Below are summaries of selected bills pending in the Georgia General Assembly. Any of the bills may be viewed at the General Assembly’s website at http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/en-US/Search.aspx.
Conservation Easement Property
House Bill 102 would provide that any action for title by prescription to, or private way by prescription over, any real property subject to a conservation easement unlimited in duration and recorded by the nongovernmental holder in accordance with the Georgia Uniform Conservation Easement Act must be brought within four years after recording of the easement; provided, that such action shall be barred entirely if the prescriptive title or private way does not ripen prior to the recording of the easement.
Unauthorized Cutting of Timber; Processioning
House Bill 135 would set a statute of limitations of six years on claims for unauthorized cutting and removal of timber, delete the statutory provisions relating to processioning, require an owner to clearly mark clearly any timber harvest area, protect from liability an owner who complies with the marking requirement and specify the means of calculating damages.
Georgia Forest Land Protection Act of 2008
House Bill 95 would make changes to the ad valorem taxation of forest land conservation use property.
House Bill 64 would revise O.C.G.A. § 13-1-11(a)(2) to provide that if a note or other evidence of indebtedness provides for the payment of reasonable attorney’s fees without specifying any specific percent, the provision shall be construed to mean an amount found by the court to be reasonable and necessary for asserting the rights of the aggrieved party.
House Bill 117 would revise O.C.G.A. §48-7-128, relating to withholding tax on sale or transfer of real property and associated tangible personal property by nonresidents, to add a new paragraph to specify that the person or entity identified as the seller on the settlement statement shall be considered the seller for all purposes regarding that Code section, including, but not limited to, executing and delivering to the buyer or transferee all documents pertaining to the withholding requirements.
Vacant Property or Foreclosure Registries
House Bill 110 would add a new code section authorizing counties or municipalities to establish “vacant property registries” or “foreclosure registries” and establishing requirements for such registries.
Transfer Fee Covenant
House Bill 129 would prohibit so-called “transfer fee covenants” subject to certain exceptions for condominium and property owners’ associations.
Tenancies by the Entirety
Senate Bill 28 would provide for a married couple’s holding title in Georgia in tenancy-by-the-entireties, subject to certain qualifications.