2017 Legislative Highlights

Blighted Properties

House Bill 434 passed on the final day of the Session and requires a local government to demonstrate in Superior Court that a property is blighted before it can take action through eminent domain.  Once that step is complete, the property can then be put back into the market, but can only be used for the same legal use that existed for a period of five years.  In other words, a group of single family dwellings cannot become a strip mall.  They must each remain as single family homes.

Third Party Deed Solicitation

House Bill 197 requires that any third party deed solicitation disclose that it is not official government correspondence and is purely a third party solicitation.

Stream Buffers

Senate Resolution 152 has established a joint study committee to find a solution to determining Georgia’s stream buffers.  This means that a combined House and Senate committee will conduct hearings over the off months to review the issue and develop legislation for 2018.

GREC License Law Update

House Bill 39 gives greater authority to the Georgia Real Estate Commission in making decision on revoking and sanctioning of licenses based on certain criminal convictions.

Solar Power Exception – Land Conservation Tax Status

House Bill 238 permits up to six acres of land held under land conservation use to be used to generate solar power without jeopardizing the tax status of the entire tract of land.

State of Emergency Assistance

House Bill 251 permits prison labor to be used to assist clean-up efforts in times of emergency, but only at the property owner’s request.

POST SESSION

On November 27, 2017, through a joint meeting of the House Ways & Means and Senate Finance Committees, the Georgia Department of Revenue was stopped from implementing Proposed Rule 560-6-2.  That rule would have required home owners obtain a tax clearance certificate before being able to record a deed.