As the new year begins, so does a new Congress and a new Ohio General Assembly. Both are dealing with new environments and ushering in new leaders.
Recently, nearly a quarter of the United States federal government was shut down, leaving 800,000 people either at home or forced to work, both without pay. The real estate industry felt the effects of the shutdown. Ohio REALTORS® President Anjanette Frye went on NPR to discuss the impact of the shutdown and highlighted an apparent slowdown of FHA Loans. In the interview, president Frye stated, “FHA doesn’t have a full staff to be processing loans, so it’s slowing down the lending process,” Frye said. “And there’s not really a contingency plan that’s suitable in place to fix that problem.”
Meanwhile, good news came in the form of clarity as the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service issued final regulations regarding the new 20 percent deduction on qualified business income. “Friday’s ruling is a result of several months of advocacy and collaboration between NAR, our members, and the administration,” said NAR President John Smaby, a second-generation REALTOR® from Edina, Minnesota and broker at Edina Realty. “These final guidelines will allow real estate professionals to benefit from the Section 199A 20 percent pass-through deduction, a move that will empower REALTORS® to expand their operations and provide improved services to consumers and potential homebuyers across the country. The National Association of REALTORS® is grateful for the openness and transparency encouraged by Treasury and the IRS, and we thank them for their hard work to ensure the real estate community was heard throughout this rulemaking process.”
With the year only just begun, the Ohio Congress is still preparing for new legislative activity. One of the first orders of business took place in the Ohio House. Its members voted to make Larry Householder the new Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives.