Budget provides that a taxpayer's ability to claim certain tax credits is deferred for tax years 2018, 2019 and 2020, to the extent that those credits exceed $2 million per tax year.

The 34 tax credits proposed to be effected by Part S include:

  • brownfield redevelopment tax credit
  • remediated brownfield credit for real property taxes
  • environmental remediation insurance credit
  • conservation easement tax credit
  • low income housing tax credit
  • credit for rehabilitation of historic properties
  • most empire zone tax credits
  • alternative fuels and electric vehicle recharging property credit
  • green building credit
  • biofuel production credit
  • clean heating fuel credit
  • credit for companies who provide transportation to individuals with disabilities
  • economic transformation and facility redevelopment credit

Numerous others tax credits are included. Not subject to Part S are tax credits relating to the film/movie production industry and the Excelsior Program. Continue Reading...


LEGAL ADVISORY FROM RAC NYSCAR AFFILIATE MEMBER, HARRIS BEACH PLLC:  Senate Version of Tax Bill Preserves Certain Development Tax Credits

The Senate Finance Committee advanced the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on November 17, 2017, moving the tax reform legislation to the full Senate for consideration. The bill, originally introduced in October, marks the first effort in three decades to reform the Internal Revenue Code. Lawmakers have said its goal is to reduce taxes on the middle class, while growing jobs across the country. Several tax policy experts criticize the bill for its corporate tax cuts and a balloon plan they believe will ultimately cost the middle-class more in ten years.

Of particular note is that the Senate version includes the retention of the following development tax credit programs:

  • the new markets tax credit (NMTC) through 2019 in its current form without change
  • interest-free private activity bonds in its current form, which bonding help finance more than 50% of affordable low income rental housing each year
  • the 9% allocated low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC)
  • the 20% historic tax credit (HTC) of qualified rehabilitation expenditures, with one change from current law: rather than claiming the HTC 100% in the year at placed-in-service as under current law, the HTC would be claimed ratably over 5 years instead of being.  While the HTC would be retained, the ratable entitlement to the HTC over 5 years would reduce HTC pricing by an investor's internal rate of return (time value) requirement.

The full Senate is expected to take up this bill after the Thanksgiving break.