2019 Legislative Session
July 3, 2019: Session Wrap-up
Our goal is to advocate for the industry, property owners, and all who seek safe, decent and affordable housing.
The 150th legislative session came to an end a little after 1 a.m. on July 1st, 2019. This year more than 1,500 DAR members participated in the political process by reaching out to legislators’ offices to share their views on legislation under consideration.
This legislative session brought important progress on many issues such as the elimination of municipal licensing, protecting deed restrictions, mortgage foreclosure mediation extension, property maintenance in Kent and Sussex counties, and many more.
It is our hope, with this legislative update, we can share how we represented your voices in Legislative hall and what we accomplished during session.
2019 DAR Tracked Legislation
Real Estate Licensing Legislation
- HB 235 – Elimination of Municipal Licensing Fees for Realtors – Passed
- Summary: After 12 years of trying to introduce and pass the elimination of municipal licensing fees for realtors in the State of Delaware, we finally did it! This Act will prohibit political subdivisions of this State from requiring real estate licensees to obtain an additional business license or pay taxes in order to list property for sellers or represent buyers for the purchase of real estate.o
- Status: HB 235 was introduced on 6/18/19 and reported out of the Economic Development/Banking/Insurance & Commerce committee on 6/26/19. HB 235 passed the House and Senate chambers on 7/1/19 and is currently on the Governor’s list of bills to sign into law.
- SB 118 – Real Estate Services, Brokers, Associate Brokers and Salespersons Act – Failed
- Summary: This Act revises the circumstances under which an applicant can be denied a license by the Real Estate Commission because of a criminal conviction.
- Status: SB 118 was introduced on 6/4/19 and assigned to the Sunset Committee in the Senate. SB 118 passed the Senate by 19 votes on 6/18/19, however, SB 118 did not make it to the house for a vote.
Lodging Tax Legislation
- HB 228 – Sussex Lodging Tax – Passed
- Summary: This Act allows Sussex County, by duly enacted ordinance, to impose a local lodging tax of no more than 3 percent of rent on rooms in a hotel, motel or tourist home located in the unincorporated areas of the County.
- Status: HB 228 was introduced on 6/17/19 and assigned to the Administration Committee in the House. HB 65 passed the House chamber on 6/20/19 by 34 votes, and the Senate chamber by 20 votes on 7/1/19.
- HB 147 – Lodging Tax Act – Failed
- Summary: This Act authorizes all municipalities to impose a lodging tax, if a municipality chooses to do so. Because some municipalities currently have this authority, this Act makes clear that a provision in a special act of incorporation that authorizes a municipality to impose a lodging tax controls over the authority granted by this Act, whether the special act of incorporation is enacted before or after the effective date of this Act.
- Status: HB 147 was introduced on 5/9/19 and released from Housing and Community Affairs on 6/12/19. This bill did not make it for a vote in the House or Senate this legislative session.
Taxes and Fees Legislation
- HB 32 – Repeal of the 1% Transfer Tax Hike – Failed
- Summary: This Act decreases by 1% the rate of realty transfer tax to be received by the State, thereby returning to the rate that was applicable prior to August 1, 2017.
- Status: HB 32 was introduced and assigned to the House Revenue & Finance Committee on 1/4/19. HB 32 was tabled in committee on 3/6/19.
- HB 178 – Liens For Taxes Assessed Against Real Property Act – Failed
- Summary: This Act reconciles discrepancies between § 8705 of Title 9 of the Delaware Code and § 2903 of Title 25 of the Delaware Code, clarifying that all taxes assessed against real estate by Kent or Sussex Counties are governed by § 8705 of Title 9 and that the date on which Sussex County considers a tax delinquent is July 1.
- Status: HB 178 was introduced on 6/4/19 and assigned to the House Housing and Community Affairs Committee in the House. HB 178 passed the House chamber by 41 votes; however, it did not make it to the Senate chamber for a vote.
- HB 129– Local School Taxes Act – Failed
- Summary: This bill creates a mechanism by which school boards may increase funds for a school district both with and without a referendum. This bill also provides how certain school boards may levy real estate taxes.
- Status: HB 129 was introduced on 5/2/19 and assigned to the Education Committee in the House. HB 129 was not reported out of the Education committee in the House on 6/12/19.
Property Maintenance Legislation
- HB 87 – Property Maintenance Regulations in Kent – Failed
- Summary: This Act enables Kent County to establish regulations regarding property maintenance and penalties for violations of said regulations.
- Status: HB 87 was introduced and assigned to the House Housing and Community Affairs Committee on 3/14/19. HB 87 passed the House by 33 votes; however, it did not go to the senate for a vote this year.
- HB 118 – Property Maintenance Regulations in Sussex – Failed
- Summary: This Act enables Sussex County to establish ordinances, rules, and regulations regarding property maintenance and penalties for violations of said ordinances, rules, and regulations.
- Status: HB 118 was introduced and assigned to the House Housing and Community Affairs Committee on 4/12/19. HB 118 passed the House by 40 votes; however, it did not go to the senate for a vote this year.
Economic Development Legislation
- HB 110 – Marijuana Control Act – Failed
- Summary: HB 110, sponsored by Rep. Ed Osienski, would strike a blow against that black market and replace it with a safe, legal, and regulated cannabis industry providing good-paying jobs to Delawareans and putting an end to criminal penalties for simple use and possession of cannabis products.
- Status: HB 110 was introduced on 5/16/19 and assigned to the Revenue & Finance Committee in the House. HB 110 was assigned to the Appropriations Committee in the House on 6/6/19 and did not make it to the House or Senate for a vote this session.
- SB 105 – Minimum Wage Act – Failed
- Summary: The bill that would raise Delaware’s minimum wage to $11 in January 2020 and then by a dollar each year until it hits $15 in 2024.
- Status: SB 105 was introduced on 5/31/19 and assigned to the Labor Committee in the Senate. SB 105 was assigned to the Finance committee in the Senate on 6/12/19 and was not voted on in the House or the Senate this legislative session.
- HB 65 – Deed Restrictions – Passed
- Summary: This Bill enables the use of roof or ground mounted solar systems on privately owned residential dwellings by making covenants or other restrictions that effectively prohibit or unreasonably restrict the installation of solar photovoltaic systems in Delaware void and unenforceable, regardless of the date recorded.
- Status: HB 65 was introduced and assigned to the House Housing and Community Affairs Committee on 3/5/19. HB 65 passed the House and Senate chambers on 7/1/19.
- HB 200 – Clean Water Act – Failed
- Summary: This Act establishes a framework for assessing needs, planning and implementing projects, and providing a funding source to enhance and accelerate Delaware’s efforts in cleaning up its contaminated water resources, ensuring that all our citizens have safe drinking water, reducing flooding, and protecting jobs in agriculture and tourism.
- Status: HB 200 was introduced on 5/30/19 and assigned to the Natural Resources Committee in the House. HB 200 was reported out of the Natural Resources in the House on 6/5/19, however, HB 200 did not make it to the senate for a vote