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HB 0204 - Property Tax Bills - Not to Include Other Fees on Tax Bill
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Tracking Level: Oppose
Sponsor: Brett Harrell (R)
Last Action: 1/8/2018 - Senate Recommitted
House Committee: Ways & Means
Senate Committee: Finance
Assigned To:
Larry RamseyNext Bill
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Staff Analysis of the Legislation

As amended by the author before the Senate Finance Committee, this bill would prohibit the placement on property tax bills of nontax-related fees and assessments, unless that fee or assessment is established via the creation of a special tax district. Regardless of method of establishment of such fees, however, this bill would prohibit the filing of liens against property for nonpayment of fees or assessments -- only unpaid property taxes could result in a lien. As a result, this bill would indirectly repeal existing law authorizing the filing of liens for unpaid sanitation and water fees/bills.

While the bill’s author maintains that placing such fees on property tax bills exposes the property owner to potential liens and losing of their homes due to unpaid fees, examples of that happening have not been provided. 

In contrast, placing fees on property tax bills provides convenience to citizens, lowers counties’ administrative costs, and results in higher collection rates. Because experience has shown that billing fees separately can significantly impact collections, counties could be faced with either raising fees for those who do pay in order to continue providing vital services, or shift those fees to property taxes. In addition, for those counties that currently do include fees on property tax bills, separating those billings will likely result in substantial administrative costs. More importantly, the loss of the ability to file liens would mean that counties would have to sue citizens for unpaid fees or raise fees on those citizens who do pay their bills.

ACCG believes that the decision on whether to bill separately or collectively for taxes and fees is best left to local officials, who are better positioned to respond to the specific desires of their citizens.

 As amended in the Senate Finance Committee, the above subject was removed and replaced with unrelated language exempting non-profit organizations from the $5 transporation surcharge for hotel/motel stays.


Bill Summary from the State Site - Click for the State Summary Page / Click for Current Full Text






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