The Self Storage Association and affiliated state associations have had a busy year legislatively, with activity in more than half of the states. Our legislative successes include significant lien law modernizations in Iowa, New Hampshire, Montana, and West Virginia; the passage of tenant insurance bills in seven states; and the defeat of harmful bills in Illinois, Nebraska, and New York.
The map above shows the states that had or have legislation directly affecting the self storage industry in 2019. The SSA’s full legislative report is below. Please email Joe Doherty with any questions about 2019 or suggested legislative targets for 2020.
Government Affairs Report through mid-July 2019
California – Ballot measure in LA Unified School District to impose a parcel tax of $0.16 per habitable square feet of improved property defeated on June 4.
Florida – Tax bill signed by Governor DeSantis reducing tax on commercial rents from 5.5% to 5.3%, effective January 1, 2020.
Georgia – Late fee bill signed by Governor Kemp.
Hawaii - Insurance bill became law in July without the Governor’s signature.
Illinois – Defeated bill that would require commercial building owners to provide income and expense data to the county assessor’s office annually.
Iowa – Lien bill addressing all items signed by Governor Reynolds.
Mississippi – Insurance bill signed by Governor Bryant.
Montana – Lien bill addressing email and verified mail signed by Governor Bullock.
Nebraska – Defeated bill that would have established a statewide sales tax on self storage rents.
Nevada – Insurance bill signed by Governor Sisolak.
New Hampshire – Lien bill addressing email, towing, late fee safe harbor, contractual value limitation, and online auctions signed by Gov. Sununu.
New Mexico - Insurance bill signed by Governor Grisham.
New York – Defeated bill that would have tripled the amount of time before enforcing a lien.
North Dakota – Insurance bill signed by Governor Burgum.
Oklahoma – Insurance bill signed by Governor Stitt.
Virginia – Lien bill addressing online auctions signed by Governor Northam.
West Virginia – Lien bill addressing all items signed by Governor Justice.
West Virginia – Insurance bill signed by Governor Justice.
New York – Lien bill to address verified mail, email, and contractual value limitation signed by Governor Cuomo. Bill also extends the payment demand from 10 days to 30 days.
Still active – offensive measures
Ohio – Lien bill addressing email, online auctions, and towing. Bill passed the House. Awaiting a committee hearing in the Senate.
Pennsylvania – Secured bill sponsor and awaiting introduction of a lien bill to address newspaper advertising, late fee safe harbor, and online auctions.
Vermont – Insurance regulation to authorize the sale of tenant insurance. Awaiting public comment period for the regulation.
Wisconsin – Working on introduction of an insurance bill.
Negative legislation – passed
Illinois – Law imposes statewide tax of 9% on the use of parking spaces in “parking areas or garages.” This bill almost certainly applies to outdoor vehicle parking at self storage facilities. It is unclear whether it applies to parking or storage of vehicles in enclosed storage units. We are working with the state Department of Revenue to mitigate the bill’s effects on self storage facilities.
Still active - defensive measures
California – Opposed bill that would provide employees with the “right to live wherever the employee chooses”. Successfully advocated for revised language to provide a safe harbor when “living in employer-provided housing is agreed upon as a lawful condition of employment and living on the premises is customary or necessary to the duties of employment.”
Miami-Dade County, Fla. – Proposed ordinance regulating the paint colors and fenestration requirements of storage facilities. Proposed ordinance has been deferred “to no date certain”. SSA and our local lobbyist continue to monitor.
New Jersey – Opposing bill that would prevent fee shifting to the consumer in consumer arbitrations. Passed the Assembly and awaiting a hearing in the Senate.
Washington – Opposing bill that would double the amount of time before enforcing a lien. Bill did not receive a hearing before the deadline but will carry over to the 2020 legislative session.
To revisit in future legislative sessions
Alabama – Lien bill
addressing all items. Passed the Senate unanimously. House failed to vote on the bill prior to adjourning.
California – Bill
to extend sunset provision and to relax standards for confirming delivery of lien notices sent by email. Will be revisited in the 2020 legislative session.
Connecticut – Insurance bill. Passed committee but full Senate refused to vote on the bill when the Insurance Department objected to any limited licensing for storage facilities.
Florida – Lien bill to allow alternatives to newspaper advertising. Passed House but Senate refused to hold a hearing.
Idaho – Bill to address all lien items. Passed House but Senate refused to hold a hearing.
Tennessee – Lien bill to allow for alternatives to newspaper advertising. Will be revisited in the 2020 legislative session, if we request a hearing.
Texas – Lien bill addressing towing. Passed House but Senate refused to hold a hearing.