Property Tax Law Book - Title 30-A

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TITLE 30-A
MUNICIPALITIES AND COUNTIES

Part 2  Municipalities

CHAPTER 101
GENERAL PROVISIONS

§2001. Definitions

As used in this Part, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.

1Clerk or municipal clerk.  "Clerk" or "municipal clerk" means the clerk of a municipality.

2Cable television company.  "Cable television company" means any person owning, controlling, operating, managing or leasing a cable television system within the State.

3Cable television system.  "Cable television system" means any facility that, in whole or in part, receives directly or indirectly over the air, amplifies or otherwise modifies the signals transmitting programs broadcast by one or more television or radio stations and distributes those signals by wire or cable to subscribing members of the public who pay for that service.

A. This term does not include:

(1) Any facility that serves fewer than 50 subscribers; or

(2) Any facility that serves only the residents of one or more apartment dwellings under common ownership, control or management, and commercial establishments located on the premises of the apartment dwellings.

4Federal Government.  "Federal Government" means the United States of America or any agency or instrumentality, corporate or otherwise, of the United States of America.

5Funded debt.  "Funded debt" means an obligation for the payment of which some fund is set aside.

6General obligation security.  "General obligation security" means a note, bond or other certificate of indebtedness to the payment of which is pledged the full faith and credit of the issuing body.

7Home rule authority.  "Home rule authority" means the powers granted to municipalities under chapter 111; section 3001; and the Constitution of Maine, Article VIII, Part Second.

8Municipality.  "Municipality" means a city or town, except as provided in chapter 225.

9Municipal legislative body.  "Municipal legislative body" means:

A. The town meeting in a town;

B. The city council in a city; or
C. That part of a municipal government that exercises legislative powers under a law or charter.

10Municipal officers.  "Municipal officers" means:

A. The selectmen or councillors of a town; or

B. The mayor and aldermen or councillors of a city.

11Municipal official.  "Municipal official" means any elected or appointed member of a municipal government.

12Municipal year.  "Municipal year" means a municipality's fiscal year as determined by the municipal officers under section 5651.

13Open areas.  "Open areas" means any space or area the preservation or restriction of the use of which would:

A. Maintain or enhance the conservation of natural or scenic resources;

B. Protect natural streams or water supplies;

C. Promote conservation of swamps, wetlands, beaches or tidal marshes;

D. Enhance the value to the public of abutting or neighboring parks, forests, wildlife preserves, nature reservations or sanctuaries or other open areas or open spaces;

E. Affect or enhance public recreation opportunities;

F. Preserve historic sites;

G. Implement the plan of development adopted by the planning commission of any municipality; or

H. Promote orderly urban or suburban development.

14Person.  "Person" means an individual, corporation, partnership, firm, organization or other legal entity.

14-APublic sewer or public drain.  "Public sewer" or "public drain" means any sewer or drain constructed or laid by a governmental entity for the use of the public and includes both gravity and pressure mains.

14-BPublic drinking water supplier.  "Public drinking water supplier" means a public water supplier as defined by the federal Safe Drinking Water Act that provides drinking water from a source water protection area.

15Real estate.  "Real estate" means land and structures attached to it.

16Resident.  "Resident" and "residence" refer to an individual's place of domicile.

17Sewage.  "Sewage" means the water-carried wastes created in and carried or to be carried away from any structure together with any surface or ground water or household and industrial waste that is present.

18Sewer system.  "Sewer system" includes both sewers and sewage disposal systems and all property, rights, easements and franchises relating to those sewers and sewage disposal systems.

19Sewers.  "Sewers" means and includes mains, pipes and laterals for the reception of sewage and carrying that sewage to an outfall or some part of a sewage disposal system, including pumping stations.

20Sinking fund.  "Sinking fund" means a fund created for the purpose of paying a debt.

20-ASource water protection area.  "Source water protection area" means an area that contributes recharge water to a surface water intake or public water supply well for a public drinking water supply. In order to qualify as a "source water protection area," the area must be identified and mapped by the Department of Health and Human Services, and that information must be given to the municipality in which the source water protection area is located.

21Voter.  "Voter" means a person registered to vote.

CHAPTER 120
QUASI-MUNICIPAL CORPORATIONS OR DISTRICTS

§2351. Definitions.

As used in this chapter, unless the context indicates otherwise, the following terms have the following meanings.

1Affected municipalities.  "Affected municipalities" means all those municipalities which, in whole or in part, lie within the boundaries of the quasi-municipal corporation or district.

2Charter amendment.  "Charter amendment" means a change in the charter of a quasi-municipal corporation or district which is not a charter revision.

3Charter revision.  "Charter revision" means a change in the charter of a quasi-municipal corporation or district which has an effect on:

A. The number of or method of selecting trustees;

B. The powers of trustees;

C. The powers of the corporation or district;

D. Election procedures, other than election dates;

E. The boundaries of the corporation or district;

F. Methods of establishing rates;

G. Any debt limitation;

H. Methods of land acquisition, including eminent domain;

I. Amount of spending without voter approval; or

J. Liens.

4Quasi-municipal corporation or district.  "Quasi-municipal corporation or district" means any governmental unit that includes a portion of a municipality, a single municipality or several municipalities and which is created by law to deliver public services but which is not a general purpose governmental unit. Quasi-municipal corporation or district does not include School Administrative Districts or hospital districts.

5Quasi-municipal corporation or district voters.  "Quasi-municipal corporation or district voters" means the voters who reside within the boundaries of the quasi-municipal corporation or district.

CHAPTER 121

MEETINGS AND ELECTIONS

§2521. Call of town meeting

Each town meeting shall be called by a warrant.  The warrant must be signed by a majority of the selectmen, except as follows.

1.  First town meeting.  The first town meeting shall be called in the manner provided in the act of incorporation.

2.  Majority of selectmen.  If, for any reason, a majority of the selectmen do not remain in office, a majority of those remaining may call a town meeting.

3. Petition of 3 voters, if no selectmen.  When a town, once organized, is without selectmen, a notary public may call a meeting on the written petition of any 3 voters.

4.  Petition by voters, if selectmen refuse.  If the selectmen unreasonably refuse to call a town meeting, a notary public may call the meeting on the written petition of a number of voters equal to at least 10% of the number of votes cast in the town at the last gubernatorial election, but in no case less than 10.

§2522. Petition for article in warrant

On the written petition of a number of voters equal to at least 10% of the number of votes cast in the town at the last gubernatorial election, but in no case less than 10, the municipal officers shall either insert a particular article in the next warrant issued or shall within 60 days call a special town meeting for its consideration.

§2523. Warrant

The warrant for calling any town meeting must meet the following requirements.

1.  Time and place.  It shall specify the time and place of the meeting.

2.  Business to be acted upon.  It shall state in distinct articles the business to be acted upon at the meeting.  No other business may be acted upon.

3.  Notification.  It shall be directed to a town constable, or to any resident by name, ordering that person to notify all voters to assemble at the time and place appointed.

4.  Attested copy posted.  The person to whom it is directed shall post an attested copy in some conspicuous, public place in the town at least 7 days before the meeting, unless the town has adopted a different method of notification.

5.  Return on warrant.  The person who notifies the voters of the meeting shall make a return on the warrant stating the manner of notice and the time when it was given.

A. If an original town meeting warrant is lost or destroyed, the return may be made or amended on a copy of the original warrant.

§2524. General town meeting provisions

The following provisions apply to all town meetings.

1.  Qualified voter.  Every voter in the town may vote in the election of all town officials and in all town affairs.

2.  Moderator elected and sworn.  The clerk, or in the clerk's absence a selectman or constable, shall open the meeting by:

A.  Calling for the election of a moderator by written ballot;

B.  Receiving and counting the votes for moderator; and

C.  Swearing in the moderator.

3.  Moderator presides.  As soon as the moderator has been elected and sworn, the moderator shall preside over and supervise the voting at the meeting and may appoint a deputy moderator to assist the moderator.  If the moderator is absent or is unable to carry out the duties, the clerk, or in the clerk's absence a selectman or constable, may call for the election of a deputy moderator to act in the absence of the moderator.

A. All persons shall be silent at the moderator's command.  A person may not speak before that person is recognized by the moderator.  A person who is not a voter in the town may speak at the meeting only with the consent of 2/3 of the voters present.

(1)  If any person, after a command for order by the moderator, continues to act in a disorderly manner, the moderator may direct that person to leave the meeting.  If the person refuses to leave, the moderator may have that person removed by a constable and confined until the meeting is adjourned.

B. When a vote declared by the moderator is immediately questioned by at least 7 voters, the moderator shall make it certain by polling the voters or by a method directed by the municipal legislative body.

C. The moderator shall serve until the meeting is adjourned. The moderator is subject to the same penalties for neglect of official duty as other town officials.

4.  Votes recorded by clerk.  The clerk shall accurately record the votes of the meeting.

A.  If the clerk is absent, the moderator shall appoint and swear in a temporary clerk.

5.  Written ballots.  The clerk shall prepare the ballots.  Ballots shall be of uniform size and color, and must be blank except that 2 squares with "yes" by one and "no" by the other may be printed on them.

The moderator shall ensure that each voter receives only one ballot for each vote taken.

6.  Location of meetings.  Town meetings may be held outside the corporate limits of the municipality if the municipal officers determine that there is no adequate facility for the meeting within the municipality.  The proposed location must be:

A. Within an adjoining or nearby municipality;

B. Not more than 25 miles from the corporate limits of the municipality holding the meetings; and

C. Reasonably accessible to all voters of the town.

§2525. Annual meeting

1.  Officials required to be elected.  Each town shall hold an annual meeting at which the following town officials shall be elected by ballot:

A.  Moderator;

B.  Selectmen; and

C.  School committee.

2.  Other officials.  A town, at a meeting held at least 90 days before the annual meeting, may designate other town officials to be elected by ballot.  The election of officials at the last annual town meeting is deemed to be such a designation until the town acts otherwise at a meeting held at least 90 days before the annual meeting at which the election will be held.

3.  Limitation.  A town official may not be elected on a motion to cast one ballot.

§2526. Choice and qualifications of town officials

Unless otherwise provided by charter, the following provisions apply to the choice and qualifications of town officials.

1. Manner of election.  In a town with a population greater than 4,000, according to the last Federal Decennial Census, election shall be by plurality. Except as provided in section 2528, subsection 10, in a town with a population of 4,000 or under, election shall be by majority.

2. Appointment in writing.  The appointment of any town official or deputy must be in writing and shall be signed by the appointing party.

3. Qualifications.  In order to hold a municipal office, a person must be a resident of the State, at least 18 years of age and a citizen of the United States.

