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Monday, July 13, 2020
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SSA Blog

©2020 by the Self Storage Association (SSA). SSA and SSA Magazine are trademarks of the Self Storage Association, Inc. Opinions expressed by authors and other contributors do not necessarily reflect those of the SSA, publisher or editors, nor do they represent the policy or positions of the SSA. Information contained within articles should not be construed as the primary basis for legal or investment decisions.

18

A Busy 2020 for SSA Legislative Activity

posted on
A Busy 2020 for SSA Legislative Activity

Offensive Measures:

 

Alabama:

The SSA and AL-SSA support Senate Bill 74. This addresses all of SSA’s lien law priorities, including verified mail, email, towing, late fees, alternative advertising methods, contractual value limitation, and online lien sales.

 

 

California:

The SSA and CSSA support Assembly Bill 325. Under the existing self storage lien law, storage operators are permitted to send lien notices by electronic mail, subject to the conditions imposed by the statute, until January 1, 2021. This bill would lift the “sunset” for email and create an additional method of showing that the tenant received the lien notice by email. The bill has passed the Assembly and is awaiting further action in the Senate.

 

Florida:

The SSA and FSSA support House Bill 7 and Senate Bill 1340. Both bills would allow storage operators to advertise lien sales online rather than only in the newspaper. Members are encouraged to call or email their state representatives and state senators and ask for them to support these bills. You can find your state representatives and state senators by clicking here.

The SSA and FSSA also support further reductions in the state’s commercial lease tax. Based on current budget discussions, it appears that the tax will be reduced from 5.5% to 5.4%.

 

Idaho:

IDSSA and SSA support Senate Bill 1264.  This addresses most of SSA’s lien law priorities, including alternatives to certified mail, towing, late fees, reduction to the required newspaper advertisements from two to one, contractual value limitation, and online lien sales.

 

Iowa:

The SSA supports House Study Bill 592 to permit operators to sell tenant insurance to their customers.

 

Kansas:

The SSA and KSSOA supports House Bill 2454. This bill would allow for alternatives to the newspaper advertising requirement, provide statutory protection for contractual value limitations, and expressly permit online lien sales. The SSA hoped to include a towing provision, but it raised concern from some legislators. As a result, the towing provision was scrapped to permit the other improvements to move forward.

 

Mississippi:

The SSA and MSSOA are supporting a bill that addresses all of the SSA’s lien law priorities, including verified mail, email, towing, late fees, alternative advertising methods, contractual value limitation, and online lien sales. The bill will be introduced in February 2020.

 

New Hampshire:

The SSA and NHSSA support Senate Bill 577 to permit operators to sell tenant insurance to their customers.

 

New Mexico:

SSA and NMSSA have begun discussions with the legislature, Governor’s office, and Taxation & Revenue Department to resolve issues regarding the taxability of rental payments for outdoor, unenclosed parking spaces. A state administrative hearing officer recently found that such payments are taxable. The owner in that matter has appealed the administrative decision to the New Mexico Court of Appeals.

 

Ohio:

SSA and OH-SSA support House Bill 172, which would allow storage operators to send lien notices exclusively by email, expressly permit online lien sales, and clarify the standards for towing a vehicle when a tenant is at least 60 days past due.  The bill passed the full House and is awaiting a vote in the Senate Transportation Committee. Ohio owners and operators are encouraged to call or email their Senators to ask for their support.

 

Pennsylvania:

SSA and PASSA support House Bill 1756. If passed, the bill would reduce the required number of newspaper advertisements; would set a late fee safe harbor of $20 or 20% of the monthly rent, whichever is greater; would expressly allow for online lien sales; and would reduce the time that must elapse before denying access to a delinquent tenant. The SSA is working with committee staff and Governor’s office to address concerns related to the denial of access timeline. 

 

Rhode Island:

The SSA supports a bill to permit operators to sell tenant insurance to their customers. We expect the bill to be introduced in February.

 

South Carolina:

The SSA supports Senate Bill 1041, which would make three changes to the lien law. It would expressly permit online lien sales; would set a late fee safe harbor of $20 or 20 percent, whichever is greater; and would allow for alternative methods of advertising lien sales. The SSA also supports House Bill 5151, which addresses online lien sales and alternative methods of advertising.

 

Vermont:

The SSA and VT-SSA worked with the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation to authorize self storage operators and their employees to sell self storage insurance to their customers. The Department’s final rules for selling this insurance will take effect within the next few months.  Most importantly, facilities that sell insurance will be required to hold a simplified insurance license, and all facility employees will work under that license. More information will be forthcoming regarding how operators may obtain a license to sell insurance to their tenants.

 

The SSA and the VT-SSA support House Bill 606. This bill addresses all of the SSA’s lien law priorities, including verified mail, email, towing, late fees, alternative advertising methods, contractual value limitation, and online lien sales. The full Vermont House of Representatives passed the bill in late January. The Senate is expected to consider the bill in March.

 

Defensive Measures:

 

California:

The SSA and CSSA are working with a coalition of California businesses to defeat a ballot initiative to roll back Proposition 13. If the ballot initiative were successful, county assessors would split their tax rolls into two lists. Homeowners and some small businesses would still receive the full Prop. 13 benefits: a 1% tax based on a property’s purchase price, annual tax increases of no more than 2%, and reassessment only upon a change in ownership. Commercial and industrial property owners would be reassessed to current fair market value every three years.

 

Economists have estimated that “split roll” will generate an additional $10-$12 billion in tax revenue from commercial and industrial property owners at the first reassessment. Although split roll will particularly hurt long-time property owners, it will also hurt more recent owners by eliminating the protection from abrupt tax increases.

 

To learn more about Proposition 13, please click here.

 

Florida:

The SSA and FSSA are actively opposing a proposed ordinance in Miami that would require all storage operators to provide bulk waste at no cost to the tenant. The proposal also seeks to impose liability on storage operators for dumping done that occurs within a one-mile radius of the facility and that “originated” from the facility.

 

Illinois:

The SSA and IL-SSA are working with the state Department of Revenue (DOR) on regulations implementing the recently passed statewide parking tax. Our objective is to mitigate the effects on storage operators. We will provide further updates when the DOR releases the updated draft regulations.

The SSA and IL-SSA also opposing local sales taxes on self storage rents. We successfully defeated a tax proposal in Evanston in 2019. Please email Joe Doherty if you hear of any efforts to tax self storage rents.

 

Finally, we are also monitoring Senate Bill 1379, which would require self storage owners to provide income and expense data annually to the county assessor’s office.

 

Nebraska:

SSA and NSSOA are tracking several bills that seek to extend the sales tax to services, including self storage rents.

 

Utah:

Utah recently passed a tax overhaul bill during a special session. The bill included a sales tax on several services. Earlier versions of the bill included a new sales tax on self storage; however, the UT-SSA and the SSA were successful in having that provision removed. Unfortunately, the legislature may consider another bill expanding the tax base later in 2020. That is because the legislature is expected to repeal the tax overhaul bill rather than face a voter referendum on this issue. The SSA and UT-SSA will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates.

 

The SSA and UT-SSA are also monitoring House Bill 284, which seeks to eliminate email only as a means of sending lien notices.

 

Washington:

SSA and WA-SSA are monitoring Senate Bill 5957, which seeks to extend the time to enforce a lien.

 

Please email Joe Doherty if you have any questions.

 

 

| Categories: Legal, Operations, Legislative / Regulatory | Tags: Legal, Laws, Advocacy, Self Storage Law, Legislation, Regulations | View Count: (992) | Return
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