Pillow Talk – Big Time

by Perry Pillow, AATC

DFW Metroplex as seen from the International Space Station

Everything is bigger in Texas; especially North Texas. More than 7 million people live in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex —2.5 million in Tarrant County alone—making this area one of the largest urban regions in the world. D/FW is the fourth largest metropolitan area in the United States.

With more than 3.5 million jobs in energy, technology, financial services, healthcare, telecommunications, logistics, and a $510 billion annual gross domestic product (GDP), D/FW is the tenth largest economy in the world! More than 20 Fortune 500 companies headquarter here. D/FW competes with Seoul and Paris, not Charlotte and Philadelphia, for jobs and corporate relocations.

Land-wise, if you have ever driven from Granbury to McKinney or Mesquite to Weatherford, then it is no surprise that D/FW is bigger than the states of Rhode Island and Connecticut combined!

Most importantly, D/FW has more than 700,000 multifamily units. D/FW is the largest garden-style multifamily market in the world.

Bottom-line: D/FW is huge! And you and your industry are a significant part of D/FW’s success!

ARLINGTON MULTIFAMILY GARAGE SALES: In December, AATC’s Arlington Advocacy Team and AATC staff provided input to Arlington code compliance staff and city council members on a revised multifamily garage sale ordinance. These revisions include: 1) no more than three garage sales within a 12-month period; 2) garage sales are limited to three consecutive days; 3) sale hours are limited to 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.; and 4) only one on premise sign. The city also agreed to no fee, but a permit is required and may be obtained online.

ARLINGTON AFFORDABLE HOUSING POLICY: In December, the Arlington City Council reaffirmed its policy of only supporting new tax-credit developments that are seniors-only projects. The council will not support conventional TDHCA or LIHTC 9% or 4% deals.

FEDERAL TAX REFORM: Last month, Congress passed, and the President signed, federal tax reform legislation that included NAA/NMHC’s priorities. The law retains business interest deductibility, the 1031 “like-kind” exchange and the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program. The new law slightly extends the depreciation period for multifamily buildings (27.5 years to 30 years), however, a new deduction of 20 percent is created for pass-through entities like those that dominate the apartment housing industry. Finally, carried interested will continue to be treated as a capital gain for assets held for at least three years. For more on the significant features of the law, see here.

The positive outcome for the apartment housing industry is due in large part to the engagement of you, your colleagues and citizen advocates around the country. The thousands of letters sent to Capitol Hill as part of the Protect the Lease campaign announced our priorities loud and clear. The impact of that advocacy is reflected in the final legislation. Going forward, NAA will work to assess the impact on the apartment industry of the law. Given the scope of the legislation and the pace of its creation, there will undoubtedly be need for technical corrections or other refinements. At that time, we will certainly call the industry to action once again to ensure our voice is heard.

2018 PRIMARY ELECTIONS: More than 160 candidates filed for places on the March 6th Tarrant County primary election ballot. Unlike recent elections, Democrats are running a very broad slate and numerous Republican incumbents have primary opponents. AATC member State Representatives Stephanie Klick (HD 91) and Craig Goldman (HD 97) do not have primary opponents, but Tarrant County state representative Republican incumbents Gio Capriglione (HD 98) and Charlie Geren (HD 99) do. The unexpected resignation of Republican incumbent congressman Joe Barton (TX 6) caused a domino-effect with eleven Republicans (including Tax Assessor and former Barton Chief of staff Ron Wright) and five democrat candidates. Wright’s move created an opening at Tax Assessor with four Republicans and one Democrat filing to fill this vacancy. Long-serving Tarrant County Justices of the Peace in precincts 3, 4, 5, and 6 picked up primary opponents. Embattled Republican judges Casey, Wright, and Ritchie have serious opposition. Casey is opposed by attorney Bill Brandt while precinct Wright has four primary opponents and Ritchie has two foes. Judge DeLeon (precinct 5) is being challenged by unsuccessful fire-fighter backed city council and extremely anti-multifamily candidate Steve Thornton. AATC’s Government Affairs Committee will meet on January 19th to make candidate contribution recommendations to the AATC Political Action Committee (PAC) trustees.

FORT WORTH POOL INSPECTIONS – AATC is working closely with Fort Worth code compliance officials to streamline the 2018 pool inspection process. The city’s goals are to inspect pools on Fridays and to complete all inspections and re-inspections in the spring prior to pool season.