SB 5546



BYSenators Lee and Smitherman



Authorizing counties, cities, and towns to require relocation assistance for low-income tenants.



Senate Committee on Economic Development & Labor


      Senate Hearing Date(s):February 21, 1989


      Senate Staff:David Cheal (786-7576)



                            AS OF FEBRUARY 21, 1989




Present statutes prohibit counties, cities, and towns, or other municipal corporations from imposing any tax or fee on the construction or improvement of buildings or the development of lands, unless specifically authorized.


The State Supreme Court has held that an ordinance that has as its primary purpose to provide a public benefit and not to regulate is a tax.  The Supreme Court has also held that a municipal corporation has no authority to levy taxes other than when expressly granted by statute.


Counties, cities, towns, or municipal corporations that require relocation assistance to tenants, in return for approval of development that reduces low income housing, may need expressed statutory authority.




Counties, cities, towns, or municipal corporations (governmental bodies) may require that property owners who demolish, rehabilitate, or change the use of residential structures, provide relocation assistance to tenants.  The requirement for relocation payments applies only to very low- or low-income tenants except in the case of a condominium conversion.


Very low-income tenants mean tenants whose household income is at or less than 40 percent of the median income, adjusted for family size, in the county where the tenant resides.


Low-income tenant means tenants whose household income is less than 60 percent but greater than 40 percent of the median income, adjusted for family size, in the county the tenant resides.


The governmental bodies are required to provide a reasonable notice to the public and hold a public hearing on the proposed demolition, substantial rehabilitation, or change of use of the residential structure.  The relocation assistance is based on reasonable tenant expenses including, but not limited to: (1) actual physical moving costs and expenses; (2) first and last month's rent and security deposits for a new residence; (3) utility connection fees and deposits; and (4) the difference between the existing rent and utilities and the new rent and utilities for a one-year period.


The governmental bodies that require tenant relocation assistance must adopt policies, procedures, or regulations regarding relocation assistance.  This must include provisions for administrative hearings to resolve disputes related to relocation assistance, between tenants and property owners within 30 days.


Tenants moving into a dwelling unit after proper notification by the property owner that tenants will have to move due to demolition, substantial rehabilitation, or change of residential property are not eligible for tenant relocation assistance.


Appropriation:    none


Revenue:    none


Fiscal Note:      none requested