March 7, 2014

Have Bazooka - will travel and the Common Good



You get the picture. Thus, when the phrase “Have Bazooka – Will Travel” is applied to the legislative process, we all need to speak up about the impact of what could become a bad law.  Such is the case with House Bill 2620.  It contains a total prohibition on the ability of a city or a county to require real property to be registered.  In all fairness, there has been an attempt by several cities and towns, particularly in Florida to impose onerous annual registration fees on real property that is vacant or that appears to be vacant, without regard to how well it is maintained.

Unfortunately, Oklahoma’s HB 2620 is a classic example of trying to perform eye surgery with a hacksaw.  The bill not only totally prohibits registration anywhere in the state, but also invalidates statewide all registration requirements that are already on the books.  For instance, many cities and counties require storm shelters and safe rooms to be registered so that after a tornado, emergency workers and police officers will know where to check to make certain that residents are not trapped in shelters by fallen trees or storm debris.  HB 2620 voids that registration.

Many cities require that owners of commercial buildings register their buildings and provide a floor plan with the locations where people may be working or, in the interest of firefighter safety, where chemicals or materials of an explosive or noxious nature might be stored.  HB 2620 voids that registration.

Many cities require that when a loan on a property goes into default, the mortgage company registers the name, address and phone number of the contact person with the mortgage company who is in charge of a property, so that if storm damage, vandalism, or weeds and trash accumulate, contact may be made quickly to alleviate the problem and prevent neighbors from having their property values damaged.  HB 2620 voids that registration.

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