A. In order to hold the office of selectman, a person must be a voter in the town in which that person is elected.

4. Selectmen and overseers.  The following provisions apply to selectmen and overseers.

A. A town may determine at a meeting held at least 90 days before the annual meeting whether 3, 5 or 7 will be elected to each board and their terms of office.

(1) Once the determination has been made, it stands until revoked at a meeting held at least 90 days before the annual meeting.

(2) If a town fails to fix the number, 3 shall be elected. If a town fails to fix the term, it is for one year.

B. When others have not been elected, the selectmen shall serve as overseers of the poor.

C. A selectman may also serve as a member of the board of assessors.

D. A town, in electing selectmen and overseers, may designate one of them as chairman of the board.

(1) If no person is designated as chairman, the board shall elect by ballot a chairman from its own membership, before assuming the duties of office. When no member receives a majority vote, the clerk shall determine the chairman by lot.

E. If the town fails to fix the compensation of these officials at its annual meeting, they shall be paid $10 each per day for every day actually and necessarily employed in the service of the town.

5. Assessors.  The following provisions apply to assessors.

A. A town may determine at a meeting of its legislative body held at least 90 days before the annual meeting whether a single assessor will be appointed under subparagraph (3) or a board of 3, 5 or 7 will be elected and the term of office of the assessor or assessors. In towns where the municipal legislative body is the town meeting, the determination is effective only if the total number of votes cast for and against the determination equals or exceeds 10% of the number of votes cast in the town at the last gubernatorial election.

(1) Once a determination has been made, it stands until revoked at a meeting held at least 90 days before the annual meeting.

(2) If a town fails to fix the number, 3 shall be elected. If a town fails to fix the term, it is for one year.

(3) When a town has chosen a single assessor under this paragraph, the selectmen shall appoint the assessor for a term not exceeding 5 years.

B. In addition to the method provided by paragraph A and notwithstanding the provision of any town charter to the contrary, the municipal officers of any town, or the municipal officers of 2 or more towns acting jointly, may enact an ordinance providing for a single assessor. The municipal officers shall appoint the assessor for a term not exceeding 5 years.

(1) Seven days' notice of the meeting at which the ordinance is to be proposed shall be given in the manner provided for town meetings.

(2) In towns where the municipal legislative body is the town meeting, the ordinance is effective immediately after the next regular town meeting if enacted at least 90 days before the meeting. The ordinance stands until revoked by the municipal legislative body or the municipal officers at a meeting held at least 90 days before the annual town meeting.

C. When a town has not elected a full board of assessors, the selectmen shall serve as assessors as provided in Title 36, section 703. A selectman who is an assessor pursuant to this paragraph and Title 36, section 703 or any person who serves as both a selectman and a tax assessor may resign the position of assessor without resigning the office of selectman. The position of assessor must then be filled by appointment pursuant to section 2602, subsection 2. A person elected to the State Legislature who resigns the position of assessor pursuant to this paragraph may continue to serve concurrently as selectman and member of the State Legislature. If a person who is serving in the State Legislature or in another office incompatible with the position of assessor resigns the position of assessor pursuant to this paragraph before that person has performed any duties as tax assessor, that person may not be deemed to have vacated the previously held position of State Legislator or other office that is incompatible with the office of assessor.

D. A town, if it elects a board of assessors, may designate one member as chairman of the board.

(1) If no person is designated as chairman, the board shall elect by ballot a chairman from its own membership, before assuming the duties of office. When no member receives a majority vote, the clerk shall determine the chairman by lot.

E. If the town fails to fix the compensation of assessors at its annual meeting, they shall be paid $10 each per day for every day actually and necessarily employed in the service of the town.

F. This subsection does not apply to any municipality which is incorporated into a primary assessing area.

G. Notwithstanding any other law when a vacancy occurs on an elected board of assessors, the municipal officers shall fill that vacancy as provided in section 2602, subsection 2.

6. Board of assessment review.  The following provisions apply to a board of assessment review.

A. Any municipality may adopt a board of assessment review at a meeting of its legislative body held at least 90 days before the annual meeting.

B. The board of assessment review consists of 3 members and 2 alternates appointed by the selectmen. The municipality, when adopting such a board, may fix the compensation of the members. Initially, one member must be appointed for one year, one member for 2 years and one member for 3 years, and one of the alternates must be appointed for one year and one alternate for 2 years. Thereafter, the term of each new member or alternate is 3 years.

C. Any town adopting a board of assessment review may discontinue the board by vote in the same manner and under the same conditions as in adopting the board.

D. Municipalities may provide by ordinance for a board of assessment review consisting of 5 or 7 members and up to 3 alternates. The terms of office of members and alternates may not exceed 5 years and initial appointments must be such that the terms of office of no more than 2 members or alternates will expire in any single year.

E. Any town, by ordinance, may designate a board of appeals appointed under section 2691 as the board of assessment review.

F. A board of assessment review shall annually elect from its membership a chairman and a secretary.

G. The procedure of a board of assessment review is governed by section 2691, subsection 3.

H. This subsection does not apply to any municipality which is incorporated into a primary assessing area.

7. Road commissioners.  The following provisions apply to road commissioners.

A. A town may determine at a meeting held at least 90 days before the annual meeting whether one or more road commissioners will be chosen and the term of office which may not exceed 3 years.

(1) Once the determination has been made, it stands until revoked at a meeting held at least 90 days before the annual meeting.

(2) If a town fails to fix the number, one shall be chosen. If a town fails to fix the term, it is one year.

B. A road commissioner appointed by the selectmen may be removed from office for cause by the selectmen.

C. The board of selectmen may act as a board of road commissioners.

8. Treasurers and tax collectors.  Treasurers and tax collectors of towns may not simultaneously serve as municipal officers or as elected or appointed assessors until they have completed their duties and had a final settlement with the town.

A. The same person may serve as treasurer and tax collector of a municipality.

9. Sworn in.  Before assuming the duties of office, a town official or deputy shall be sworn by the moderator in open town meeting, by the clerk, or by any other person authorized by law to administer an oath, including a notary public or dedimus justice.

A. Unless the oath is administered in the clerk's presence, the person who administers it shall give the official or deputy sworn a certificate, which must be returned to the clerk for filing. The certificate must state:

(1) The name of the official or deputy sworn;

(2) The official's or deputy's office;

(3) The name of the person who administered the oath; and

(4) The date when the oath was taken. [2003, c. 510, Pt. A, §27 (RPR).]

B. The clerk shall be sworn to accurately record the votes of town meetings and to discharge faithfully all the other duties of that office, until another clerk is elected and sworn.

C. After the town meeting, the clerk shall immediately issue a warrant directed to a constable containing the names of persons chosen for office who have not been sworn.

(1) The constable shall immediately summon the named persons to appear before the clerk within 7 days from the time of notice to take the oath of office.

(2) The constable shall make a return immediately to the clerk.

(3) The town shall pay the constable a reasonable compensation for these services.

D. The clerk shall record the election or appointment of each official or deputy, including the clerk's own, and the other information specified in paragraph A.

E. A record by the clerk that a person was sworn for a stated town office is sufficient evidence that the person was legally sworn for the office. The entire oath need not be recorded.

§2551. Warrant or notice for city election

Except as otherwise required by municipal charter, each city election must be called by a warrant or by a notice of election posted in compliance with Title 21-A, section 621-A. The warrant must meet the requirements listed in Title 21-A, section 622-A.

§2552. Designation of officials

1. Assessors and assistant assessors.  The following provisions apply to assessors and their assistants.

A. Assessors and their assistants shall be chosen annually on the 2nd Monday of March to serve for one year and until others are chosen and qualified in their places, unless the city charter provides otherwise.

B. In addition to the assistant assessors chosen under a city charter, the municipal officers may authorize the assessors to appoint any necessary assistants to serve during the municipal year in which they are appointed.

C. Notwithstanding the provisions of any city charter to the contrary, the city council, by ordinance, may provide for a single assessor whose powers and duties are the same as for towns, and who is appointed for a term not exceeding 5 years.

2. Board of assessment review.  The following provisions apply to a board of assessment review.

A. Any city choosing a single assessor may adopt a board of assessment review by vote of the city council at least 90 days before the annual city election.

B. The board of assessment review shall consist of 3 members appointed by the city council.

C. The city council, when adopting a board of assessment review, may fix the compensation of the board's members. One member shall be appointed for one year, one member for 2 years and one member for 3 years. Thereafter, the term of each new member is 3 years.

D. Any city adopting a board of assessment review may discontinue the board by vote of the city council at least 90 days before the annual city election, in which case the board ceases to exist at the end of the municipal year.

E. Cities with a population of 5,000 or more may provide by ordinance for a board of assessment review consisting of 5 or 7 members. The terms of office of members must not exceed 5 years and initial appointments must be such that the terms of office of no more than 2 members will expire in any single year.

F. This subsection does not apply in any city which is incorporated into a primary assessing area.

3. Constable.  When a vacancy occurs in the office of constable, the municipal officers may appoint a qualified person to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the term.

4. Warden and clerk.  A warden and clerk for each ward shall be elected by secret ballot at the regular election of municipal officers.

A. They shall assume the duties of office on the Monday following election.

B. They shall hold office for one year and until others are chosen and qualified in their places.

5. Officials elected by aldermen and common council.  In the election of any official by the board of aldermen or jointly by the aldermen and common council in which the mayor has a right to give a deciding vote, if the candidates have an equal number of votes, the mayor shall determine which of them is elected.

6. Officials appointed by the municipal officers.  Whenever appointments to office are made by the municipal officers, they shall be made by the mayor with the consent of the aldermen and may be removed by the mayor.

§2553. Nomination to city office by petition

A person may be nominated to any city office by nomination petition following the procedure prescribed by Title 21-A, chapter 5, subchapter II. A person seeking nomination under this section may use a political designation only if permitted by the city charter. The petition and consent must be filed with the clerk at least 14 days before election day.

CHAPTER 123
MUNICIPAL OFFICIALS

§2602. Vacancy in municipal office

1. When vacancy exists.  A vacancy in a municipal office may occur by the following means:

A. Nonacceptance;

B. Resignation;

C. Death;

D. Removal from the municipality;

E. Permanent disability or incompetency;

F. Failure to qualify for the office within 10 days after written demand by the municipal officers;

G. Failure of the municipality to elect a person to office; or

H.  Recall pursuant to section 2505.

2. Vacancy in office other than selectman or school committee.  When there is a vacancy in a town office other than that of selectman or school committee, the selectmen may appoint a qualified person to fill the vacancy.

