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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: February 10, 2017 01:53 PM
From: Representative Mark K. Keller
To: All House members
I invite you to co-sponsor my legislation that will assure property owners will be held responsible for their property maintenance responsibilities regardless of tax delinquent status.

In the 2002 Commonwealth Court case, Commonwealth v Sprock, the court held that because a delinquent property exposed at tax sale, but not sold, was held in trust by the tax claim bureau, the tax claim bureau was the owner for the purpose of the local municipality’s nuisance ordinance. Consequently, district justices are dismissing nuisance charges against property owners, due to this case.

My legislation amends the Real Estate Tax Sale Law to prevent a delinquent property owner from using county trustee status, acknowledged by Sprock, as a defense to an ordinance enforcement action. The bill provides that a county still has the option to access the delinquent property to maintain it; however, such maintenance is not an affirmative duty of a county.

Please consider cosponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as HB1814