Stupidity is their Downfall

Local real estate broker says the city is intent on enforcing this, so putting a sign up without the license would guarantee a fine and potentially thousands in attorney fees to fight it. And the possibility of some action against me and my broker if the fine was not paid. Not sure how all that would play out but the board recommends against not getting the license. Also, they appear to not be willing to fight it legally, which they could do if it affected a larger area.
What has happened here is that no one knew about this code and the fact it was passed apparently in the dead of night. The board is usually on top of anything like this regarding rules that affect agents. Also, it is patently unfair, and anti-business from my perspective and from a seller’s perspective, in terms of the amount of fee and in not knowing it was even on the books. Additionally, it seems to be that they are selectively enforcing it. And there are questions about whether it is even legally enforceable and violates property owner and free speech rights. But who wants to find out and pay a lot of attorney fees to do so.
Clearly, the City of Capital Heights and whoever helped pass this law is set out to sabotage the City and it’s community. You would think in a Down Market like we have that the City of Capital Heights would encourage and support it’s citizens to better the situation by getting houses sold. This is not the case, obviously, their lack of consideration of the current market and it’s community over the love of money is their downfall. Below is evidence of their malicious stupidity.
We reported recently that the Town of Capitol Heights has escalated enforcement of a business license law requiring real estate licensees to pay a $250 Real Estate Services – Sign Permit.
On Monday September 27th, representatives of PGCAR met with city officials in an effort to clarify several provisions of the law. The town, much like the rest of the County and state, is experiencing severe difficulties in attending to vacant foreclosed and abandoned property up-keep and similar problems associated with rental properties. It is their opinion that the business licensee concept will assist them to mitigate costs associated with servicing these properties.
During the meeting we were able to clarify several vague provisions of the law (see below). However, we were unable to obtain any official explanation in writing. At this time we have a verbal definition outlining the “intent” of the ordinance:
·         The sign permit is to be applied per “sale sign” at $250 each. This applies to each “for sale” sign posted on the for sale premises.
·         The town ordinance is silent on “for rent” signs and NO clarification was offered. 
·         PGCAR verified that the $500 Rental License Fee is intended as a “one time” fee.
·         City officials declined to verify the $500 violation fee. However, several PGCAR members have advised that they were verbally warned by city officials that unless they obtained a sign permit they would be subject to a $500 fine.
·         Real estate professionals are NOT subject to the professional services license of $500.
·         Real estate professionals are NOT subject to the administrative fee of $125
·         Real estate professionals are NOT subject to the gross receipts fees ranging from $200 to $900 annually unless they have an office within the town limits.
PLEASE NOTE, the above clarifications are subject to change.
The necessary applications to obtain a license are attached as well.
For additional information we suggest that you contact Mr. Ware, Neighborhood Services Director, with the Town of Capitol Heights at (301) 336-0626.

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