3. Vacancy in office of selectman.  When there is a vacancy in the office of selectman, the selectmen may call a town meeting to elect a qualified person to fill the vacancy.

4. Vacancy in school committee.  A vacancy in a municipality's school committee shall be filled as provided in Title 20-A, section 2305, subsection 4.

5. Person appointed qualifies.  The person appointed to fill a vacant office must qualify in the same manner as one chosen in the regular course of municipal activity.

6. Home rule authority.  Under its home rule authority, a municipality may apply different provisions governing the existence of vacancies in municipal offices and the method of filling those vacancies as follows:

A. Any change in the provisions of this section relating to a school committee must be accomplished by charter; and

B. Any change in the provisions of this section relating to any other municipal office may be accomplished by charter or ordinance.

7. Authority to act.  Words in any statute, charter or ordinance giving authority to 3 or more persons authorize a majority to act when the statute, charter or ordinance does not otherwise specify. Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, a vacancy on an elected or appointed municipal or quasi-municipal body does not in itself impair the authority of the remaining members to act unless a statute, charter or ordinance expressly prohibits the municipal or quasi-municipal body from acting during the period of any vacancy and does not in itself affect the validity of any action no matter when taken.

§2603. Deputy officials

The clerk, treasurer and collector of a municipality may each appoint in writing one or more qualified persons as deputies. 

1.  Sworn and oath recorded. Before assuming the duties of office, the deputy must be sworn and the fact of the oath recorded as provided in section 2526, subsection 9.

2.  Term; duties. The deputy serves at the will of the appointing official. The deputy may perform any of the duties of office prescribed by the appointing official.

3.  Bond liability. The appointing official and the surety on the official's bond are liable for all acts and omissions of the official's deputy.

4. Absence.  If the clerk, treasurer or tax collector fails to do so, the municipal officers may appoint a deputy to act during any absence.

§2691. Board of appeals

This section governs all boards of appeals established after September 23, 1971.

1. Establishment.  A municipality may establish a board of appeals under its home rule authority. Unless provided otherwise by charter or ordinance, the municipal officers shall appoint the members of the board and determine their compensation.

2. Organization.  A board of appeals shall be organized as follows.

A. The board shall consist of 5 or 7 members, serving staggered terms of at least 3 and not more than 5 years, except that municipalities with a population of less than 1,000 residents may form a board consisting of at least 3 members. The board shall elect annually a chairman and secretary from its membership.

B. Neither a municipal officer nor a spouse of a municipal officer may be a member or associate member of the board.

C. Any question of whether a particular issue involves a conflict of interest sufficient to disqualify a member from voting on that issue shall be decided by a majority vote of the members, excluding the member who is being challenged.

D. The municipal officers may dismiss a member of the board for cause before the member's term expires.

E. Municipalities may provide under their home rule authority for a board of appeals with associate members not to exceed 3. If there are 2 or 3 associate members, the chairman shall designate which will serve in the place of an absent member.

3. Procedure.  The following provisions govern the procedure of the board.

A. The chairman shall call meetings of the board as required. The chairman shall also call meetings of the board when requested to do so by a majority of the members or by the municipal officers. A quorum of the board necessary to conduct an official board meeting must consist of at least a majority of the board's members. The chairman shall preside at all meetings of the board and be the official spokesman of the board.

B. The secretary shall maintain a permanent record of all board meetings and all correspondence of the board. The secretary is responsible for maintaining those records which are required as part of the various proceedings which may be brought before the board. All records to be maintained or prepared by the secretary are public records. They shall be filed in the municipal clerk's office and may be inspected at reasonable times.

C. The board may provide, by regulation which shall be recorded by the secretary, for any matter relating to the conduct of any hearing, provided that the chair may waive any regulation upon good cause shown.

D. The board may receive any oral or documentary evidence but shall provide as a matter of policy for the exclusion of irrelevant, immaterial or unduly repetitious evidence. Every party has the right to present the party's case or defense by oral or documentary evidence, to submit rebuttal evidence and to conduct any cross-examination that is required for a full and true disclosure of the facts.

E. The transcript or tape recording of testimony, if such a transcript or tape recording has been prepared by the board, and the exhibits, together with all papers and requests filed in the proceeding, constitute the public record. All decisions become a part of the record and must include a statement of findings and conclusions, as well as the reasons or basis for the findings and conclusions, upon all the material issues of fact, law or discretion presented and the appropriate order, relief or denial of relief. Notice of any decision must be mailed or hand delivered to the petitioner, the petitioner's representative or agent, the planning board, agency or office and the municipal officers within 7 days of the board's decision.

F. The board may reconsider any decision reached under this section within 45 days of its prior decision. A request to the board to reconsider a decision must be filed within 10 days of the decision that is to be reconsidered. A vote to reconsider and the action taken on that reconsideration must occur and be completed within 45 days of the date of the vote on the original decision. The board may conduct additional hearings and receive additional evidence and testimony as provided in this subsection.

Notwithstanding paragraph G, appeal of a reconsidered decision must be made within 15 days after the decision on reconsideration.

G. Any party may take an appeal, within 45 days of the date of the vote on the original decision, to Superior Court from any order, relief or denial in accordance with the Maine Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 80B. This time period may be extended by the court upon motion for good cause shown. The hearing before the Superior Court must be without a jury.

4. Jurisdiction.  Any municipality establishing a board of appeals may give the board the power to hear any appeal by any person, affected directly or indirectly, from any decision, order, regulation or failure to act of any officer, board, agency or other body when an appeal is necessary, proper or required. No board may assert jurisdiction over any matter unless the municipality has by charter or ordinance specified the precise subject matter that may be appealed to the board and the official or officials whose action or nonaction may be appealed to the board. Absent an express provision in a charter or ordinance that certain decisions of its code enforcement officer or board of appeals are only advisory or may not be appealed, a notice of violation or an enforcement order by a code enforcement officer under a land use ordinance is reviewable on appeal by the board of appeals and in turn by the Superior Court under the Maine Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 80B. Any such decision that is not timely appealed is subject to the same preclusive effect as otherwise provided by law. Any board of appeals shall hear any appeal submitted to the board in accordance with Title 28-A, section 1054.

CHAPTER 161
SEWERS AND DRAINS

§3406. Service charges for sewage or storm water disposal

The municipal officers may establish a schedule of service charges from time to time upon improved real estate connected with a municipal sewer or sewer system or storm water disposal system for the use of the system. These service charges must include reserve fund contributions. For purposes of this section, "storm water disposal system" means storm water and flood control devices, structures, conveyances, facilities or systems, including natural streams and rivers and other water bodies used wholly or partly to convey or control storm water or floodwater.

1. Interest.  The municipal officers may charge interest on delinquent accounts at a rate not to exceed the highest lawful rate set by the Treasurer of State for municipal taxes.

2. Lien.  There is a lien on real estate served or benefited by a municipal sewer or sewer system or storm water disposal system to secure the payment of service charges and interest on delinquent accounts established under this chapter. This lien takes precedence over all other claims on the real estate, excepting only claims for taxes.

3. Collection.  The treasurer of the municipality may collect the service charges and interest on delinquent accounts in the same manner as granted by Title 38, section 1208, to treasurers of sanitary sewer districts with reference to rates established and due under Title 38, section 1202.

§3428. Malfunctioning domestic waste water disposal units; abatement of nuisance

Malfunctioning waste water disposal units, including septic tanks, cesspools, cisterns, dry wells, drainage beds, drains, sewer lines and pipes and the like, have become a menace to the health and general welfare of the citizens of this State and are declared to be a nuisance.

1. Abatement procedure.  Upon complaint of any person resulting in documentation of a malfunctioning waste water disposal unit or on their own information, the municipal officers shall serve an order to remedy a malfunctioning waste water disposal unit upon the owner of any premises within that municipality that has such a malfunctioning unit.

2. Content of order.  The order must be addressed to the owner of the premises and must contain:

A. The date;

B. The fact of the malfunctioning waste water disposal unit;

C. A notice to remedy the nuisance within 10 days of service of the order; and

D. The signatures of the municipal officers.

The municipal officers may allow the owner of the premises to request an extension of the 10-day period for no longer than an additional 20 days and may explain how to request an extension in the order. The municipal officers or their agents may approve an extension if it is reasonably necessary for and likely to result in remediation of the nuisance.

3. Service and return of service.  One of the municipal officers or a law enforcement officer shall serve the order personally upon the owner, tenant or occupant in possession. The server shall make and file a return of service indicating the method used and the person served.

4. Abatement.  If the nuisance is not abated within the 10-day period or such period up to but not exceeding the additional 20 days as allowed by the municipal officers under subsection 2, the municipal officers or their agents may enter the premises and have the malfunction adequately remedied. To recover any actual and direct expenses, including reasonable attorney's fees if the municipality is the prevailing party, incurred by the municipality in the abatement of such nuisances, the municipality shall:

A. File a civil action against the owner. The costs, including reasonable attorney fees, to create and prosecute an action to collect expenses following such a civil complaint, shall also be recovered from the owners; or

B. Assess a special tax against the land on which the waste water disposal unit is located for the amount of the expenses. This amount shall be included in the next annual warrant to the tax collector of the municipality for collection in the same manner as other state, county and municipal taxes are collected. Interest as determined by the municipality pursuant to Title 36, section 505, in the year in which the special tax is assessed, shall accrue on all unpaid balances of any special tax beginning on the 60th day after the day of commitment of the special tax to the collector. The interest shall be added to and become part of the tax.

§3445. Lien for payment on lot and building; enforcement

When any assessment made under section 3442 is paid by any person against whom the assessment has been made, who is not the owner of the lot or parcel of land, then the person paying the assessment has a lien upon the lot or parcel of land with the buildings on the land for the amount of the assessment paid by that person, and incidental charges. The lien may be enforced in a civil action, and by attachment in the way and manner provided for the enforcement of liens upon buildings and lots under Title 10. The lien shall continue one year after the assessment is paid.

CHAPTER 163
TRANSPORTATION

§3511. Exempt from taxation; fuel tax refund

The property, both real and personal, of a district, whether held and operated by itself or leased to a private operator, for the purpose of providing mass transportation as provided in this chapter, is exempt from all registration fees, real, personal, excise, sales and use, and any other taxes which are assessed by the State or any political subdivision of the State. A district, or its lessee, or any person contracting with the district for the purpose of furnishing mass transportation, is entitled to be reimbursed and paid to the extent of the full amount of the tax paid for fuel used in motor vehicles owned and operated by them for that purpose. That district, lessee or person shall present its claim to the State Tax Assessor in the form and with any information that the State Tax Assessor requires, accompanied by original invoices showing the purchases. Applications for refunds as provided must be filed with the State Tax Assessor within 9 months from the date of purchase.

