Legislative Update: January 16, 2024

Legislative Update: January 16, 2024

Additional dollars for affordable housing

Chief Executive Officer

Senate Bill 454 would mandate that the first $10 million of revenue collected from the real estate transfer tax (RETT) is transferred to New Hampshire's affordable housing fund. Currently, $5 million of RETT revenue goes to the affordable housing fund, which is administered by the NH Housing Finance Authority.

Last week, NHAR testified in favor of the bill, arguing that there is an obvious nexus between the RETT revenue and affordable housing, and therefore sending some of those tax dollars to support the expansion of housing opportunities would be entirely appropriate. At the same time, NHAR was clear that any future efforts to increase the RETT rate, or to dedicate transfer tax receipts to funding which is not directly related to the expansion of housing opportunities, would be vigorously opposed by REALTORS. 

The Senate Finance Committee is expected to take action on the bill in the next several weeks.

Bill would replenish lead paint fund

Senate Bill 392 would appropriate $3 million for the lead paint hazard remediation fund, which is administered by the NH Housing Finance Authority. The fund is available for rental properties where the tenant income is at or below 90 percent area median income, or single-family homes below 100 percent area median income. These are 0 percent, interest-deferred loans that do not have to be paid back until the property is sold or transferred.

NHAR testified in favor of the bill. For more information on the lead program, click here.

The Senate Finance Committee is expected to take action on the bill later this month.

Tax credit for historic housing preservation

Senate Bill 364 would establish a historic housing preservation tax credit. The credit would be allowed against the business enterprise tax or business profits tax. The total tax credits available would be capped at $10 million in any fiscal year. Both for-profit and non-profit projects would be eligible.

In addition, SB 364 would appropriate an additional $15 million to the InvestNH Fund. That fund is designed to accelerate the approval of affordable and workforce housing projects through grants and loans. 

NHAR is in support of the bill. The Senate Ways and Means Committee is expected to take action on the bill in the coming weeks.

Quote of the week

"The Board (Town of Freedom ZBA) cannot equate the general purpose of the short-term rental ordinance to a conclusion that the Applicant’s use of the Property as a STR 'is a nuisance or harmful to the public health and welfare' … In conclusion, the Applicant’s use of the Property for Short Term Rental use is a preexisting, nonconforming use.”

The New Hampshire Housing Appeals Board (HAB) decision ruling in favor of the property owner and against the Town of Freedom, in Cotter v. Town of Freedom. The HAB determined that a town’s ability to impose its new zoning ordinance requirements on existing properties which have been previously used for short-term rentals is unconstitutional.

For more information, contact New Hampshire Realtors CEO Bob Quinn: bob@nhar.com.

"Amidst the sea of change to which the New Hampshire Association of REALTORS has played witness in its 85 years, one thing that has remained constant is the Realtor 'R' and the value we bring to every real estate transaction in which we take part. We are part of a unique community where our familial cooperation transcends our business competition. These are not mere platitudes, but our living ideals, and they are, in fact, the foundation on which we conduct ourselves in our day-to-day affairs."

Joanie McIntire, 2024 President, New Hampshire REALTORS