ROUNDUP: Karlsruhe protects property owners from late monetary claims

KARLSRUHE (AFX) – Property owners may be involved for a limited time to the costs for the construction of a road or other equipment to open up. A rule that allows even many years afterwards, contrary to the order of the load clarity, the Federal Constitutional Court said on Wednesday in Karlsruhe. In the specific case involved a provision in Rhineland-Palatinate, it must now be revised. (Az. 1 BvL 1/19)

The Federal Administrative Court initiated the examination of the state regulation. The case of an owner is pending there who is supposed to pay so-called development contributions in the amount of more than 70,000 euros. His land in an industrial park had a road connection as early as 1986. However, he did not receive the final decision until 2011. The road was completed in full and officially dedicated in 2007.

The Rhineland-Palatinate municipal tax law provides for a four-year limitation period that only begins to run when the road is dedicated. According to the decision of the constitutional judges, this is not permitted. The decisive factor must therefore be the point in time at which the benefit arises for the individual property owner. This is recognizable for those affected. Nobody should be left in the dark as to whether burdens can still be expected.

In Rhineland-Palatinate, a new regulation must now be found by the end of July 2022. Until then, courts and administrative authorities are no longer allowed to apply the unconstitutional norm. All property owners in the state whose notices on the development contributions are not yet final will benefit from the change.

The judges of the First Senate did not make a specific specification for the maximum time limit. The legislature has a lot of leeway here. A period of 30 years, as some courts had previously derived from the Administrative Procedure Act, is clearly too long for them.

As stated in the decision, other federal states have mostly opted for deadlines of 10 to 20 years. Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg, Brandenburg, Hesse, Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia are mentioned. In other countries there is no express regulation.

The owners’ association Haus & Grund Germany welcomed the decision. “It cannot be that property owners or their legal successors will still be confronted decades after a development measure by the community with sometimes very high contribution demands,” said President Kai Warnecke. Due to the late survey, it also remains unclear whether it was actually a maintenance measure. “The municipality should not transfer this to the owners at all.” / Sem / DP / eas

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