MACo Requests Reasonable Flexibility for Short-Term Lease Notice Requirements

MACo Policy Associate Drew Jabin testified in support of SB 544 Charter and Code Home Rule Counties – County Property Leases – Notice Exemptions before the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee. This bill enables charter and code home rule counties to enter into leases without giving notice if the lease is not renewable and has a term of five years or less.

From the MACo Testimony:

The central tenet of the bill is sound – a short term, non-renewable lease should not trigger the full slate of public transparency requirements as a complete and permanent disposition of publicly owned property.

Under current law, before a charter or code home rule county makes any disposition, grant, or lease of county property, the county must publish notice of the disposition, grant, or lease once a week for 3 successive weeks in at least one newspaper of general circulation. The notice must include the terms and the compensation to be received and give opportunity for objections.

The number of local papers has declined over time, leaving local governments with few options. Some local papers may transition to online-only offerings, leaving a jurisdiction with no printed newspaper in which to publish notices. Further, requiring counties to publish public notices for short-term leases is expensive, time consuming, and inefficient.

Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2021 legislative session on MACo’s Legislative Tracking Database.