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The 2015 legislative session begins its 19 week odyssey to produce a balanced budget and tend to a host of policy items. Looking at the big picture one can expect education and transportation to be the big ticket items. Tax increases on income and sale of goods and services are unlikely, though a dedicated gas tax at the wholesale level will be debated.
On the housing front, BATC will be deeply engaged in legislative discussions about the newly adopted building and energy codes, and whether or not the costly requirements are appropriate for homeowners. The sprinkler mandate on single-family homes has gotten attention in each of the last four legislative sessions and will again in 2015. However, other elements of the building code and energy code have given builders and would-be homeowners sticker shock over the steep costs associated with the Dayton Administration’s code update. Expect these requirements to get attention from legislators.
In discussions with legislators there is interest in a range of approaches to address the soaring code costs, from implementation delays, to alternative compliance paths, to outright repeal of some of the provisions. BATC is working with legislative leaders and the Governor’s Office to address these promptly, noting that the timing and pace of the legislature is always fluid and unpredictable.
Other items like the mortgage interest deduction, street improvement fees, lawsuit reform in common interest community developments are likely to receive some level attention during the session. As is custom, a surprise or two along the can be expected as well. BATC looks forward to a successful legislative session that results in no new threats to member businesses, and perhaps one that can even produce some needed regulatory relief for BATC members and their customers.
Look for future legislative updates here throughout the 2015 session.