Image: Bill Sponsor Rep. Jay Reedy presents HB0040 to the House Finance, Ways & Means Subcommittee. Image Credit: capitol.tn.gov
The Tennessee Conservative [By Adelia Kirchner] –
Yesterday, March 8, 2023, Tennessee House members killed a bill that would have restricted foreign ownership of property within the state, protecting Tennessee sovereignty and supporting U.S. foreign policy decisions.
House Bill 0040 (HB0040) sponsored by Rep. Jay Reedy (R-Erin-District 74) would have prohibited foreign persons and entities from acquiring Tennessee real estate if their respective country was on the United States sanctioned countries list.
In addition, if real estate was already owned by a sanctioned country prior to July 1st, 2023, they would still own that property, but it would have to be registered with the Secretary of State (SOS).
To sustain this aspect of the legislation, the SOS would need to build a reporting system for real estate property transactions.
Read more about the intent of this legislation here.
According to the fiscal note for HB0040, the estimated cost for creation of this system would be somewhere around $80,000 with an annual maintenance cost of around $2,000 in subsequent years.
Despite there being no other estimated expenses associated with this bill, HB0040 was quickly moved “behind the budget” without any discussion from the Finance, Ways, and Means Subcommittee during their meeting on Wednesday.
This essentially means the bill is now dead in the water. Each year the legislature considers the Governor’s proposed budget, and important legislation often tends to slip “behind the budget” in favor of funding other things.
Sanction programs that block assets and/or restrict trade are one of the main ways that the U.S. Government accomplishes important foreign policy and national security goals.
With HB0040 no longer in consideration, sanctioned countries will remain perfectly capable of purchasing and maintaining ownership of property all across the state of Tennessee.
About the Author: Adelia Kirchner is a Tennessee resident and reporter for the Tennessee Conservative. Currently the host of Subtle Rampage Podcast, she has also worked for the South Dakota State Legislature and interned for Senator Bill Hagerty’s Office in Nashville, Tennessee. You can reach Adelia at email@example.com.