Things Learned at the Builders Show
Bill Ward, Executive Vice President, HBAI
The 2018 International Builders Show and NAHB Board Meeting were held last week in Orlando. The second largest trade show in North America attracted an estimated 87,000 builders and associates from around the world. Held in conjunction with the Kitchen & Bath Show, there is no place on Earth to learn more in one week about your business, your association, and your industry. The show next year will be back in Las Vegas, Nevada with February 18, 19, & 20th show dates. Here are some bullets of information I gathered at this year’s IBS.
- Tax Reform has landed and it is now time for all of us to take a deep dive into how it will affect our individual & business taxes. NAHB is creating a webinar for this that will be available to all members and HBAI has requested a knowledgeable NAHB staffer to come to our state to provide guidance on what you need to know about tax reform.
- Did you know that dropping the cap on home mortgage interest deduction from $1 million to $750,000 still includes 98.7% of all home mortgages in the U.S.? This may be a loss to us, but it wasn’t a bad one.
- 34 million Americans filed itemized tax forms for their 2016 taxes. It is estimated that this number will drop to 14 million. Will that be bad for home ownership or will increased net income mean more home buying?
- The price of softwood lumber and drywall may go up so much this year that NAHB has developed a “cost adjustment clause” for builders to place in their contracts to protect their profit margins. Call or write for more information.
- 2017 was the most expensive year for natural disaster damage. Stronger building codes could result from this.
- New Construction is back in the House Flood Insurance bill. This is good.
- U.S. EPA is working on a new rule to replace the Obama WOTUS rule. U.S. Supreme Court to rule on WOTUS this year.
- If you have a U.S. Representative or Senator you would like to nominate for the Defender of Housing Award, State & Local Associations have until February 28, 2018 to apply at NAHB.
- Bring Housing Home is scheduled for April 30 thru May 5, 2018. Do you know what that is? Call or write for more information.
- NAHB wants President Trump to move on the Dreamers issue. We need to solve the Visa issue for our industry.
- The NAHB Board of Directors passed the Governance Bylaw changes allowing a more executive style board (corporate council) to operate most NAHB matters. The 1200 member BOD will be referred to as Delegates in the future and will still have the ultimate authority to make bylaw changes.
- The NAHB Membership Model Pilot Project is underway. Selected locals will pay monthly fees to National based on a 3 year average of the number of members in a local association multiplied by $192. An increase in National dues will be based on a 3 year average of the Consumer Price Index. All participating locals will operate within the Dues Hub online member payment and processing service, powered by Billhighway.
- Sooner or later, NAHB wants to go to a centralized, online membership payment process. Illinois State & Local Associations need to work together now to discuss our needs for functioning in a centralized, online system. We want every local to have a system that easily pays dues, makes payments for special events, and allows negative PAC fund checkoffs.
- A third meeting of the NAHB Board of Directors will be put back into place in 2019. The IBS, a Mid-Year meeting in Washington, D.C., and third meeting that moves around the country will be back on the calendar like it was for many years.
- Did you know that National Area Chair, Mike Nagel from Illinois, sponsored the resolution to bring back the third meeting?
- Tax Reform law will enforce local reporting of lobbying activities. Just like State & National does now, a percentage of dues are subtracted from the amount of dues you can deduct from your income taxes. For 2017, the amount to subtract from your $165 HBAI dues is 11.6%. HBAI will ask our accountants to assist locals with this new requirement.
- Chuck Fowke of Tampa, Florida defeated Fred Hoppe of Lincoln, Nebraska for 3rd Vice Chair at NAHB. Randy Noel of La Place, Louisiana was unanimously installed as the Chairman of the Board for NAHB.
- Kevin Chaffin is once again our State Representative to NAHB from Illinois and will have a seat on the new Corporate Council once it is initiated.
- There will be 45 open seats in the U.S. Representative 2018 elections; 30 of those seats are in Republican districts.
- 11 Democratic Senators are running for re-election in Republican States.
- Arizona will have two open seats with the eminent departure of Senator John McCain.
- BuildPAC has raised $1.2 million in this election cycle (2017/2018). Their goal is to raise $3 million in total this year.
I want to thank the HBAI Board of Directors for allowing my attendance at these NAHB Board Meetings. Compared to staying home and retrieving this information thru websites and phone calls, it is similar to obtaining water through a fire hose instead of a leaky faucet. You can experience the same when you attend the 2019 IBS in Las Vegas.