Dunbar Measure to Allow Online Township Property Auctions Wins House Approval
Sponsored by Rep. George Dunbar (R-Westmoreland), legislation to amend Pennsylvania’s county code to allow for the sale of township personal property and surplus farm products through electronic online auctions unanimously passed the House on Friday, June 24. House Bill 1644 is now awaiting consideration in the state Senate.
“House Bill 1644 is commonsense legislation to allow our local townships to be just as competitive and cost-efficient as any other business or non-profit organization that currently has the ability to participate in or conduct an online auction,” said Dunbar. “Ultimately, these benefits should translate into greater savings for Pennsylvania taxpayers at the local level.
Specifically, House Bill 1644:
- Permits that during the electronic auction, each bidder will have the capability to view the bidder’s bid rank or the high bid price and bidders may increase their bid prices during the auction.
- Requires that the record of the electronic auction is accessible for public inspection.
- Requires that the purchase price must be paid by the high bidder immediately or at a reasonable time as determined by the county commissioners and specifies that the high bidder will pay shipping costs, if any are to be incurred on the merchandise.
- Provides that a county that has complied with the advertising requirements stated in law may provide additional public notice of the sale in any manner it deems appropriate.
- Specifies any advertisement for electronic auction sales shall include the Internet address or means of accessing the electronic auction and the date, time and duration of the electronic auction.
- Allows the board of county commissioners to reject any bids received if believed to be less than the fair market value of the property.
House Bill 1644 is Dunbar’s second bill to be advanced to the Senate. In early February, his first piece of reform legislation to end the practice of pay-to-play-politics in the state contracting procurement process also passed the House unanimously. If enacted, House Bill 107 would strictly prohibit any state employee from evaluating any state contract proposal submitted by a former employer, less than two years following the date of the state employee’s separation with the former employer.
“This legislation is a direct answer to eight years of allegations concerning back-door, pay-to-play politics from Pennsylvania taxpayers and job creators who have legitimately questioned the integrity regarding the slew of multi-million dollar, no-bid state contracts entered into by the Rendell administration,” said Dunbar. “House Bill 107 is specifically aimed at making the entire state contracting process more accountable, saving taxpayer dollars and making the activities of the executive branch absolutely transparent.”
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State Representative George Dunbar
56th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Contact: Ty McCauslin