CHAPTER 187
PLANNING AND LAND USE REGULATION

SUBCHAPTER 4
SUBDIVISIONS

§4401. Definitions

As used in this subchapter, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings. 

6. Tract or parcel of land.  "Tract or parcel of land" means all contiguous land in the same ownership, except that lands located on opposite sides of a public or private road are considered each a separate tract or parcel of land unless the road was established by the owner of land on both sides of the road after September 22, 1971.

 

CHAPTER 205-A
MUNICIPAL CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT DISTRICTS

§5211. Definitions

As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.

1Assessed share.  "Assessed share" means a special assessment that represents that portion of the total projected cost of an improvement undertaken by a municipality in a capital improvement district that is the obligation of an owner of property within the capital improvement district. The assessed share must be calculated by the municipal officers in the same manner and according to the same standards as the capital costs of sewer improvements are assessed pursuant to sections 3442 and 3444, except the total assessment must be calculated on the basis of the projected cost of the entire improvement rather than any percentage of the projected costs of the improvement, and no type of property within the capital improvement district is exempt from the assessment.

2Capital improvement district.  "Capital improvement district" means a defined area within a municipality that is initially privately owned and that has been designated by the municipality as a capital improvement district according to the provisions of this chapter for the interrelated purposes of fairly apportioning the costs of making necessary capital improvements among the owners of property in the capital improvement district and establishing the public elements of the capital improvement district as municipally owned.

3Improvement.  "Improvement" means road construction, drainage system development or the installation of sewer or drinking water infrastructure.

4Public elements.  "Public elements" of a capital improvement district means legal interests in defined properties located within a capital improvement district. "Public elements" may include public easements or fee simple titles in specifically defined property or properties.

§5212. Capital improvement districts authorized

A municipality may create one or more capital improvement districts within the municipal boundaries.

§5213. Capital improvement districts; public hearing; notice; referendum votes

In order to establish a capital improvement district, a municipality shall adhere to the following procedures.

1Initial determinations.  In order to establish a capital improvement district, the municipal officers shall establish all the public elements of the proposed capital improvement district for presentation to the residents of the municipality at a public hearing held pursuant to subsection 3. The municipal officers shall:

A. Determine the proposed boundaries of the capital improvement district;

B. Identify each separate parcel of property within the proposed capital improvement district and the parcel's owner of record;

C. Describe all improvements to the proposed capital improvement district that need to be made;

D. Calculate an estimate of the costs of the proposed improvements;

E. Calculate the assessed shares and the contingency fee of no more than 25% of that assessment to the property owners in the proposed capital improvement district;

F. Establish the proposed duration of the payment period for the assessed shares;

G. Describe specifically the public elements of the capital improvement district that may be accepted by the voters of the municipality; and

H. Schedule the public hearing pursuant to subsection 3 and the referendum pursuant to subsection 4.

2Public notice.  The municipal officers shall provide posted notice of the public hearing held pursuant to subsection 3 in the same place and manner as the posting of a town meeting warrant and publish notice of the public hearing in a newspaper of general circulation within the municipality at least 14 days in advance of the public hearing. The published notice must include:

A. A description of the proposed boundaries of the capital improvement district;

B. The proposed improvements to the capital improvement district;
C. The estimated costs of the proposed improvements;

D. The public elements of the capital improvement district; and

E. A brief narrative description and schedule of the referendum conducted pursuant to subsection 4.

At least 14 days in advance of the date of the initial public hearing, the same information provided in the published notice must also be sent by certified mail to all owners of property within the proposed capital improvement district according to the municipality's assessing records. Notice for any additional public hearings must be posted and published in the same manner as notice for the initial public hearing, but mailed notice of the subsequent public hearings is not required.

3Public hearing.  Prior to any referendum held pursuant to subsection 4 or 5, the municipal officers shall hold an initial public hearing on the proposed capital improvement district to solicit comments from the residents of the municipality and the owners of property located in the proposed district concerning the:

A. Proposed boundaries of the capital improvement district;

B. Type of improvements to the proposed capital improvement district being considered;

C. Need for the proposed improvements;

D. Costs of the proposed improvements;

E. Projected assessed shares and the contingency fee of no more than 25% of that assessment to the owners of property located in the proposed capital improvement district to pay for the improvements being considered;

F. Proposed duration of the payment period for those special assessments;

G. Proposed public elements of the capital improvement district; and

H. Scheduled dates of referenda conducted pursuant to subsection 4 or 5.

The municipal officers may hold additional public hearings as necessary.

4Referendum of owners of property in proposed capital improvement district.  The municipal officers shall call and conduct a referendum among the owners of property within the proposed capital improvement district to determine the property owners' willingness to undertake the costs of the proposed improvements to the capital improvement district.

A. The method of calling and voting on the referendum question is as provided in section 2528 except as otherwise provided in this subsection.

B. The registered voters of the municipality who own property within the proposed capital improvement district and the owner or owners of record for each parcel of property located in the proposed capital improvement district reflected on the deed for the property recorded in the registry of deeds within the county as of the preceding April 1st, if the owner or owners are of legal voting age and citizens of the United States, are eligible to vote in the referendum. A person may not cast more than one vote. The municipal officers shall determine who are the legal voters of the proposed capital improvement district and shall prepare or cause to be prepared a list of voters at least 24 hours before the referendum is conducted.

C. The referendum must be scheduled to occur no sooner than 45 days after the date of the initial public hearing held pursuant to subsection 3.

D. A public hearing must be held pursuant to section 2528, subsection 5, only if any of the information presented to the voters at the most recent public hearing called pursuant to subsection 3 is changed prior to inclusion on the ballot.

E. The referendum to be voted on must be worded substantially as follows: "As an owner of property in the proposed capital improvement district described on the reverse side of this ballot or in the attachment to this ballot, are you in favor of authorizing the municipality of to apply a special assessment against the property you own in the proposed capital improvement district for a period of years, for the purpose of (description of improvements), with the total assessment to all property owners within the capital improvement district not to exceed $ , plus a contingency of no more than 25% of that assessment, all of which are subject to the property tax collection and lien procedures established by state law, and with said authorization contingent on the voters of the municipality of accepting the public costs for the capital improvement district improvements before any work is done, specifically described as (description of public elements)?"

The voters shall indicate by a cross or check mark placed against the word "Yes" or "No" their opinion of the same.

The municipal officers may proceed with conducting the municipal referendum in accordance with subsection 5 only if 2/3 of those casting ballots pursuant to this subsection vote to approve creating the capital improvement district.

5Referendum of municipal voters.  The referendum of the municipal voters may not be called and conducted for the purposes of this chapter unless the referendum held pursuant to subsection 4 resulted in a 2/3 majority vote supporting the ballot question. If the referendum held pursuant to subsection 4 received a 2/3 majority vote, the municipal officers shall call and conduct a referendum for the voters of the municipality to determine if the public elements of the proposed capital improvement district authorized pursuant to subsection 4 are authorized by the voters of the municipality.

A. The method of calling and voting on the referendum question is as provided in section 2528 except as otherwise provided in this subsection.

B. The referendum of the municipal voters must be scheduled to occur within 45 to 90 days after the date of the referendum held pursuant to subsection 4.

C. The referendum to be voted on must be worded substantially as follows: "Are you in favor of establishing a capital improvement district described on the reverse side of this ballot or in the attachment to this ballot and authorizing a special assessment against the several properties in the capital improvement district, with the special assessment running for a period of years, for the purpose of (describe improvements), with the total assessment to all owners of property within the capital improvement district not to exceed $ , plus a contingency of no more than 25% of that assessment, all of which are subject to the property tax collection and lien procedures established by state law, and are you also in favor of the municipality of accepting the public costs for the capital improvement district improvements, specifically described as (describe the public elements), with all associated and ongoing rights, privileges and responsibilities of public ownership?"
The voters shall indicate by a cross or check mark placed against the word "Yes" or "No" their opinion of the same.

D. If a majority of those voting approve of the ballot question, the capital improvement district is created. Upon the creation of a capital improvement district, the municipality is authorized to raise revenues pursuant to chapter 223 and expend those revenues for the improvements authorized at referendum.

E. If the owners of property within the proposed capital improvement district or the voters of the municipality fail to establish the capital improvement district, the municipal officers may not act upon a proposal to create the same capital improvement district for a period of 3 years from the date that capital improvement district was rejected by voters.

§5214. Implementation of improvements to capital improvement district

1Advisory committee.  The municipal officers are responsible for implementing improvements to the capital improvement district. For the purposes of overseeing the authorized improvements to the capital improvement district, the municipal officers shall appoint an advisory committee consisting of no fewer than 3 and no more than 7 owners of property within the capital improvement district for the purposes of receiving comments and recommendations on the proposed improvement or improvements within the capital improvement district. Advisory committee members serve at the pleasure of the municipal officers.

2Cost of improvement.  The initial cost of an authorized improvement in a capital improvement district is borne by the municipality until the improvement is complete, as determined by the municipal officers. Commencing with the first tax year that begins after the determination by the municipal officers that the improvement is complete, the municipality shall levy a special assessment against each property in the capital improvement district representing that property's annual share of the cost of the improvement as determined by the municipal officers and projected in the referenda ballots that created the capital improvement district, unless the actual total cost of the improvement is determined to be less than projected during the referenda, in which case the special assessments are reduced proportionally to reflect the actual cost.

3Method of assessment.  The special assessments must be included in the next annual warrant to the tax collector of the municipality for collection and must be collected in the same manner as state, county and municipal taxes are collected.

4Annual report.  The municipality's annual report must record the progress of implementing the improvements to the capital improvement district. At a minimum, the annual report must include:

A. The boundaries of the capital improvement district;

B. The public elements of the capital improvement district;

C. The improvements to the capital improvement district made by the municipality; and

D. The total cost of those improvements, the schedule of the assessed shares and contingency fees against the property located within the district to pay for the improvements and the degree to which those assessed shares and contingency fees have been collected.

§5215. Dissolution of capital improvement district

A capital improvement district created under this chapter may not be dissolved until the debt created by the improvements is finally discharged and the special assessments levied for the purpose of providing for those improvements have been paid or otherwise satisfied. The municipal officers shall dissolve a capital improvement district upon certification of the discharge of debt. The certification of the discharge of debt must be presented to the municipal officers by the municipal treasurer. At a minimum, the certification must include an attestation by the municipal treasurer that all assessed shares levied for the improvements in a capital improvement district have been paid in full or a property tax lien has been recorded in the registry of deeds.

