State Association’s Top Advocacy Initiatives of All Time

So that it not be forgotten how important it is to join forces and encourage all in the residential building industry to be part of something bigger, Michigan Builder Magazine felt it was time to look back and highlight the HBA of Michigan’s top advocacy initiatives. As the largest trade association representing construction in the state of Michigan, your state association has been doing battle for nearly 70 years. Its primary mission is to positively promote the building industry and impact legislative, regulatory and legal issues affecting housing affordability. Even during our darkest industry downturns, there has been an effort to keep this core advocacy mission strong. It’s why your membership and support for Friends of Housing and HBA Michigan’s Legal Action Fund are so important! Here’s a look back at our victories (in no particular order):

• Passage of flex code legislation providing the State with the option to only update residential codes once every six years.

• Eliminating the 18-mill inventory tax on new homes and the land they sit on.

• Reforming the Sand Dune Protection Act to balance environmental protection of the dunes while protecting the property rights of those owning land in the critical dunes and allowing for compatible economic development and multiple human uses of the dune.

• Modifying architects seal requirements by removing basements and other areas of a house from the 3,500 sq. ft. calculation used to determine when an architect must seal house plans.

• Eliminating Construction Lien Fund by ending the practice of making good builders pay the debts of bad builders by ending the $10 per year paid into the fund by licensees. • Removing the requirement for mandatory fire sprinklers from the Michigan Residential Code or MRC.

• Helping repeal the Single Business Tax and replacing it with a 4.35% corporate business tax, paid through the income tax, for companies organized as S-Corps, LLC’s, LLP’s etc. while C Corps pay a straight 6% corporate income tax.

• Helping to protect private property rights in Michigan by negotiating the language of the 2006 constitutional amendment prohibiting the use of eminent domain for either economic development or the enhancement of tax revenues and curtailing the ability of local units of government to abuse “blight” designations.

• Creating the “Skilled to Build Foundation,” to promote career technical education in schools and community colleges.

• Authoring a Call-to-Action Report: “Housing Challenges Threaten our Economic Future: Where will Ten Million Michiganders Live?” which calls for local government and economic development leaders to rethink their land development and inspection and permitting systems to attract the housing investment that will or is passing them by. The report also calls for a dozen other key recommendations that will better encourage investment, eliminate costly delays and help shape the industry’s future workforce.

• Increasing State workforce funding for grants that promote skilled trade education.

• Defeating attempts to remove the builder exemption from the Michigan Consumer Protection Act (an exemption won at the Michigan Supreme Court level through HBA Michigan’s Legal Action Fund)