- It is a violation of property rights.
- It is an “exit tax” imposed by the City.
Below, Ward four Councilwoman Jane Goodman offers her take on why City Council needs to defend their position: Editorial commentary and points of dispute will appear in the color red:
I’m writing to ask for your input on a few issues before council. I’m also asking that you make your opinion known, preferably by coming to council committee meetings on the issue, or general council meetings, where the public can make comments. A schedule of upcoming meetings is at the end of this post. –Editorial opinion- The opinion of the taxpayer has no bearing on the agenda of this City Council and Administration.-
- The first issue is Point of Sale Inspections. There’s been a lot of incorrect information out there about our proposed legislation, and most of the reactions (including those expressed in the recent Sun Messenger editorial) are based on bad information or misunderstandings. We are proposing that before the sale of a home can be completed the owner would pay (about $175, which would fund the additional personpower and paperwork) for an exterior-only inspection of the house. These inspections would be the same type of exterior inspections we already require, no more and no less. Any objections about inspectors entering homes are baseless, nor is there anything in the legislation about repairs inside the home. -Editorial opinion- But that WILL be the coming attraction to some legislation near you soon.- We will continue to do regular door-to-door inspections, starting the cycle again in 2008 and continuing whether point-of-sale is in place or not, -Editorial opinion- Ok, so why is the City forcing this unnecessary burden on the already overtaxed for what you get in return taxpayer?- and our inspectors will continue to respond to neighbors' complaints and cite high grass and weeds.Our primary reasons for requiring an inspection at point of sale are:
- For homeowners without the funds to make repairs while they live in the house, the time when money is being transferred may be the only time when such funds are available. This addresses the objection that low-income owners or elderly residents can’t afford repairs. -Editorial opinion- Thanks for your concern, but people probably prefer to make their own financial decisions without City intervention.- At sale time, the buyer can assume the responsibility for the repairs, or the seller can use the equity that comes out of the sale to make repairs.
- Too often people sell their home a year or more after the scheduled regular inspection, and in the interim there are new violations that haven’t been addressed. The buyer or seller may hire a private inspector and find out about possible violations, but there is no official city inspection that comes with a requirement to repair them. -Editorial opinion- Again, thanks, but most people are intelligent enough to handle their private negotiations without "big brother".- Other times the buyer pays for a house not knowing that there are violations, then at the next regular inspection he or she learns that repairs are necessary, and the funds may no longer be available. - Editorial opinion- City intervention in personal finances not appreciated.-
- The current trend toward low- or no-money-down sales allows buyers to purchase homes without the funds to fix the house if violations are found later. These homes often get resold quickly, again without repairs being made. What’s left is a rundown property that pulls down the values of the properties around it.
- If violations are found at point of sale, there are various ways that the repairs can be made and paid for:the seller can pay to make the repairs and include the repair cost in the price of the house, or• the buyer or seller, or both, can put funds for repairs in escrow as part of the transfer, and as repairs are made the funds are paid from escrow, or• the buyer can assume responsibility and deduct the cost of repairs from the purchase price.-Editorial opinion- Unwanted governmental interference.-CABOR (Cleveland Area Board of Realtors) has said they have no objection to this exterior-only program, since it’s something we already have in place. -Editorial opinion- Reference $1000.00 campaign contribution recieved by "Friends of Georgine Welo" from the "Realtors Political Action Committee/Ohio."-
- There is no comparison to be made with programs in Cleveland Heights or Shaker, since theirs are both exterior and interior inspections. -Editorial opinion- Interior inspections will be next. -The majority of council, and the mayor, see point-of-sale as an effective tool to raise the level of home maintenance and the quality of life in our neighborhoods. The message it will send is: “You can’t let your property fall into disrepair and lower the property value of your neighbors’ homes.”
Click on the links below to review other posts regarding "Point-of-Sale:
Click below to read entire text of Ordinance 65-05:
Click below for a link to Jane Goodman's page on the City website: