On Thu, 26 Sep 2013 23:56:06 +0000, Alex Gunderson wrote:
Here is a summary of why there may be so much confusion regarding the status of propane tanks.
The propane tanks are considered real property in some states (notably California & NY), while, the exact same setup is personal property in other states.
Also, there is absolutely no example that equates to how propane tanks are treated in all states.
This explains why all the examples proposed so far (e.g., cars, electricity, telephone, garbage, etc., were clearly *not* equivalent examples!).
These examples might apply in some states; but they don't in California.
In fact the Western Propane industry argues vehemently that propane tanks are unique, and that there are no parallels (which I've come to appreciate, since I can easily shoot down any example anyone provides).
However, the state of California seems to think the following are equivalent: water softener tanks, butane tanks, propane tanks, coffee makers, soft drink dispensers, water coolers, cardboard box folding machines, sorters and medical test equipment.
Yet, the Western Propane industry group clearly says propane tanks are unique in that the propane tank itself is not consumed by the lessee. In fact, the lessee of a propane tank cannot touch or handle the tank in any way, by law. Propane tanks are unique in that they are often located on a lessee's property, but cannot be used or "consumed" by the lessee, unlike gas tanks and water tanks.
Interestingly, for NY state, propane tanks are apparently capital improvements to real property (as in California):
"The issue raised is whether the installation of certain liquid propane gas tanks constitutes a capital improvement to real property"
Yet, in Tennessee, propane tanks are personal property:
In Missouri, the propane tanks are clearly personal property:
In Alabama, propane tanks are considered personal property:
Given that most states consider a propane tank personal property, yet, others (e.g., CA and NY apparently) consider it real property, that now explains *why* there is no need to file the UCC-1 in California.
It seems that, in the states where the tanks are personal property, the UCC-1 needs to be filed; however, the UCC-1 is apparently meaningless in states where the tanks are considered real property.
This key distinction between personal property laws in California and NY versus most of the other states explains away all the confusion.
Only in the personal property states do you need to file the UCC-1 to maintain your claim on propane tanks: