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assessors in the determination of taxes due on personal property. Both of these bills require additional clarifications and will be on the agenda next session. Missouri Focus: Taney Property Tax Fix In 2007, the Taney County (Branson) Assessor attempted to reclassify virtually all timeshare property from residential to commercial, resulting in property tax increases of up to 100 percent. With ARDA support, member resorts in Taney County successfully appealed these assessments and received an acceptable resolution before the Board of Equalization. Earlier this year, the assessor put the issue into play again with letters to timeshare properties, indicating they would be reclassified as commercial unless they presented evidence to establish their residential use. While some resorts appear to have addressed the issue, the situation remains unresolved. There is also activity on the property tax front at the state level. Both an interim committee on property tax and the Joint Committee on Tax Policy held meetings this past summer to address various issues related to Missouri’s system. ARDA representatives are engaged with legislators involved in this process and continue to work to protect owners from new or increased taxes. The focus on property tax issues may also provide an opportunity to adopt a fix for the issues faced in Taney County. focus is the state’s proposed Utah Common Interest Association law. The current version of this 2010 priority bill protects ARDA’s position, and we will work to bring this to conclusion next session. Following the legislative session, the Utah Department of Real Estate indicated it would begin to redraft all timeshare rules in the state that lapsed in 2008. ARDA has already been in contact with department staff and will be working with them on the new rules, although the department has yet to begin this process. Utah Avoids Repeal of Non-Judicial Foreclosure With the 2009 session over, the ARDA-Rockies Committee has again successfully fought proposed changes to condominium and community association provisions that would have eliminated the ability for timeshare HOAs to pursue a non-judicial foreclosure process on uncontested lien assessments. The new Successful South Carolina Legislative Efforts The ARDA-Carolinas Committee was active throughout the legislative session, working with legislators and staff alike to amend legislation that would create new regulations for all homeowners associations (including timeshare homeowners associations) and legislation that would affect closing procedures relating to whole ownership condominiums. ARDA-Carolinas lobbyists were instrumental in obtaining amendments to HB 3123, which pertained to the unauthorized practice of law. The amendments were helpful in protecting the timeshare industry by decreasing the likelihood that the Attorney General could prosecute a timeshare developer for the unauthorized practice of law for following the timeshare closing procedures, as outlined in the ARDA-Carolinas sponsored legislation enacted in 2006. Finally, the committee worked diligently to ensure the defeat of legislation that was introduced to impose a sales tax on the occupancy of a timeshare unit by someone other than the actual timeshare owner. D Jason C. Gamel, Esq., is vice president of ARDA state government affairs in Orlando. His e-mail is jgamel@arda.org. “When we decided it was time to tackle the non-judicial issue in Massachusetts, [what was] clear was the challenge of the task, considering the vast, liberal, slow-moving, and Byzantine nature of the Massachusetts political and regulatory environment. Add to this bureaucratic background that more than 9,000 bills have been filed for consideration in this two-year legislative session, and that our bill seeks to make foreclosures easier in the context of the current national home mortgage crisis, and one can truly appreciate how amazing it is that we are cautiously optimistic that our bill will be passed….Through countless planning sessions, redrafts, and analyses of the bill—from the selection of the right sponsors and lobbyists and development of education programs for legislators and regulators to the funding requests and presentations to ARDA-ROC board—the ARDA State Affairs team [with the substantial help of ARDA-ROC and AIF research] advanced a complex process with patience, diligence, creativity, and political savvy…. What will ultimately go down as a small legislative victory in a small state should long be remembered as an example of ARDA’s commitment to our industry and our customers, and likewise, the value of our commitment to ARDA and its institutions.” Scott MacGregor Chief Financial Officer InnSeason Resorts Developments • October 2009

October 2009 Developments

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of October 2009 Developments

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