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Friday, March 27, 2020

Three for Thursday 3/26/20 – Government Affairs Update

Author(s):Brent Swander

In these very usual times, we want to be sure to relay the most relevant information. I’ve removed “Three” from today’s update because there is so much information out there.

I have been in contact with City Managers, Recorders, Auditors, County Commissioners, our housing collation partners and my REALTOR® Government Affairs Directors network on a daily and hourly basis. We will continue to provide up-to-date relevant information as we have it.

Stay-at-home order has real estate agents finding new ways to show houses (Columbus Business First) - "There are so many unknowns in the business right now," said Andy Mills, president of Columbus Realtors. "You see this interconnectedness, the virus impacting every single business. People are finding ways to adapt – the activity is still there."

City of Columbus COVID-19 Resource Page

Whitehall issues City Curfew (Columbus Dispatch) - Whitehall is the first central Ohio city to impose a curfew in response to Gov. Mike DeWine’s stay-at-home order. The curfew will be in effect from midnight until 6 a.m. each morning.

Franklin County facilities closed due to Coronavirus
Franklin County facilities will be closed to all but essential county and court business, meaning the public should not come to the government complex unless it is for court. Essential county employees may still be coming and going, while others work from home. In many cases, county services can be accessed online. Drop boxes for the county recorder, auditor, and treasurer are being added to the main lobby of the county complex so the public can drop off documents if necessary. County-owned parking facilities near the courthouse will be free for the time being to assist employees and facilitate a quick and easy drop-off of documents for the public.

Franklin County Auditor Update - Though our public counters are closed because of health concerns for both customers and staff, the office remains open as we continue to conduct business online, via the mail, or by phone. If you have an application, a filing or other business with our office, rest assured that we are working hard behind those closed counters to process them as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Your Auditor’s office wants to be a community resource during these difficult times, helping residents with any issues or concerns they may be experiencing. To help, the office has created a new Community Resources web page with updated information for residents on unemployment services, area food pantries, soup kitchens, grocery stores, and free lunches for students who are now sequestered at home. Our goal is to be a resource that Franklin County residents can turn to in the midst of this public health emergency.

Franklin County Recorder Update

Delaware County Auditor - Auditor George Kaitsa
The Auditor’s office is currently closed to the general public. However, deed transfers and conveyances are being processed. The documents can be mailed in or deposited in the Auditor’s drop box located inside the entrance to the Hayes Building (145 N. Union Street). No cash transactions will accepted. Individual checks should be included for the conveyance, Auditor, and Recorder fees. For questions regarding the amount of the conveyance fee for a transfer, individuals can call (740) 833-2900 for assistance.

Mailed property valuation complaints must be postmarked by Mar. 31to be considered. In addition to mailing, property valuation complaints can be emailed as an attachment to an email or faxed (740) 833-2899.

Delaware County Recorder Update - Recorder Melissa Jordan

Union County Auditor Update

Union County Recorder Update 

Pickaway County Auditor - Office temporarily closed to the public. In order to protect my staff and attempt to follow state and federal guidelines to slow the progress of COVID-19, the Pickaway County Auditor's Office will be closed to the public until further notice. Beginning on Monday, Mar. 23, 2020 we are asking that all Auditor's Office business be taken care of by mail, email, or phone. If you must drop something off, there will be a drop box outside of our office in the Pickaway County Courthouse to do so during business hours. If you think you absolutely need to speak to someone face to face or have something in our office that needs picked up, please call (740) 474-4765 before you come. Thank you for your patience and cooperation as we try to work through this public health crisis.

Madison County Auditor Update

Madison County Recorder - Open and conducting business as usual. We continue to process documents in our office and all search stations are open to the public and title companies
Our office is sanitized each morning and afternoon, each search station is sanitized after each use. Please call the Auditor’s office (740) 852-9717 for how they are handling documents. If you have any questions please call our office (740) 852-1854 or email recorder@co.madison.oh.us.

What Ohio's 'Stay at Home' Order means for real estate by Peg Ritenour, VP Legal Services, Ohio REALTORS® - Please take the time to read this important information; it’s not business as usual!

Ohio lawmakers move primary election, pass coronavirus relief package (Cleveland.Com) - The Ohio General Assembly on Wednesday unanimously approved a sweeping coronavirus response package that includes extending mail-in primary voting until Apr. 28, granting permission for high schools to allow seniors to graduate, freezing school-voucher eligibility, and banning water utilities from disconnecting service. Cleveland.com’s Jeremy Pelzer and Andrew J. Tobias have the details on the legislation, which was worked out in advance by legislative leaders from both parties, as well as Gov. Mike DeWine.

What NAR is doing for REALTORS/self-employed/small business by Pete Kopf & Ohio REALTORS® - NAR’s Federal Advocacy team has been working nonstop with policy makers in Washington -- with Congress and the Administration -- to ensure the interests of REALTORS and their clients are protected in any federal action in response to COVID-19. We’ve focused specifically on advocating for self-employed and small business relief in every emergency response package and will continue to do so as more proposals are considered. Read the article. FAQ resource.

NAR Legal FAQs about Coronavirus

Coronavirus Advocacy FAQs: RE Transactions, Independent Contractors and NAR Grants

U.S. Dept. of Labor Guidance - information on the leave included in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The FFCRA imposes new family sick leave requirements on certain employers for the employee’s own health needs or to care for family members, with tax credits to reimburse small businesses and self-employed to cover the leave. The guidance – provided in a Fact Sheet for Employees, Fact Sheet for Employers and a Questions and Answers document – tries to address questions, such as how an employer must count the number of their employees to determine coverage; how small businesses may begin to obtain an exemption; how to count hours for part-time employees; and how to calculate the wages employees are entitled to under this law. This guidance is not all-inclusive of every question or situation and is only the first round of resources to be provided.

How the $2T coronavirus stimulus will affect you and the economy (USA Today) - The Senate reached a deal on a sweeping $2 trillion stimulus package Wednesday that extends an extraordinary lifeline to Americans in virtually every circumstance who have been affected by the coronavirus – workers, the unemployed, the self-employed and contractors. The House is expected to pass the measure by consent or Voice Vote on Friday, which would not require lawmakers to return to Washington. 

 If you'd like to receive the weekly email, please contact, Brent Swander, Vice President of Government Affairs. 

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