Legislative News  April 27, 2017
Legislative Report
The House and Senate adjourned the regular session a few days ahead of schedule, but the Governor recently announced  a special session beginning on June 5th. The special session will likely address issues such as roads and bridges. Legislators left the regular session in a gridlock on Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) general funding. 

As the regular session ended, Home Builders Association of Mississippi (HBAM) was able to defeat a number of bills that would have had a negative impact on members. There were also a few really good bills that passed this year, including a bill that would provide incentives for first time home buyers and a bill to set up a Home Builders Association car tag to benefit Habitat for Humanity. 

While there were some victories, there is work that still needs to be done. The association will continue ongoing work with the Department of Revenue (and lawmakers) on service tax clarification.  HBAM will also continue work to protect licensure standards for residential construction. 

Please see below for the recap of the session. Your association will keep working hard on advocacy issues affecting membership and the building industry.

SB 2944- HBAM Works on Directive with the Department of Revenue
HBAM originally introduced SB 2944, the legislation that related to taxes on repair work.  The legislation was introduced as a possible way to seek clarification to installation and repairs. In the end, HBAM is trying to work with the Department of Revenue (DOR) to gain the appropriate clarification on the regulation.

In a hearing last month, the DOR  explained their concerns with the legislation and discussed alternative solutions.  HBAM was represented by Jones Walker, LLP law firm in the hearing.  From that meeting, the Department agreed to provide direction to help clarify the process while HBAM keeps legislative options open for next year if necessary. The association will keep everyone posted on this important issue as we move forward.
HB 1601- First Time Home Buyers Savings Account (Support- Passed)
HB 1601, the First Time Home Buyers Savings Account bill, was signed by Governor Bryant. This legislation is a great step for Mississippi's first time home buyers and will have  a positive impact on home builders.

The MS Association of Realtors, supported by a coalition of housing partners (including HBAM), lobbied for this legislation to help first time home buyers through a tax credit and savings program. The bill will have a significant impact on the economy and will help first time home buyers realize their dream of home ownership. Ultimately, this legislation will create over 688 new jobs and approximately $28,841,463 in personal earnings. An estimated 379 homes will need to be built to help meet the demand.

SB 2689- Campaign Finance Reform - (Monitored- Passed)
After two years of debate, the Senate and House reach a compromise on campaign finance reform with SB 2689. The legislation contains the Senate's language that places tougher restrictions on campaign finance spending, and what constitutes personal use, and the House's enforcement language, which would allow the spending to be overseen by the Ethics Commission. The law will go into effect on January 1, 2018. Revenue collected between now and the start date will be exempt from the new law.

SB 2855- Licensure Bill (Support- Died in House Committee)
SB 2855, the bill that would have streamlined licensure for specific subcontracting fields such as electrical, HVAC, gas and plumbing died in House Judiciary B. The legislation would have also clarified residential licensure requirements when negotiating a contract. The bill passed the Senate floor with no opposition.
HBAM will be working with legislators and leadership following the session and will hopefully have the chance to reintroduce the legislation next year.

HB 1076- Growth and Prosperity Act (Monitored- Died in Senate Committee)
HB 1076, the legislation that brought forward a number of statutes (including building code sections) died in the Senate Finance committee. The alleged intent of the bill was to help with economic development under the current Growth and Prosperity Act Program (GAP). HBAM was concerned that the bill language was vague and opened up many code sections affecting the construction and home building industry. Ultimately, the legislation could have undone some of the protections relating to residential construction that we have worked to implement. 

SB 2938/HB 1587- Historic Preservation Tax Incentives for Single Family Homes-  (Support- Died in Committee)
The legislation that would have added tax incentives to help foster the rehabilitation of historic structures for single family homes died in committee. This legislation will likely come back next year. The bill sponsors/supporters plan to gather information/research following the session to help legislators understand the impact of the bill.

HB 694- Home Builder Car Tag- (Support- Passed) 
HBAM helped pass legislation to initiate a special car tag to benefit the Habitat for Humanity in Mississippi. The car tag will promote the Home Builders Association and will help provide affordable housing to Mississippians. HBAM will need to get 300 car tags sold by January 1st in order to move forward. The cost is $35 and you can sign up by clicking here. We will provide more information soon on how everyone can get involved to push toward the goal!

Quick Links
Join Our Mailing List
Contribute to 
Build PAC 

Build PAC is critical to the Home Builders Association of Mississippi's success in pursuing pro-housing and pro-business issues at the legislature because:

Build PAC elects pro-housing and pro-business candidates that are running for state office, the state legislature and judiciary.

Keeps the Home Builders Association Mississippi's agenda in the forefront with the most influential political figures in the State.

Gains access to the elected officials that vote on issues important to the Mississippi housing industry.

Creates political clout for the Home Builders Association of Mississippi.