H.512: An Update
In a continued effort to try to effectuate change to Vermont's land records system in order to move it from its worst-in-the-country status to something that functions smoothly, CATIC introduced H.512 as a “starting place” for discussion about reform. Among other things, the bill would have created uniformity in indexing and uniformity in recording practices, while creating some measure of oversight and enforcement. CATIC envisioned that an infinitesimal amount of the $1 trillion flowing from the federal government to Vermont could be allocated to jump start a solution.
Unfortunately, at the first hearing in House Commerce and Economic Development, the Secretary of State (through Deputy Secretary Chris Winters), the Vermont Municipal League of Cities and Towns, and the Vermont League of Cities and Towns, actively opposed the measure and essentially testified that reform was unnecessary.
Despite testimony from CATIC, the Vermont Bar Association, the Vermont Bankers Association, the Vermont Association of Realtors, and others that the current system does not serve Vermont property owners or businesses, Deputy Winters and other opponents of meaningful regulatory oversight believe that Vermont’s current business model (all 245 unique businesses doing what they want, and if they want) is adequate.
Deputy Winters has announced that he is running for Secretary of State.