 

CHAPTER 206
DEVELOPMENT DISTRICTS

SUBCHAPTER 1
MUNICIPAL DEVELOPMENT DISTRICTS FOR MUNICIPALITIES AND PLANTATIONS

§5221. Findings and declaration of necessity

1. Legislative finding.  The Legislature finds that there is a need for new development in areas of municipalities and plantations to:

A. Provide new employment opportunities;

B. Improve and broaden the tax base; and

C. Improve the general economy of the State.

2. Authorization.  For the reasons set out in subsection 1, municipalities and plantations may develop a program for improving a district of the municipality or plantation:

A. To provide impetus for industrial, commercial, transit-oriented or arts district development, or any combination;

B. To increase employment; and

C. To provide the facilities outlined in the development program adopted by the legislative body of the municipality or plantation.

3. Declaration of public purpose.  It is declared that the actions required to assist the implementation of development programs are a public purpose and that the execution and financing of these programs are a public purpose.

§5222. Definitions

As used in this subchapter, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.

1. Amenities.  "Amenities" means items of street furniture, signs and landscaping, including, but not limited to, plantings, benches, trash receptacles, street signs, sidewalks and pedestrian malls.

1-A. Arts district.  "Arts district" means a specified area within the corporate limits of a municipality or plantation that has been designated by the municipality or plantation for the purpose of providing employment and cultural opportunities through the development of arts opportunities, including, but not limited to, museums, galleries, arts education, art studios, performing arts venues and associated businesses.

2. Captured assessed value.  "Captured assessed value" means the amount, as a percentage or stated sum, of increased assessed value that is utilized from year to year to finance the project costs contained within the development program.

3. Commissioner.  "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development.

4. Current assessed value.  "Current assessed value" means the assessed value of the district certified by the municipal or plantation assessor as of April 1st of each year that the development district remains in effect.

5. Department.  "Department" means the Department of Economic and Community Development.

6. Development district.  "Development district" means a specified area within the corporate limits of a municipality or plantation that has been designated as provided under sections 5223 and 5226 and that is to be developed under a development program.

7. Development program.  "Development program" means a statement of means and objectives designed to provide new employment opportunities, retain existing employment, improve or broaden the tax base, construct or improve the physical facilities and structures or improve the quality of pedestrian and vehicular transportation, as described in section 5224, subsection 2.

8. Downtown.  "Downtown" means the traditional central business district of a community that has served as the center of socioeconomic interaction in the community, characterized by a cohesive core of commercial and mixed-use buildings, often interspersed with civic, religious and residential buildings and public spaces, that are typically arranged along a main street and intersecting side streets and served by public infrastructure.

9. Downtown tax increment financing district.  "Downtown tax increment financing district" means a tax increment financing district described in a downtown redevelopment plan that is consistent with the downtown criteria established pursuant to rules of the department.

10. Financial plan.  "Financial plan" means a statement of the project costs and sources of revenue required to accomplish the development program.

10-A. Fisheries and wildlife or marine resources project.   "Fisheries and wildlife or marine resources project" means a project approved by the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife or the Department of Marine Resources undertaken for the purpose of improving public access to freshwater or saltwater fisheries and wildlife resources of the State for fishing, hunting, research or observation or for conservation or improvement of the freshwater or saltwater fisheries and wildlife resources of the State.

11. Increased assessed value.  "Increased assessed value" means the valuation amount by which the current assessed value of a tax increment financing district exceeds the original assessed value of the district. If the current assessed value is equal to or less than the original, there is no increased assessed value.

12. Maintenance and operation.  "Maintenance and operation" means all activities necessary to maintain facilities after they have been developed and all activities necessary to operate the facilities, including, but not limited to, informational, promotional and educational programs and safety and surveillance activities.

13. Original assessed value.  "Original assessed value" means the assessed value of a development district as of March 31st of the tax year preceding the year in which it was designated and, for development districts designated on or after April 1, 2014, "original
assessed value" means the taxable assessed value of a development district as of March 31st of the tax year preceding the year in which it was designated by the legislative body of a municipality or a plantation

14. Project costs.  "Project costs" means any expenditures or monetary obligations incurred or expected to be incurred that are authorized by section 5225, subsection 1 and included in a development program.

15. Tax increment.  "Tax increment" means real and personal property taxes assessed by a municipality or plantation, in excess of any state, county or special district tax, upon the increased assessed value of property in the development district.

16. Tax increment financing district.  "Tax increment financing district" means a type of development district, or portion of a district, that uses tax increment financing under section 5227.

17. Tax shifts.  "Tax shifts" means the effect on a municipality's or plantation's state revenue sharing, education subsidies and county tax obligations that  results from the designation of a tax increment financing district and the capture of increased assessed value.

18. Tax year.  "Tax year" means the period of time beginning on April 1st and ending on the succeeding March 31st.

19. Transit.  "Transit" means transportation systems in which people are conveyed by means other than their own vehicles, including, but not limited to, bus systems, street cars, light rail and other rail systems.

20. Transit facility.  "Transit facility" means a place providing access to transit services, including, but not limited to, bus stops, bus stations, interchanges on a highway used by one or more transit providers, ferry landings, train stations, shuttle terminals and bus rapid transit stops.

21. Transit-oriented development.  "Transit-oriented development" means a type of development that links land use with transit facilities to support and be supported by a transit system. It combines housing with complementary public uses such as jobs, retail or services establishments that are located in transit-served nodes or corridors. Transit-oriented development is intended through location and design to rely on transit as one of the means of meeting the transportation needs of residents, customers and occupants as demonstrated through such factors as transit facility proximity, mixed uses, off-street parking space ratio less than industry standards, architectural accommodation for transit and marketing that highlights transit.

22. Transit-oriented development area.  "Transit-oriented development area" means an area of any shape such that no part of the perimeter is more than 1/4 mile from an existing or planned transit facility.

23. Transit-oriented development corridor.  "Transit-oriented development corridor" means a strip of land of any length and up to 500 feet on either side of a roadway serving as a principal transit route.

24. Transit-oriented development district.  "Transit-oriented development district" means a tax increment financing district consisting of a transit-oriented development area or a transit-oriented development corridor.

§5223. Development districts

1. Creation.  A municipal or plantation legislative body may designate a development district within the boundaries of the municipality or plantation in accordance with the requirements of this chapter. If the municipality has a charter, the designation of a development district may not be in conflict with the provisions of the municipal charter.

2. Considerations for approval.  Before designating a development district within the boundaries of a municipality or plantation, or before establishing a development program for a designated development district, the legislative body of a municipality or plantation must consider whether the proposed district or program will contribute to the economic growth or well-being of the municipality or plantation or to the betterment of the health, welfare or safety of the inhabitants of the municipality or plantation. Interested parties must be given a reasonable opportunity to present testimony concerning the proposed district or program at the hearing provided for in section 5226, subsection 1. If an interested party claims at the public hearing that the proposed district or program will result in a substantial detriment to that party's existing business in the municipality or plantation and produces substantial evidence to that effect, the legislative body must consider that evidence. When considering that evidence, the legislative body also shall consider whether any adverse economic effect of the proposed district or program on that interested party's existing business in the municipality or plantation is outweighed by the contribution made by the district or program to the economic growth or well-being of the municipality or plantation or to the betterment of the health, welfare or safety of the inhabitants of the municipality or plantation.

3. Conditions for approval.  Designation of a development district is subject to the following conditions.

A. At least 25%, by area, of the real property within a development district must meet at least one of the following criteria:

(1) Must be a blighted area;

(2) Must be in need of rehabilitation, redevelopment or conservation work including a fisheries and wildlife or marine resources project; or

(3) Must be suitable for commercial or arts district uses.

B. The total area of a single development district may not exceed 2% of the total acreage of the municipality or plantation. The total area of all development districts may not exceed 5% of the total acreage of the municipality or plantation

C. The original assessed value of a proposed tax increment financing district plus the original assessed value of all existing tax increment financing districts within the municipality or plantation may not exceed 5% of the total value of taxable property within the municipality or plantation as of April 1st preceding the date of the commissioner's approval of the designation of the proposed tax increment financing district.

Excluded from the calculation in this paragraph is any district excluded from the calculation under former section 5253, subsection 1, paragraph C and any district designated on or after the effective date of this chapter that meets the following criteria:

(1) The development program contains project costs, authorized by section 5225, subsection 1, paragraph A, that exceed $10,000,000;

(2) The geographic area consists entirely of contiguous property owned by a single taxpayer;

(3) The assessed value exceeds 10% of the total value of taxable property within the municipality or plantation; and

(4) The development program does not contain project costs authorized by section 5225, subsection 1, paragraph C.

For the purpose of this paragraph, "contiguous property" includes a parcel or parcels of land divided by a road, power line or right-of-way.

The conditions in paragraphs A to C do not apply to approved downtown tax increment financing districts, tax increment financing districts that consist solely of one or more community wind power generation facilities owned by a community wind power generator that has been certified by the Public Utilities Commission pursuant to Title 35-A, section 3403, subsection 3 or transit-oriented development districts.

4. Powers of municipality or plantation.  Within development districts and consistent with the development program, the municipality or plantation may acquire, construct, reconstruct, improve, preserve, alter, extend, operate or maintain property or promote development intended to meet the objectives of the development program. Pursuant to the development program, the municipality or plantation may acquire property, land or easements through negotiation or by using eminent domain powers in the manner authorized for community development programs under section 5204. The municipality's or plantation's legislative body may adopt ordinances regulating traffic in and access to any facilities constructed within the development district. The municipality or plantation may install public improvements.

§5224. Development programs

1. Adoption.  The legislative body of a municipality or plantation shall adopt a development program for each development district. The development program must be adopted at the same time as is the district, as part of the district adoption proceedings or, if at a different time, in the same manner as adoption of the district, with the same notice and hearing requirements of section 5226. Before adopting a development program, the municipal or plantation legislative body shall consider the factors and evidence specified in section 5223, subsection 2.

2. Requirements.  The development program must include:

A. A financial plan in accordance with subsections 3 and 4;

B. A description of public facilities, improvements or programs to be financed in whole or in part by the development program;

C. A description of commercial facilities, arts districts, transit expansion, improvements or projects to be financed in whole or in part by the development program;

D. Plans for the relocation of persons displaced by the development activities;

E. The proposed regulations and facilities to improve transportation;

F. The environmental controls to be applied;

G. The proposed operation of the development district after the planned capital improvements are completed;

H. The duration of the development district, which may not exceed a total of 30 tax years beginning with the tax year in which the designation of the development district is effective pursuant to section 5226 or, if specified in the development program, the subsequent tax year; 

I. All documentation submitted to or prepared by the municipality or plantation under section 5223, subsection 2.

3. Financial plan for development program.  The financial plan for a development program must include:

A. Cost estimates for the development program;

B. The amount of public indebtedness to be incurred;

C. Sources of anticipated revenues; and D. A description of the terms and conditions of any agreements, contracts or other obligations related to the development program.

