New Legal Lot of Record Video Breaks Down Recent Process Changes 
COAR has created a new, animated explainer video that breaks down a November ordinance passed by the Deschutes County Board of Commissioners that made some key changes to the legal lot of record verification process. At just over 3 minutes, the video provides a quick and easy way to get up-to-speed on the recent changes.  

City of Bend Budget Committee Applications
Want to help oversee City finances? The City has an opening on the Budget Committee. Applications due by 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. Applicants must be residents of the City of Bend.  Click here  for an application.  The City's Budget Committee is comprised of the seven City Councilors and an equal number of citizen members. The committee reviews the City Manager's proposed biennial budget and budget message, which explains the proposed budget and significant changes in the City's financial position.

Call Before You Dig Clarifies Sign Locate Requirements, Offering 2 Classes for COAR Members
COAR previously received guidance from the Oregon Public Utility Commission that locates were required for all signs. The agency then stipulated that locates are only required when installing signs on private or public property at a depth of 6 inches or more. In talking with members, we learned that enforcement officers are also giving members conflicting information in regards to both requirements and fines. To get the facts, COAR spoke with the President of Call Before You Dig. He clarified that locates are required for all signs, the only exceptions: homeowners digging less than 12 inches and farmers cultivating 18 inches or less. The sign locates FAQ has been revised based on this information from Call Before You Dig and can be downloaded at the link below. Call Before You Dig has also agreed to host two damage prevention program classes for COAR - February 14 at 9 AM in Bend and February 28 at 9 AM in Redmond. 

Tax Reform Update: What now?
On December 22, 2017, President Trump signed the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act". All individual provisions of the measure are generally effective after December 31, 2017 for the 2018 tax filing year and expire on December 31, 2025 unless otherwise noted. The provisions do not affect tax filings for 2017 unless noted. NAR will be providing ongoing updates and guidance to members in the coming weeks, as well as working with Congress and the Administration to address additional concerns through future legislation and rulemaking. Lawmakers have already signaled a desire to fine tune elements of The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act as well as address additional tax provisions not included in this legislation in 2018 called "extenders", and REALTORS® will need to continue to be engaged in the process. Click the link below to read NAR's analysis of the bill's provisions impacting real estate. 

How Tax Reform Will Affect Home Prices
The new tax law reduces the limit on deductible mortgage debt and limits the deductibility of the real estate tax up to $10,000. These two provisions are expected to have an impact on the housing market. Moreover, a higher standard deduction may lessen the incentive to purchase a home, as fewer consumers will utilize mortgage interest and property tax deductions. Click the link below to check out NAR Research's analysis of how home prices will trend in 2018 for each state as a result of the new tax law.

REALTORS® appointed to Madras City Council and Bend Transportation Committee
On January 9, Mayor Royce Embanks Jr. and the Madras City Council   appointed Madras REALTOR®, Jennifer Holcomb , to a seat on the Madras City Council. Her term on Council will end in December 2020. Sally Jacobson, who serves on COAR's board of directors and Government Affairs Committee, has been appointed to the City of Bend's Citywide Transportation Advisory Committee (CTAC) . The CTAC is tasked with shaping updates and providing recommendations to the Bend City Council regarding a transportation vision, goals and polices, sustainable funding strategies, and project priorities. Sally also represents COAR on the executive committee for MOVE BEND, a public-private transportation coalition with the goal of engaging Bend residents in transportation dialogue and decision-making.
50 Years of the Fair Housing Act
This year, NAR will commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act, raising awareness and creating action in examining community and fair housing issues. NAR will also advocate for changes to the Fair Housing Act to expand fair housing protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity. As stewards of the right to own, use and transfer private property, fair housing protects our livelihood and business as REALTORS®.

NAR Comments on Appraiser Qualifications, Supports Removal of Degree Requirement
On January 12, 2018, NAR submitted a comment letter to the Appraiser Qualifications Board (AQB) in response to the Fourth Exposure Draft concerning proposed changes to the AQB's Real Property Appraiser Qualification Criteria. NAR agreed with the AQB's removal of the degree requirement for Licensed Residential appraisers, the basic appraiser qualification, and to instead require completion of 150 AQB Core Curriculum credit hours. NAR also agreed with the AQB's increased flexibility for successful completion of the education requirements for Certified Residential appraisers.

Your Voice in Real Estate
Have an issue that you feel we should be monitoring or taking action on? Are you interested in getting involved in COAR's government affairs efforts? Contact COAR's Government Affairs Director, Tyler Neese, at or 541-382-6027.
Upcoming Meetings
Deschutes County Board of Commissioners Business Meeting, January 29, 10:00 AM
Crook County Court Work Session, January 30, 9:00 AM, County Annex - County Court Room
Redmond City Council Workshop, January 30, 6:00 PM, Council Chambers
Bend City Council Meeting, February 7, 5:00 pm, Council Chambers
Prineville City Council Meeting, February 13, 6:30 PM
Madras City Council Meeting, February 13, 7:00 PM
La Pine City Council, February 14, 6:00 PM
SROA Board of Directors Meeting, February 17, 9:00 AM
Sisters City Council Meeting, TBA
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