House Resolution Directs Joint State Government Commission To Study Common Interest Ownership Communities in Pennsylvania

October 2009Newsletters In The Zone

Printer Friendly

House Resolution 350, which was adopted on July 2, 2009, directs the Joint State Government Commission to conduct a study on the impact of common interest ownership communities on local governments and the Commonwealth, the challenges facing the residents and governing bodies of the communities and opportunities for the Commonwealth to assist local governments and common interest ownership communities to deliver adequate services to their residents at an affordable cost.

The resolution references information obtained from the Pennsylvania and Delaware Chapter of the Community Associations Institute, which indicates that there are approximately 15,000 common interest ownership communities in the Commonwealth, totaling approximately three million property owners, representing approximately 25 percent of the population. The resolution further notes that common interest ownership communities often provide the same services to their residents that municipalities provide to individuals not living in common interest ownership communities. Therefore, residents of common interest ownership communities often pay twice for the same services: once in the form of assessments paid to the community association and again in the form of municipal taxes. In addition, residents of these communities contribute to state-funded programs that provide infrastructure improvements with their state tax dollars, but the associations of which these residents are members are unable and ineligible to apply for funding under such programs.

As such, the Joint State Government Commission is charged, at a minimum, with determining the following:

  • Number of common interest ownership communities in each county;
  • Number of common interest ownership communities in each municipality;
  • Approximate amount of state taxes paid each year by residents of common interest ownership communities;
  • Approximate amount of local taxes paid each year by residents of common interest ownership communities to each municipality;
  • Amount and age of current infrastructure paid each year by residents of common interest ownership communities;
  • Impact of allowing residents of common interest ownership communities to access state funds for infrastructure improvements; and
  • Whether there are opportunities for the Commonwealth to assist local governments and common interest ownership communities to deliver adequate services to their residents at an affordable cost.

The Joint State Government Commission is required to submit a report outlining its findings and recommendations to the House of Representatives no later than July 2, 2010.

For more information, please contact Kimberly Freimuth at 215.918.3627 or [email protected].