4. Financial plan for tax increment financing districts.  In addition to the items required by subsection 3, the financial plan for a development program for a tax increment financing district must include the following for each year of the program:

A. Estimates of increased assessed values of the district;

B. The portion of the increased assessed values to be applied to the development program as captured assessed values and resulting tax increments in each year of the program; and

C. A calculation of the tax shifts resulting from designation of the tax increment financing district.

5. Limitation.  For tax increment financing districts, the municipality or plantation may expend the tax increments received for any development program only in accordance with the financial plan.

§5225. Project costs

1. Authorized project costs.  The commissioner shall review proposed project costs to ensure compliance with this subsection. Authorized project costs are:

A. Costs of improvements made within the tax increment financing district, including, but not limited to:

(1) Capital costs, including, but not limited to:

(a) The acquisition or construction of land, improvements, public ways, buildings, structures, fixtures and equipment for public, arts district, new or existing recreational trail, commercial or transit-oriented development district use.

(i) Eligible transit-oriented development district capital costs include but are not limited to: transit vehicles such as buses, ferries, vans, rail conveyances and related equipment; bus shelters and other transit-related structures; benches, signs and other transit-related infrastructure; bicycle lane construction and other bicycle-related improvements; pedestrian improvements such as crosswalks, crosswalk signals and warning systems and crosswalk curb treatments; and the nonresidential commercial portions of transit-oriented development projects.

(ii) Eligible recreational trail-related development district capital costs include but are not limited to new or existing trails, including bridges that are part of the trail corridor, used all or in part for all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles, hiking, bicycling, cross-country skiing or other related multiple uses, signs, crosswalks, signals and warning systems and other related improvements.

(iii) Eligible development district capital costs for public ways include but are not limited to scenic turnouts, signs, railing and other related improvements;

(b) The demolition, alteration, remodeling, repair or reconstruction of existing buildings, structures and fixtures;

(c) Site preparation and finishing work; and

(d) All fees and expenses that are eligible to be included in the capital cost of such improvements, including, but not limited to, licensing and permitting expenses and planning, engineering, architectural, testing, legal and accounting expenses;

(2) Financing costs, including, but not limited to, closing costs, issuance costs and interest    paid to holders of evidences of indebtedness issued to pay for project costs and any premium paid over the principal amount of that indebtedness because of the redemption of the obligations before maturity;

(3) Real property assembly costs;

(4) Professional service costs, including, but not limited to, licensing, architectural, planning, engineering and legal expenses;

(5) Administrative costs, including, but not limited to, reasonable charges for the time spent by municipal or plantation employees in connection with the implementation of a development program;

(6) Relocation costs, including, but not limited to, relocation payments made following    condemnation;

(7) Organizational costs relating to the establishment of the district, including, but not limited   to, the costs of conducting environmental impact and other studies and the costs of informing the public about the creation of development districts and the implementation of project plans; and

(8) In the case of transit-oriented development districts, ongoing costs of adding to an existing transit system or creating a new transit service and limited strictly to transit operator salaries, transit vehicle fuel and transit vehicle parts replacements;

B. Costs of improvements that are made outside the tax increment financing district but are directly related to or are made necessary by the establishment or operation of the district, including, but not limited to:

(1) That portion of the costs reasonably related to the construction, alteration or expansion of any facilities not located within the district that are required due to improvements or activities within the district, including, but not limited to, sewage treatment plants, water treatment plants or other environmental protection devices; storm or sanitary sewer lines; water lines; electrical lines; improvements to fire stations; and amenities on streets;

(2) Costs of public safety improvements made necessary by the establishment of the district; and

(3) Costs of funding to mitigate any adverse impact of the district upon the municipality or plantation and its constituents. This funding may be used for public facilities and improvements if:

(a) The public facilities or improvements are located in a downtown tax increment financing district; and

(b) The entire tax increment from the downtown tax increment financing district is committed to the development program of the tax increment financing district;

C. Costs related to economic development, environmental improvements, fisheries and wildlife or marine resources projects, recreational trails or employment training within the municipality or plantation, including, but not limited to:

(1) Costs of funding economic development programs or events developed by the municipality or plantation or funding the marketing of the municipality or plantation as a business or arts location;

(2) Costs of funding environmental improvement projects developed by the municipality or plantation for commercial or arts district use or related to such activities;

(3) Funding to establish permanent economic development revolving loan funds, investment funds and grants;

(4) Costs of services and equipment to provide skills development and training, including scholarships to in-state educational institutions or to online learning entities when in-state options are not available, for jobs created or retained in the municipality or plantation. These costs must be designated as training funds in the development program;

(5) Quality child care costs, including finance costs and construction, staffing, training, certification and accreditation costs related to child care;

(6) Costs associated with new or existing recreational trails determined by the department to have significant potential to promote economic development, including, but not limited to, costs for multiple projects and project phases that may include planning, design, construction, maintenance, grooming and improvements with respect to new or existing recreational trails, which may include bridges that are part of the trail corridor, used all or in part for all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles, hiking, bicycling, cross-country skiing or other related multiple uses;

(7) Costs associated with a new or expanded transit service, limited to:

(a) Transit service capital costs, including but not limited to: transit vehicles such as buses, ferries, vans, rail conveyances and related equipment; bus shelters and other transit-related structures; and benches, signs and other transit-related infrastructure; and

(b) In the case of transit-oriented development districts, ongoing costs of adding to an existing transit system or creating a new transit service and limited strictly to transit operator salaries, transit vehicle fuel and transit vehicle parts replacements;  and

(8) Costs associated with the development of fisheries and wildlife or marine resources projects; and

D. Costs of constructing or improving facilities or buildings leased by State Government or a municipal or plantation government that are located in approved downtown tax increment financing districts.

2. Unauthorized project costs.  Except as provided in subsection 1, paragraph D, the commissioner may not approve as a project cost the cost of facilities, buildings or portions of buildings used predominantly for the general conduct of government or for public recreational purposes, including, but not limited to, city halls and other headquarters of government where the governing body meets regularly, courthouses, jails, police stations and other state and local government office buildings, recreation centers, athletic fields and swimming pools.

3. Limitation.  Tax increments received from any development program may not be used to circumvent other tax laws.

§5226. Procedure

1. Notice and hearing.  Before designating a development district or adopting a development program, the municipal or plantation legislative body or the municipal or plantation legislative body's designee must hold at least one public hearing. Notice of the hearing must be published at least 10 days before the hearing in a newspaper of general circulation within the municipality or plantation.

2. Review by commissioner.  Before final designation of a tax increment financing district, the commissioner shall review the proposal to ensure that the proposal complies with statutory requirements. In the case of a downtown tax increment financing district, the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry and the Department of Transportation shall review the proposal and provide advice to assist the commissioner in making a decision under this subsection.

3. Effective date.  A designation of a tax increment financing district or a development program for a tax increment financing district is effective upon approval by the commissioner. A designation of a development district other than a tax increment financing district is effective upon approval by the municipal or plantation legislative body. A development program other than a development program for a tax increment financing district is effective upon adoption by the municipal or plantation legislative body.

4. Administration of district.  The legislative body of a municipality or plantation may create a department, designate an existing department, office, agency, municipal housing or redevelopment authority or enter into a contractual arrangement with a private entity to administer activities authorized under this chapter.

5. Amendments.  A municipality or plantation may amend a designated development district or an adopted development program only after meeting the requirements of this section for designation of a development district or adoption of a development program. A municipality or plantation may not amend the designation of a development district if the amendment would result in the district's being out of compliance with any of the conditions in section 5223, subsection 3.

§5227. Tax increment financing

1. Designation of captured assessed value.  A municipality or plantation may retain all or part of the tax increment revenues generated from the increased assessed value of a tax increment financing district for the purpose of financing the development program. The amount of tax increment revenues to be retained is determined by designating the captured assessed value. When a development program for a tax increment financing district is adopted, the municipal or plantation legislative body shall adopt a statement of the percentage of increased assessed value to be retained as captured assessed value in accordance with the development program. The statement of percentage may establish a specific percentage or percentages or may describe a method or formula for determination of the percentage. The municipal assessor or plantation assessor shall certify the amount of the captured assessed value to the municipality or plantation each year.

2. Certification of assessed value.  On or after formation of a tax increment financing district, the assessor of the municipality or plantation in which it is located shall certify the original assessed value of the taxable property within the boundaries of the tax increment financing district. Each year after the designation of a tax increment financing district, the municipal assessor or plantation assessor shall certify the amount by which the assessed value has increased or decreased from the original value.

Nothing in this subsection allows or sanctions unequal apportionment or assessment of the taxes to be paid on real property in the State. An owner of real property within the tax increment financing district shall pay real property taxes apportioned equally with property taxes paid elsewhere in the municipality or plantation.

3. Development program fund; tax increment revenues.  If a municipality or plantation has designated captured assessed value under subsection 1, the municipality or plantation shall:

A. Establish a development program fund that consists of the following:

(1) A project cost account that is pledged to and charged with the payment of project costs that are outlined in the financial plan and are paid in a manner other than as described in subparagraph (2); and

(2) In instances of municipal or plantation indebtedness, a development sinking fund account that is pledged to and charged with the payment of the interest and principal as the interest and principal fall due and the necessary charges of paying interest and principal on any notes, bonds or other evidences of indebtedness that were issued to fund or refund the cost of the development program fund;

B. Annually set aside all tax increment revenues on captured assessed values and deposit all such revenues to the appropriate development program fund account established under paragraph A in the following order of priority:

(1) To the development sinking fund account, an amount sufficient, together with estimated future revenues to be deposited to the account and earnings on the amount, to satisfy all annual debt service on bonds and notes issued under section 5231 and the financial plan; and

(2) To the project cost account, an amount sufficient, together with estimated future revenues to be deposited to the account and earnings on the amount, to satisfy all annual project costs to be paid from the account;

C. Make transfers between development program fund accounts established under paragraph A as required, provided that the transfers do not result in a balance in the development sinking fund account that is insufficient to cover the annual obligations of that account; and

D. Annually return to the municipal or plantation general fund any tax increment revenues remaining in the development sinking fund account established under paragraph A in excess of those estimated to be required to satisfy the obligations of the development sinking fund account after taking into account any transfers made under paragraph C. The municipality or plantation, at any time during the term of the district, by vote of the municipal or plantation officers, may return to the municipal or plantation general fund any tax increment revenues remaining in the project cost account established under paragraph A in excess of those estimated to be required to satisfy the obligations of the development project cost account after taking into account any transfer made under paragraph C. In either case, the corresponding amount of local valuation may not be included as part of the captured assessed value as specified by the municipality or plantation.

