Fee Waiver Helps Keep Homes From Tax Sale

MACo Associate Director Barbara Zektick testified in support of SB 466, Estates and Trusts – Administration of Estates – Waiver of Fees in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee. The bill is intended to help prevent from going to tax sale properties inherited by indigent heirs.

MACo representatives learned from serving on the Task Force to Study Tax Sales this year that often, homeowners inherit their residence from deceased family members – but cannot afford to probate the estate and transfer the property into their name, because of fees assessed by the Registers of Wills. Because of this, the homeowner misses out on financial assistance opportunities, and may not receive property tax and water bills from the county. The home ends up on tax sale rolls as a result – something counties would like to prevent wherever possible.

From MACo’s testimony:

Counties support this bill as a “good government,” wise approach to prevent properties from unnecessarily going to tax sale. Tax sale serves as an effective means of collection and one of last resort. However, it benefits everyone to make sure that the record owner of the property is correct, so that counties can provide notice of moneys owed and assistance to their residents effectively.

Follow MACo’s advocacy on bills coming out of the Task Force to Study Tax Sales, and other bills affecting local taxes and revenues, here.