Politics Make the World Go ‘Round

Posted on Jul 22 2011 - 10:43pm by Tony Gonzalez

Some people would like us to believe that love makes the world go ‘round. Others would say that big business does the trick, or simply money in general. Those people would all be wrong. If you want to know what makes the world go ‘round, look no further than the sordid world of politics.

Big business is powerful, but even the biggest of businesses can be chopped down to size with the passing of a law or two by politicians. In all fairness, they can do just the opposite as well.

The self storage industry has been working hard with state governments all across the country during the past year trying to alter lien laws in as many states as possible, and to combat the issue of a self storage sales tax. Some have had more success than others.

Colorado, Maine, Nevada, Tennessee and Texas have been able to get positive change enacted this year. California, however, while initially included with the aforementioned states is now one of the unfortunate ones.

The California Self Storage Association succeeded in getting changes to the lien laws passed last year with the passing of Assembly Bill 655. The basic idea was to make lien-sales much more cost-effective for owners of self storage companies.

“We believe that the updates to the law will create a more efficient and cost-effective process for operators and their tenants to communicate when customers have fallen behind in their rent,” said CSSA President Shelley Geiler back in 2010 when the law was passed.

The only problem to the law was that it took business away from newspapers. As their advertising revenue fell, the newspapers like the self storage companies did, and pressured the politicians for change. Sure enough, the newspapers had enough pull to get things changed in their favor.

SB 279 reversed the changes that Assembly Bill 655 had in regards to advertising of lien sales. AB 655 let self storage companies advertise lien sales in any paper in the county; with the passing of SB 279 the requirement became the judicial district again.

“We opposed SB 279 because it was not in the best interests of our members or the customers of self-storage facilities who have payment problems,” said CSSA Executive Director Erin King.

We all might like to think that we can win them all, but the sad fact is that we can’t. However, what this does show is that the law can be changed. If laws can be changed be changed once or twice, they can be changed a third time. That’s part of the joy of politics.

Sources Used:

“Self-Storage Politics: Steps Forward, Steps Back.” Inside Self Storage; 22 July 2011.

“California Self-Storage Lien Law Regresses to Suit Newspaper Publishers.” Inside Self Storage; 22 July 2011.

“Self-Storage Auction Advertising: Legislative Changes and Opposition from the Newspaper Industry.” Inside Self Storage; 24 June 2011.

“Legislative Victory in California: Governor Schwarzenegger Signs Bill Amending Self-Storage Lien Law.” Inside Self Storage; 01 October 2010.