MACo Associate Director Natasha Mehu testified to withdrawing opposition to SB 809 after the sponsor, Senator Muse, introduced amendments to remove the onerous and unnecessary requirements on local governments when areas of common ownership communities are subject to a sale.
Mehu’s written testimony to the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee on the bill as it was originally introduced stated,
SB 809 would require the local governing body of a county to give at least a 30-day notice to each unit or lot owner in a condominium or homeowners association before any sale of a common area – including a tax sale – may proceed. It also requires the county to give notice to the same individuals whenever a tax lien is imposed on a common area of the association. This greatly expands the notice provision. It also undermines the essential nature of the incorporated common ownership community as the responsible party for the property, which is its essential cause for being.
Determining which properties are within an association to comply with this bill would be onerous, if not impossible for local governments. County tax offices do not have a direct means of determining the property ownership and assessment information. The State Department of Assessments & Taxation (SDAT) is responsible for such information. The information counties receive from SDAT is largely limited to the ownership record and a brief legal description. It would not include a listing of properties within the association nor a breakdown of which properties are considered a common area. The data may not always be accurate, providing no guarantee of successfully determining ownership.
The amendments proposed by the sponsor remove local governments from the bill and leaves it to the governing body of the common ownership community to make the necessary notifications.
Click here to view MACo’s testimony on SB 809.