An Unjustified and Illegal Tax on Community Associations

Sep 8, 2016

 

URGENT - CONTACT YOUR STATE REPRESENTATIVE

 

END RECORDING FEE ABUSE IN PENNSYLVANIA

AN UNJUSTIFIED AND ILLEGAL TAX ON COMMUNITY ASSOCIATIONS


Your urgent help is needed to adopt legislation that will reign in skyrocketing recorder of deeds fees that are costing Pennsylvania’s community associations thousands of dollars every year.

There are only 12 session days remaining for this bill to get through the House and on to the Governor’s desk. 

Contact Your State Representative TODAY.

Ask for a Yes Vote on Amendments and Final Adoption of Senate Bill 1282

Under State Statutes governing community associations, all amendments to a community association declaration must be recorded in the county Recorder of Deeds Office. Unfortunately, what has historically been an administrative act at minimal expense, has become a large financial burden. About one third of Pennsylvania’s counties have implemented a requirement to index amendments against each parcel number in the condominium or planned community. The result? Some Pennsylvania community associations have paid thousands of dollars in fees for the legally-required act of recording a simple document. One community association in the Poconos paid $18,000 to record an amendment! Another community association in Montgomery County paid over $8,000 to record an amendment. A Dauphin County community associated was charged $8,300 to record an amendment.

Senate Bill 1282 passed the State Senate at the end of June by a vote of 48-2 and is now awaiting action in the State House after a hearing in Bucks County on July 28. CAI has worked very closely with House Urban Affairs Committee Chairs Scott Petri (R-Bucks County) and Tom Caltagirone (D-Berks County), and their committee staff on the legislation and amendments to end this abusive practice. After a summer of negotiations with county governments that oppose this legislation, and the Pennsylvania Recorders of Deeds Association leadership, CAI has offered a compromise which will correct this and bring recording fees down to reasonable levels. Butpowerful special interests, including a majority of counties and Recorders of Deeds who reap the benefits of this practice, want county governments to be able to continue collecting these outrageous fees and refuse to support the compromise. They are working hard to derail this legislation. 

CAI is urging all members to contact your State Representative TODAY.  Tell him or her that you support SB 1282 and the compromise amendment agreed to by CAI, and urge a yes vote. 

Click here for more information on the Bill and CAI's position

Click here to enter your zip code and find your legislator

Copy and paste the letter below into a document or email to your state representative:

 

Dear State Representative (INSERT NAME)

I am writing to you today in your capacity as a member of the House Urban Affairs Committee to indicate my support for Senate Bill 1282 / House Bill 1101 and a compromise amendment offered by Community Associations Institute (CAI) to resolve this issue.

Under State Statutes governing community associations, all amendments to a community association declaration must be recorded in the county Recorder of Deeds Office. Unfortunately, what has historically been an administrative act at minimal expense, has become a large financial burden. About one third of Pennsylvania’s counties have implemented a requirement to index amendments against each parcel number in the condominium or planned community. For indexing amendments against each parcel number, these counties have adopted a “per parcel” recording fee. In some cases, the fee is as high as $10 or $15 per home in the community association. The result? Some Pennsylvania community associations have paid thousands of dollars in fees for the legally-required act of recording a simple document. One community association in the Poconos paid $18,000 to record an amendment! Another community association in Montgomery County paid over $8,000 to record an amendment. A Dauphin County community associated was charged $8,300 to record an amendment. 

These fees are nothing more than an unjustified and illegal tax on community associations. County government is not in the business of generating profits on the backs of homeowners.

Senate Bill 1282 passed the State Senate at the end of June by a vote of 48-2 and is now awaiting action in the State House after a committee hearing in Bucks County on July 28. After a summer of negotiations with county governments that oppose this legislation, and the Pennsylvania Recorders of Deeds Association leadership, CAI has offered a compromise which will correct this situation and bring recording fees down to reasonable levels.

On behalf of the hundreds of thousands of homeowners who live in thousands of community associations throughout the Commonwealth, I respectfully request your support for SB 1282 / HB 1101 when it comes to a vote in the House of Representatives.

Very truly yours,

 


Please visit our Diamond Sponsors: