More than 100 Appraisal Institute professionals went to Capitol Hill May 22 to urge Congress to act on two bills that could significantly impact the valuation profession.
Attendees of AI’s annual Leadership Development and Advisory Council Conference, held May 21-23 in Washington, D.C., lobbied lawmakers and their staffs on H.R. 1553/S. 727, the Financial Institutions Examination Fairness and Reform Act, and on S. 526, the Rural Heritage Conservation Extension Act.
H.R. 1553/S. 727, introduced by Rep. Shelley Capito, R-W.Va., and Sens. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., and Joe Manchin, D-W. Va., intends to promote consistency of bank examinations and due process and to enhance consistency in the interpretation and understanding of bank examination guidelines and regulations. The Appraisal Institute supports the bill’s overall goals, but noted concern with Sec. 1013(a)(3) of the legislation, which would prohibit any reappraisal of a performing loan even if bank examiners identified safety and soundness concerns.
Appraisal Institute professionals encouraged lawmakers to amend the legislation in order to make it consistent with federal regulations and to allow bank examiners to order new appraisals in the interest of loan safety and soundness. They also would like lawmakers to define “performing loan,” as it currently is undefined within regulation and guidance.
AI professionals also expressed their support of S. 526, legislation that would extend tax incentives relating to donations of real property, including donations relating to conservation. The U.S. tax code currently supports such donations — known as enhanced conservation easement tax incentives — through a tax deduction that relies on qualified appraisals. Without Congressional action, the tax incentive would expire at the end of 2013.
Introduced by Sens. Max Baucus, D-Mont., and Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, S. 526, the Rural Heritage Conservation Extension Act, would extend the tax incentives. Representatives Jim Gerlach, R-Pa., and Mike Thompson, D-Calif., have pledged to introduce similar legislation in the House of Representatives.
AI professionals asked their senators to co-sponsor the bill and encouraged their representatives to become an original co-sponsor of the planned House bill.