2014 Legislative Session

Click here for the status and summary of all legislative bills tracked by HBAG's Government Affairs Committee during the current legislative session.


Why We Care

The Home Builders Association of Georgia is dedicated to serving the housing industry and providing expanding opportunities for all consumers to have safe, decent and affordable housing.  

For more information or questions about any of these Bills or the HBAG Government Affairs Committee, please contact one of HBAG's GAC Team:

Kelly Lass
Executive Vice President
Austin Hackney
GAC Director   
klass@hbag.org or 404-763-2453 ext. 21 
ahackney@hbag.org or 404-763-2453 ext. 15

 

2012 Session of the Georgia General Assembly

This report provides a summary on a few of the key pieces of legislation HBAG was involved in during the 2012 Legislative Session.

 

HB 110 Creates Vacant Property Registries

After a yearlong battle with the Georgia Municipal Association (GMA) and the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG), HB 110 passed the legislature and has been sent to the Governor’s office. If local governments choose to adopt local property registration ordinances, they now must adhere to narrow state standards provided for in HB 110. The bill does not mandate property registration. Conversely, it restricts local governments’ ability to go beyond the limitations set forth in the bill if they attempt to require the registration of vacant or foreclosed property. Vacant property is defined as property for human habitation that is legally unoccupied a minimum of 60 days with no evidence of utility usage. It was amended on the Senate to eliminate a grandfather clause for vacant property registration ordinances currently on the books. Additionally, the maximum fee for registration has been set at $100.00 per property, and the bill will prohibit local governments from requiring any other provisions not set forth in the bill. HB 110 creates a true statewide standard for vacant and foreclosed property registration.

 

SB 284 Georgia Land Bank Act

In collaboration with local governments, and the Georgia Association of Realtors (GAR), HBAG worked to pass SB 284 which broadens Georgia’s Land Bank laws. Land Banks are quasi-governmental agencies that purchase dilapidated properties with the intent of reinvestment and community improvement. Land Banks have the ability to wipe out tax liens and often purchase properties that have tax debts that exceed the fair market value of the property. HBAG successfully removed a provision that said if a Land Bank bids on a property, the Land Bank would win the bid even if a private investor put in a higher bid. Also, a provision was added to say that Land Banks must go through the same process as the private sector to quiet a title to property. Again, this protects property owners and ensures that Land Banks and the private sector have an equal opportunity to purchase properties.

 

SB 448 Small Business Borrowers Protection Act

Construction loans are often transferred to a successor creditor that, in some instances, purchases the original loan for pennies on the dollar. The creditor then seeks a full recovery on the loan from the guarantor and also forecloses on the assets that secured the original loan. Georgia ranks number one (1) in the nation for bank failures. Many believe this trend will continue with the FDIC closing more Georgia banks in the future. These failures have resulted in many loans in Georgia ending up in the hands of “vulture investors”. SB 448 was introduced to address this issue, by limiting the amount that successor creditors can collect from the original creditor to the amount they paid for the loan plus interest. The bill flew out of the Senate but ran into stiff opposition in the House. As originally introduced, SB 448 had retroactive application. After many hours of hearings in the House Banks and Banking Committee, an amended version was passed that was not retroactive. The House failed to take up the bill on the last day of the session.

 

HB 872 and SB 321 Metals Theft

The final version of both these bills passed within HB 872 which was the result of a conference committee. HBAG was a member of a coalition which worked on this legislation. The bill establishes a statewide database of scrap metal sales for use by law enforcement. It requires metal sellers to have a valid driver’s license along with other information about the metal and the person selling it. Cash payments for most metals are prohibited with payments being made by check or electronic transfer. The bill provides that only licensed contractors may sell air conditioned coils without proof of legal ownership, and there are additional restrictions on the sale of burned or charred wire and cemetery items. The bill also allows law enforcement to confiscate vehicles and tools used by the metal thefts while committing their crimes.

 

HB 932 Sales & Use Tax Withholding Requirements on Non-Resident Subcontractors

Current Georgia law states general contractors are liable up to 4% of payments due the non-resident contractors, but the Department of Revenue Regulation only requires 2% withholding. HB 932 eliminates the up to 4% language and replaces it with a fixed 2% withholding requirement.

 

HB 1948 & SB 1069 

These non-binding resolutions were urging the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) and the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority (GEFA) to set aside the adoption of the Georgia amendments to the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC).

 

HBAG’s positions on legislative proposals are developed under the direction of the Government Affairs Committee (GAC). If you have any questions regarding these bills or any other pieces of legislation, please feel free to contact Suzanne Williams at swilliams@hbag.org or (404) 763-2453.

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