TELL YOUR LEGISLATOR TO END RECORDING FEE ABUSE

Sep 21, 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 9 session days remaining for this bill to get through the House and on to the Governor’s desk. 

Contact Your State Representative TODAY. Scroll down for a sample letter you can email to your Pennsylvania legislator.

Ask for a Yes Vote on 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. The Bill was reported out of the House Urban Affairs Committee on September 21, 2016 by a vote of 19-2. 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. But powerful 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 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 to indicate my support for Senate Bill 1282. As you may know, this bi-partisan  bill, as amended, was voted out of the House Urban Affairs Committee on September 21st by a vote of 19-2 after having passed the Senate in June by a vote of 48-2. 

This bill is designed to eliminate the exorbitant fees currently being charged by many Recorder of Deeds offices throughout the Commonwealth for the recording of an amendment to a declaration governing the affairs of our condominiums, planned communities and cooperatives. Under existing statutory law, all amendments to a community association's declaration must be recorded in the name of the association in the grantor and grantee indexes in the County Recorder of Deeds office. However, contrary to that State law, many Recorder of Deeds offices are now requiring those amendments to be indexed against each and every parcel or unit located within the association. In those counties which have adopted a “per parcel” recording fee, the fee may be as high as $10 or $15 per home in the community association. The result? Our Pennsylvania community associations have been forced to pay thousands of dollars in fees for the filing of even simple two to three page amendments to their declarations. 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. And the list goes on and on.

As these fees bear no reasonable relationship to the actual costs associated with the recording of declaration amendments, they are nothing more than an unjustified and illegal tax on our community associations. County government is not, and must not be, in the business of generating profits on the backs of homeowners.

On behalf of the over one million homeowners who live in thousands of community associations throughout the Commonwealth, I respectfully request your support for SB 1282 when it comes to a vote in the House of Representatives. Thank you for your consideration of this request.

Very truly yours,

 

 

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