VACo opposes bill to cap liens for unpaid water and sewer bills

January 21, 2020

SB 826 (McDougle) proposes a dollar limit on the lien a locality may place on real estate for unpaid water and sewer bills of tenants or lessees.  Under current law such lien may be “up to three months of delinquent water and sewer charges.” The bill as introduced proposes to cap that amount at $200. VACo, VML and water and waste authorities spoke in opposition to the measure in the Senate Local Government Committee on January 20. The bill was amended in committee to raise the cap to $300 and passed on a 14 t0 1 vote.

SB 826 will be voted on by the full Senate later this week. Contact your Senators Now to Oppose SB 826.

Key Points

    • Placing a dollar limit on the lien for three months of unpaid water and sewer bills will reduce revenues and may result in a fiscal liability to meet debt obligations for capital improvements.
  • To meet potential unfunded liabilities counties will be forced to either appropriate other revenue or raise utility rates.

Key Contacts

Senate of Virginia

VACo Contact: Joe Lerch, AICP

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