WRA Prepares 2009-10 Legislative Agenda

 Tom Larson  |    November 07, 2008

Now that the elections are over, the WRA is now preparing its legislative agenda for the 2009-10 legislative session, and we are looking for feedback from you.

Prior to each legislative session, the WRA compiles a list of regulatory issues and ideas to pursue in order to improve the regulatory environment for the real estate industry. The issues are identified through a variety of means including court cases, industry trends and member feedback. Once a list of issues is identified, the WRA staff will survey members to get feedback about which issues are of greatest importance. The WRA public affairs team will then work with legislators, state agencies and the governor to pass new laws — or in some cases, defeat proposed laws — to help the real estate industry.

To date, the following issues have been identified as priorities for the upcoming legislative session: 

Transactional issues 

  1. Seller intentional misrepresentation: In response to the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s decision in Below v. Norton, restore authority to pursue common law remedies for intentional misrepresentation in residential real estate transactions.
  2. Vacant land disclosure: Create a mandatory vacant land disclosure form similar to the form currently required for transactions involving one- to four-family dwellings.
  3. Licensing law changes: Update education standards for obtaining and renewing real estate licenses.

Tax issues 

  1. Taxes on the real estate industry: Defend against transfer tax increases and other proposed tax increases targeting the real estate industry.
  2. Property taxes: Maintain current property tax freeze that places limits on increases to property tax bills.
  3. Uniformity clause: Defend against property tax reduction proposals that would tax different types of real estate disproportionately in violation of the language or spirit of the uniformity clause.

Land-use and environmental issues 

  1. Shoreland zoning: Work with DNR and other groups to ensure that new changes to NR 115, which is the state’s shoreland zoning regulations, do not unreasonably impact future development and the use of waterfront property.
  2. Working lands initiative: Modify proposals that would adversely impact future growth and economic development, such as the purchase of development rights program, agricultural enterprise areas.
  3. Development moratoria: In response to the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s decision in WRA v. Town of West Point, develop a regulatory framework for development moratoria, similar to impact fee law, that places reasonable restrictions on the ability of local governments to impose moratoria on new development.
  4. Smart growth/comprehensive planning: Modify current law to address issues related to implementation, interpretation and the 2010 effective date.

Economic development and commercial real estate 

  1. Commercial lien law: Streamline requirements for perfecting a commercial broker lien by eliminating the requirement to file the (a) the Notice of Intent to Claim Broker Lien, and/or (b) Notice of Broker Lien with the register of deeds. 
  2. Commercial license reciprocity: Work with other states to authorize Wisconsin licensees holding an active commercial real estate license for the last two years to take a reduced-length approved program before taking the state exam.
  3. Commercial license education: Create different license education and continuing educational requirements for commercial real estate licensees.

Feedback from REALTORS® 

If you have comments or questions about any of the issues identified above, or if you have additional issues that you think should be added to our legislative agenda, please contact Tom Larson at tlarson@wra.org.

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