§5228. Assessments

1. Assessments.  A municipality or plantation may estimate and make the following assessments:

A. A development assessment upon lots or property within the development district. The assessment must be made upon lots or property that have been benefited by improvements constructed or created under the development program and may not exceed a just and equitable proportionate share of the cost of the improvement. All revenues from assessments under this paragraph are paid into the appropriate development fund program account established under section 5227, subsection 3;

B. A maintenance assessment upon all lots or property within the development district. The assessment must be assessed equally and uniformly on all lots or property receiving benefits from the development program and the continued operation of the public facilities. The total maintenance assessments may not exceed the cost of maintenance and operation of the public facilities within the district. The cost of maintenance and operation must be in addition to the cost of maintenance and operation already being performed by the municipality or plantation within the district when the development district was adopted; and

C. An implementation assessment upon all lots or property within the development district. The assessment must be assessed equally and uniformly on all lots or property receiving benefits from the development program. The implementation assessments may be used to fund activities that, in the opinion of the municipal or plantation legislative body, are reasonably necessary to achieve the purposes of the development program. The activities funded by implementation assessments must be in addition to those already conducted within the district by the municipality or plantation when the development district was adopted.

2. Notice and hearing.  Before estimating and making an assessment under subsection 1, the municipality or plantation must give notice and hold a hearing. Notice of the hearing must be published at least 10 days before the hearing in a newspaper of general circulation within the municipality or plantation. The notice must include:

A. The date, time and place of hearing;

B. The boundaries of the development district by legal description;

C. A statement that all interested persons owning real estate or taxable property located within the district will be given an opportunity to be heard at the hearing and an opportunity to file objections to the amount of the assessment;

D. The maximum rate of assessments to be extended in any one year; and

E. A statement indicating that a proposed list of properties to be assessed and the estimated assessments against those properties is available at the city or town office or at the office of the assessor.

The notice may include a maximum number of years the assessments will be levied.

3. Apportionment formula.  A municipality or plantation may adopt ordinances apportioning the value of improvements within a development district according to a formula that reflects actual benefits that accrue to the various properties because of the development and maintenance.

4. Increase of assessments and extension of time limits.  A municipality or plantation may increase assessments or extend the specified period after notice and hearing as required under subsection 2.

5. Collection.  Assessments made under this section must be collected in the same manner as municipal or plantation taxes. The constable or municipal tax collector or plantation assessor has all the authority and powers by law to collect the assessments. If any property owner fails to pay any assessment or part of an assessment on or before the dates required, the municipality or plantation has all the authority and powers to collect the delinquent assessments vested in the municipality or plantation by law to collect delinquent municipal or plantation taxes.

§5229. Rules

The commissioner may adopt rules necessary to carry out the duties imposed by this chapter and to ensure municipal or plantation compliance with this subchapter following designation of a tax increment financing district. Rules adopted pursuant to this section are routine technical rules as defined in Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A.

§5230. Grants

A municipality or plantation may receive grants or gifts for any of the purposes of this chapter. The tax increment revenues within a development district may be used as the local match for certain grant programs.

§5231. Bond financing

The legislative body of a municipality or plantation may authorize, issue and sell bonds, including, but not limited to, general obligation or revenue bonds or notes, that mature within 30 years from the date of issue to finance all project costs needed to carry out the development program within the development district. The municipal or plantation officers authorized to issue the bonds or notes may borrow money in anticipation of the sale of the bonds for a period of up to 3 years by issuing temporary notes and notes in renewal of the bonds. All revenues derived under section 5227 or under section 5228, subsection 1 received by the municipality or plantation are pledged for the payment of the activities described in the development program and used to reduce or cancel the taxes that may otherwise be required to be expended for that purpose. The notes, bonds or other forms of financing may not be included when computing the municipality's or plantation's net debt. Nothing in this section restricts the ability of the municipality or plantation to raise revenue for the payment of project costs in any manner otherwise authorized by law.

§5232. Tax exemption

All publicly owned parking structures and pedestrian skyway systems are exempt from taxation by the municipality or plantation, county and State. This section does not exempt any lessee or person in possession from taxes or assessments payable under Title 36, section 551.

§5233. Advisory board

The legislative body of a municipality or plantation may create an advisory board, a majority of whose members must be owners or occupants of real property located in or adjacent to the development district they serve. The advisory board shall advise the legislative body and the designated administrative entity on the planning, construction and implementation of the development program and maintenance and operation of the district after the program has been completed.

§5234. Special provisions

Notwithstanding the provisions of section 5223, subsection 1 and any other provision of law, in the case of investments exceeding $100,000,000 in shipyard facilities in districts authorized prior to June 30, 1999, revenues must be set aside and deposited by the municipality or plantation to the appropriate development program fund account established under section 5227, subsection 3 and expended to satisfy the obligations of the accounts without the need for further action by the municipality or plantation by appropriation or otherwise. Unless otherwise provided by the municipality or plantation in connection with its approval of the district, tax increment revenues on all captured assessed value may not be taken into account for purposes of calculating any limitation on the municipality's or plantation's annual expenditures or appropriations, and the payment of tax increment revenues on captured assessed value is not subject to any limitation or restriction on the municipality's or plantation's authority or power to enter into contracts with respect to making payments for a term equal to the term of the district.

§5235. Unorganized territory

For the purposes of this chapter, a county may act as a municipality for the unorganized territory within the county and may designate development districts within the unorganized territory. When a county acts under this section, the county commissioners act as the municipality and as the municipal legislative body, the State Tax Assessor acts as the municipal assessor and the unorganized territory fund receives the funds designated for the municipal general fund. For purposes of section 5228, the State acts as the municipal assessing authority.


SUBCHAPTER 2
STATE TAX INCREMENT FINANCING DISTRICTS

§5241. Definitions

As used in this subchapter, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.

1. Base period.  "Base period" means the 3 calendar years preceding the calendar year in which an application for approval of a state tax increment financing district is submitted to the commissioner by a municipality.

2. Affiliated business.  "Affiliated business" means 2 businesses exhibiting either of the following relationships:

A. One business owns 50% or more of the stock of the other business or owns a controlling interest in the other; or

B. Fifty percent of the stock or a controlling interest is directly or indirectly owned by a common owner or owners.

3. Affiliated group.  "Affiliated group" means a designated business and its corresponding affiliated businesses.

4. Captured assessed value.  "Captured assessed value" means the amount, as a percentage or stated sum, of increased assessed value that is utilized from year to year to finance the project costs contained within the development program.

5. Commission. (Repealed)

6. Commissioner.  "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development.

7. Committee.  "Committee" means the Revenue Forecasting Committee established in Title 5, section 1710-E.

8. Designated business.  "Designated business" means a business located within the boundaries of a development district and designated by the municipality as a "designated business" for purposes of state tax increment financing.

9. Development district.  "Development district" means a specified area within the corporate limits of a municipality that has been designated as provided under section 5226 and that is to be developed by the municipality under a development program.

10. Development program.  "Development program" means a statement of means and objectives designed to provide new employment opportunities, retain existing employment, improve or broaden the tax base and improve the physical facilities and structures or the quality of pedestrian and vehicular transportation, as described in section 5224.

11. Financial plan.  "Financial plan" means a statement of the project costs and sources of revenue required to accomplish the development program.

12. Gross state tax increment.  "Gross state tax increment" means the difference, if any, between the sales and income tax revenues attributable to the state tax increment financing district for the current period and the sales and income tax revenues attributable to the state tax increment financing district for the base period.

13. Market area.  "Market area" means a geographic region exclusive of a state tax increment financing district that will be affected by the operation of the district.

14. Project costs.  "Project costs" means any expenditures or monetary obligations incurred or expected to be incurred that are authorized by section 5225, subsection 1 and included in a development program.

15. State tax increment.  "State tax increment" means the net annual gain, if any, in sales tax paid as a result of taxable events occurring within a state tax increment financing district and the net annual gain, if any, in state income taxes withheld as a result of wages paid for labor performed within the district.

16. State tax increment financing district.  "State tax increment financing district" means a type of tax increment financing district, or portion of a district, that uses state tax increment financing under section 5242.

17. Tax increment financing district.  "Tax increment financing district" means a type of development district, or portion of a district, that uses tax increment financing under section 5227.

§5242. State tax increment financing

1. Eligibility.  Any tax increment financing district designated by a municipality and approved by the commissioner under section 5226, subsection 2 is eligible to be approved as a state tax increment financing district if captured assessed value within the district is created after July 30, 1991, except that, in accordance with subsection 12, no new state tax increment financing district may be created after June 30, 1996.

2. Procedure for establishing state tax increment financing district.  A municipality desiring to establish a state tax increment financing district must apply to the commissioner for approval of the proposed state tax increment financing district. The procedure for application is as follows.

A. The proposed state tax increment financing district must be approved locally by vote of the municipal officers of the municipality within which the proposed district will be located. Before approving a state tax increment financing district, the municipal officers must hold at least one public hearing. Notice of the hearing must be published at least 10 days before the hearing in a newspaper of general circulation within the county in which the municipality is located.

B. The municipal officers shall adopt for the proposed state tax increment financing district a development program that identifies all designated businesses within the district and sets forth the amount of sales tax paid by designated businesses in connection with operations within the proposed district, the number of employees at designated businesses and the total state income taxes withheld by designated businesses for the base period. The development program may be combined with or integrated into the development program for the underlying municipal development district pursuant to subchapter I or may be separately stated, maintained and implemented. The development program may specify the allocable shares of the municipality and each designated business for liability for refund of the state tax increment revenues resulting from an audit. That allocation may be made by any means determined by the municipal officers to reasonably reflect the economic benefit derived from operation of the district.

C. Prior to approval of the proposed state tax increment financing district, the committee shall estimate the annual amount to be deposited in the state tax increment contingent account pursuant to subsection 6 for all existing state tax increment financing districts, including the proposed district, and that estimate may be used only in determining compliance with the limitations imposed under subsection 8, paragraphs C and D.

