State Roundup: Ohio, Texas, and Wisconsin

June 1, 2004

Ohio: Guns optional

Lawmakers made it legal to carry a concealed weapon in the state with passage of H.B. 12, but that doesn’t mean you have to let gun-toting customers into your office. Flexibility in the new law allows you to post a no-guns sign outside your office, says Peg Ritenour, vice president of legal services at the Ohio Association of REALTORS®. Practitioners shouldn’t assume the new law is cause for alarm. Many states license concealed weapons but stipulate that only people with no criminal background can carry them. The law took effect April 7.

Wisconsin: TIF lift

State lawmakers beefed up incentives for new development and redevelopment by expanding existing local tax-increment financing districts. In a TIF district, a municipality invests in roads, sewers, and other infrastructure necessary to service new development to help get idle property back on the tax rolls. The expanded tax base created by the development pays for the infrastructure improvements. Lawmakers’ changes include an increase in the amount of taxable property that may be included in a TIF district. The Wisconsin REALTORS® Association backed the increase.

Texas: Basic services defined

The Texas Association of REALTORS® has asked the Texas Real Estate Commission to add its definition of “negotiation” into state law. The law requires brokers with a listing contract to negotiate the best possible transaction for their client. Critics say the definition will hurt brokers who charge a fee to post a listing but don’t negotiate deals on their clients’ behalf. TAR says “negotiate” should mean that brokers 1) accept and present offers and counteroffers to their clients; 2) assist clients in developing, communicating, and presenting offers or counteroffers; and 3) answer client questions. TREC could rule on the definition this summer.

Jane Adler is a Chicago-based freelancer writer.

Robert Freedman

Robert Freedman is the former director of multimedia communications at NAR.

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