The Appraisal Institute Board of Directors at its Nov. 14-15 meeting in Chicago adopted amendments to Regulation Nos. 7 and 8 to require chapters to create a Government Relations Subcommittee for each state or territory. The move is intended to strengthen government relations efforts through enhanced coordination of policy development, advocacy and implementation.
The policy was written
to give chapters maximum flexibility with implementation. In most cases, the structure and funding of each state Government Relations Subcommittee will be based on agreement between the chapters, including the total size of the subcommittee, how many representatives each chapter will have, if and how the subcommittee will be funded, and when and how often the subcommittee will meet. Amendments to chapter bylaws and other governing documents may be necessary to implement this policy.
The chair and vice chair of the state subcommittee will be chosen by the members of the subcommittee and must be Designated Members of the Appraisal Institute.
Additional items of note:
In states with a single chapter, the existing Government Relations Committee satisfies the new requirement.
In states with multiple chapters, each chapter is required to select at least one Designated Member, Candidate for Designation or Practicing Affiliate to serve on the state's Government Relations Subcommittee.
If a chapter’s territory covers multiple states, the chapter is required to select at least one Designated Member, Candidate for Designation or Practicing Affiliate to participate as part of the Government Relations Subcommittee for each state in which the chapter has territory.
The Appraisal Institute is providing assistance with implementation of the new requirement. Contact Scott DiBiasio at firstname.lastname@example.org
The California Bureau of Real Estate Appraisers on Jan. 1 significantly increased license renewal fees
. The cost to renew a certified general or certified residential license increased from $525 to $925, and the cost to renew a trainee or licensed appraiser credential increased from $450 to $850. California also requires a $25 state registration fee, while all credential holders (except trainees) must pay an $80 federal registration fee.
The application review fee accounts for the bulk of the increase for each license, increasing from $150 to $400. While the BREA is legally authorized to charge an initial application fee, appraisers are questioning whether the statute allows for the BREA to apply this fee to renewal applications.
Additionally, the state increased the issuance fees for all three licensing categories, reaching the statutorily imposed maximum of $450 (for trainee and licensed residential) and $525 (for certified residential or certified general).
The BREA claims the increased licensing fees are necessary to compensate for a declining number of individuals seeking licenses. They report that approximately 10,000 individuals sought licenses in 2019, down from around 20,000 in fiscal year 2006-07. The BREA also reported that surplus funds accrued during the years when there was a high number of licensees have been used to partially subsidize licensing fees for the past 12 years and are now exhausted.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Dec. 16 signed AB 8024
, which limits who an appraisal management company can hire, employ or engage to provide property inspections or evaluations. AMCs are now required to engage appraisers, real estate brokers, associate real estate brokers, real estate salespersons and home inspectors to perform these services.
Thirty-nine state legislatures are in session, as are those in the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The legislatures in Montana, Nevada, North Dakota and Texas do not meet this year.
The Appraisal Institute’s Washington office continues to work with chapters, regions and state coalitions to help shape public policy affecting AI professionals and the valuation profession.
Legislative activity this year:
California is deliberating several bills that would make further changes to the state’s worker classification laws. AB 5 took effect Jan. 1 and has disrupted many professions, including valuation, where the engagement of service providers as independent contractors is the norm. One appraisal management company operating in California eliminated its entire appraiser panel and instead will only use employee appraisers. The Appraisal Institute and a coalition of industry partners are working to retain the ability to have appraisers engaged as independent contractors.
Florida is reviewing HB 1399 and SB 776, two companion bills aimed at reducing the size of the Florida Real Estate Appraisal Board from nine members to seven. One seat reserved for a representative of an appraisal management company would be eliminated as would one reserved for a member of the general public. The board increased its size in 2010 to include two members representing AMCs, but the change resulted in AMCs having disproportionate representation.
Mississippi is considering SB 2430, a measure that would establish a three-year statute of limitations on civil claims against real estate appraisers.
Pennsylvania is debating SB 491, legislation that would add two certified evaluators to its Board of Certified Real Estate Appraisers. The BCREA regulates assessors but they have had no representation on the board. The legislation is supported by the Coalition of Pennsylvania Real Estate Appraisers, which primarily consists of the state’s five Appraisal Institute Chapters.
South Carolina is considering HB 4151, legislation that would require appraisal management companies operating in the state to post a $25,000 surety bond. Currently, AMCs have the option to provide “a detailed statement of current financial condition” or a $50,000 surety bond.
South Dakota is reviewing HB 1127, a measure that would allow appraisers to perform evaluations for federally insured depository institutions.
The Tennessee legislature is considering SB 1914/HB 1945, two bills that would allow 27 different services — including appraisals — to be performed without a license. Normally, an individual performing any of the services in question would be required to have a license, a registration or a certificate. The legislation includes protections for consumers who work with individuals who decide to forgo licensing. The Appraisal Institute Tennessee Chapter opposes the legislation.
Numerous states are considering legislation that would make minor changes to laws regarding the registration, oversight and operation of appraisal management companies. Most of the measures are intended to bring the states into compliance with the federal minimum requirements for the registration and oversight of AMCs. States considering such legislation are Connecticut, Idaho, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming.