Wagner Recording Fee Legislation Heads to Governor’s Desk

HARRISBURG – The legislature has given final approval to Senator Scott Wagner’s (R-York) Senate Bill 1282, which clarifies how a county Recorder of Deeds may charge fees for the recording of amendments to declarations of condominiums, cooperatives, and planned communities.

SB 1282 addresses an issue that has arisen with Recorders of Deeds choosing to assess per parcel fees, rather than a single fee for an association to file an amendment.

“We have associations seeing sudden increases of thousands of dollars in unjustified recording fees. In one county, an association was charged nearly $13,000 for filing a six-page amendment,” stated Wagner. “This legislation protects taxpayers by ensuring that recording fees are fair and reflect the actual work required rather than being a tool for county government to raise revenue.”

Current law requires an amendment to a declaration for such communities to be recorded in every county where the association is located and to be indexed in the name of the association in the grantor and grantee indexes.

SB 1282 requires counties using a Uniform Parcel Index (UPI) system to assign each association a master parcel number, which would be used for indexing amendments. Only if an association specifically requests the amendment to be filed under each unit’s UPI, can the county charge a per parcel fee.

“These per parcel indexing fees are becoming increasingly excessive and are statutorily unnecessary,” noted Wagner. “A fee is intended to cover administrative and procedural costs, not be a revenue generator for the county.  Also, once the declaration amendment is filed against the association’s master parcel, it provides sufficient notice of the recording upon every unit in the condominium, cooperative or planned community.”

SB 1282 is the result of a bipartisan, bicameral effort. As Chairman of the Senate Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, Wagner worked with Rep. Tom Caltagirone, who introduced companion legislation in the House, in order to eliminate a burden on homeowners within community associations.

The legislation now goes to Governor Wolf for his signature.

CONTACT: Erin K. Marsicano, 717-787-3817, emarsicano@pasen.gov