D. The municipality, acting through its municipal officers or their designee, shall submit an application to the commissioner on such form or forms and with such supporting data as the commissioner requires for approval of the proposed state tax increment financing district, including without limitation certifications by the designated businesses as to the average annual number of persons employed by each designated business within the boundaries of the proposed district, the average total state income taxes withheld by designated businesses during the base period and the average annual amount of sales tax remittances paid by each designated business from operations within the boundaries of the proposed district during the base period.

3. Approval.  Prior to issuing a certificate of approval for any state tax increment financing district, the commissioner must determine that:

A. The economic development described in the development program will not go forward without the approval of the state tax increment financing district. This requirement does not apply to the addition of state tax increment financing provisions to municipal development districts that are created prior to June 30, 1992;

B. The proposed district will make a contribution to the economic growth of the State, the control of pollution in the State or the betterment of the health, welfare or safety of the inhabitants of the State; and

C. The economic development described in the development program will not result in a substantial detriment to existing businesses in the State. In order to make this determination, the commissioner shall consider, pursuant to Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2, those factors the commissioner determines necessary to measure and evaluate the effect of the proposed district on existing businesses, including:

(1) Whether a proposed district should be approved if, as a result of the benefits to designated businesses, there will not be sufficient demand within the market area of the State to be served by the project to employ the efficient capacity of existing businesses; and

(2) Whether any adverse economic effect of the proposed district on existing businesses is outweighed by the contribution described in paragraph B.

The municipality has the burden of demonstrating that the proposed district will not result in a substantial detriment to existing businesses in accordance with the requirements of this paragraph, including rules adopted pursuant to this paragraph, except that, when no interested parties object to the proposed district, the requirements of this paragraph are deemed satisfied. Interested parties must be given an opportunity, with or without a hearing at the discretion of the commissioner, to present their objections to the proposed district on grounds that the proposed district will result in a substantial detriment to existing businesses. If any interested party presents objections with reasonable specificity and persuasiveness, the commissioner may divulge any information concerning the economic development described in the development program that the commissioner considers necessary for a fair presentation by the objecting party and an evaluation of those objections. If the commissioner finds that the municipality has failed to meet its burden as specified in this paragraph, the application must be denied.

Rules adopted pursuant to this paragraph are routine technical rules as defined in Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A.

Upon approval of the state tax increment financing district, the commissioner shall issue a certificate of approval.

4. Retained state tax revenues.  The following provisions govern retained state tax revenues.

A. On or before April 15th of each year, designated businesses located within a state tax increment financing district shall report the amount of sales tax paid in connection with operations within the district, the number of employees within the district, the state income taxes withheld from employees within the district for the immediately preceding calendar year and any further information the State Tax Assessor may reasonably require.

On or before June 30th of each year, the State Tax Assessor shall determine the state tax increment of a district for the preceding calendar year.

B. A municipality may receive up to 25% of the state tax increment revenues generated by or at designated businesses within a state tax increment financing district as determined by the State Tax Assessor subject to the further limitations in subsection 8, and that amount is referred to in this section as "retained state tax increment revenues."

5. Calculation of state tax increment.  The State Tax Assessor shall calculate a state tax increment for a particular state tax increment financing district by:

A. Determining the gross state tax increment as applicable to the particular district;

B. Determining the state tax increment as applicable to the particular district by removing from the gross state tax increment:

(1) Revenues attributed to business activity shifted from affiliated businesses to the state tax increment financing district. This adjustment is calculated by comparing the current year's sales and income tax revenues for each designated business that is a member of an affiliated group with revenues for the group as a whole. If the growth in sales and income tax revenue for the entire group exceeds the growth of sales and income tax revenue generated by the designated business, the gross state tax increment does not have to be adjusted to remove business activity shifted from affiliated businesses. If the growth in sales and income tax revenue for the affiliated group is less than the growth in sales and income tax revenue for the designated business, the difference is presumed to have been shifted from affiliated businesses to the designated business and the gross state tax increment for the district is reduced by the difference; and

(2) Revenues attributed to normal growth. This adjustment is calculated by subtracting from the gross state tax increment a figure obtained by multiplying the previous year's total amount of sales taxes reported and income taxes withheld by designated businesses within the district by the percentage change in sales tax receipts and withholding taxes for all businesses within the State as a whole;

C. Offsetting designated businesses with negative tax increments with those with positive increments in determining the state tax increment for the district as a whole; and

D. Excluding all income tax revenue in calculating the state tax increment attributable to retail business operations.

6. State tax increment contingent account created.  The Commissioner of Administrative and Financial Services shall establish, maintain and administer the state tax increment contingent account. On or before June 30th of each year, the Commissioner of Administrative and Financial Services shall deposit an amount equal to the total retained state tax increment revenues for the preceding calendar year for approved state tax increment financing districts in the state tax increment contingent account. On or before July 31st of each year, the Commissioner of Administrative and Financial Services shall pay to each municipality an amount equal to the retained state tax increment revenues for the preceding calendar year from all state tax increment financing districts located within that municipality.

7. Application of payment to municipalities.  All retained state tax increment revenues paid to a municipality must be deposited in the appropriate development program fund established in section 5227, subsection 3 and invested, used and applied in the manner described in the development program, except that:

A. The amount of retained state tax increment revenues paid to a municipality may not exceed the amount of tax increment revenues generated by the municipality pursuant to section 5227, subsection 3 and required to be deposited in a development program fund account; and

B. All retained state tax increment revenues not required to satisfy the estimated obligations of the development program fund account revert to the State.

8. Limitations.  The following limitations apply.

A. A state tax increment financing district may apply only to designated businesses involved in nonretail commercial activities, including, but not limited to, manufacturing, wholesaling, warehousing, distribution, office, administration and other service-related commercial activities. Notwithstanding this paragraph, a state tax increment financing district may apply to designated businesses involved in retail commercial activities pursuant to subsection 9. The state tax increment must be calculated pursuant to this section.

B. A development program for a state tax increment financing district must identify all designated businesses within the district and specify the direct financial benefits to be provided to the designated businesses, if any. A municipality may designate a business relocating from another location in this State, when that relocation involves moving the locus of employment and sales, only if the municipal officers find that the relocation will result in an increase in the amount of sales or the number of employees of the business above the average annual sales and employment levels at the prior location during the base period. When such a relocating business is designated, the sales tax, the number of employees and the state income taxes withheld for the base period must be those reported in the development program for that business at its prior location.

C. The retained state tax increment revenues attributable to an individual state tax increment financing district may not exceed 10% of the aggregated total allowed within the state tax increment contingent account.

D. At no time may the aggregate annual retained state tax increment revenues for all state tax increment financing districts exceed $20,000,000.

E. A transfer of ownership interest in or any of the assets of an existing business may not be construed as creating newly generated state tax revenues except to the extent of actual increase in the amount of sales or the number of employees above the average annual sales and employment levels during the base period.

F. State tax increment revenues received by a municipality pursuant to subsection 4 may be used by the municipality to offset up to 1/2 of existing tax increment financing obligations arising under section 5227.

G. State tax increment revenues received by a municipality with respect to a particular state tax increment financing district pursuant to subsection 4 may not exceed the amount of estimated state tax increment revenues contained in the district's development program approved by the commissioner pursuant to subsection 2.

9. Districts containing retail business operations.  The commissioner shall approve a state tax increment financing district in which a retail business operation is a designated business upon making a factual determination that the following conditions are satisfied:

A. The district will result in total annual sales tax revenues equal to or greater than $3,000,000 or the district involves, aids or otherwise relates to downtown redevelopment. For purposes of this subsection, "downtown redevelopment" means any rehabilitation or improvement of an area described in the development program that has been used primarily for retail trade and related purposes for at least 25 years, is identified in the municipality's comprehensive plan or zoning ordinance as an area designated for retail trade and related uses and is a blighted area or an area in need of rehabilitation or redevelopment; and

B. A state tax increment is likely to result from the district and that increment will not include sales tax revenues derived from a transferring or shifting of retail sales from another geographic area within the State to the district.

The municipality making the application bears the burden of proving to the commissioner by a preponderance of the evidence that the district satisfies the criteria under paragraphs A and B. For purposes of this subsection, "retail business operation" means a business location engaged in making retail sales of consumer goods for household use to consumers who personally visit the location to purchase the goods.

10. Duration of state designation.  State tax increment financing districts have a maximum duration of 10 years.

11. Program; administration.  The commissioner shall administer this subchapter. The commissioner shall adopt rules pursuant to the Maine Administrative Procedure Act for implementation of the program, including, but not limited to, rules for determining and certifying eligibility and, in consultation with the State Tax Assessor, the amount of the tax increment attributable to particular districts. The commissioner may also establish by rule fees for administration of the program, including fees payable to the State Tax Assessor for obligations under this Part. All fees collected pursuant to this subsection must be deposited into the General Fund. Rules adopted pursuant to this subsection are routine technical rules as defined in Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter II-A.

12. Designation of new state tax increment financing districts prohibited.  The designation of new state tax increment financing districts is prohibited, subject to review by the joint standing committees of the Legislature having jurisdiction over economic development and taxation matters. Designation of new state tax increment financing districts may be resumed only by act of the Legislature.

13. Confidential information.  The following records are confidential for purposes of Title 1, section 402, subsection 3, paragraph A:

A. Any record obtained or developed by a municipality, the commissioner or the State Tax Assessor for designation or approval of a state tax increment financing district. After receipt by the municipality, the commissioner or the State Tax Assessor of the application or proposal, a record pertaining to the application or proposal is not considered confidential unless it meets the requirements of paragraphs B to F;

B. Any record obtained or developed by a municipality, the commissioner or the State Tax Assessor when:

(1) A person, which may include a municipality, to whom the record belongs or pertains has requested that the record be designated confidential; or

(2) The municipality has determined that information in the record gives the owner or a user of that information an opportunity to obtain business or competitive advantage over another person who does not have access to the information or that access to the information by others would result in a business or competitive disadvantage, loss of business or other significant detriment to any person to whom the record belongs or pertains;

C. Any record, including any financial statement or tax return, obtained or developed by the municipality, the commissioner or the State Tax Assessor, the disclosure of which would constitute an invasion of personal privacy, as determined by the governmental entity in possession of that record or information;

D. Any record, including any financial statement or tax return, obtained or developed by the municipality, the commissioner or the State Tax Assessor in connection with any monitoring or servicing activity by the municipality, the commissioner or the State Tax Assessor that pertains to a state tax increment financing district;

E. Any record obtained or developed by the municipality, the commissioner or the State Tax Assessor that contains an assessment by a person who is not employed by that municipality or the State of the creditworthiness or financial condition of any person or project; and

F. Any financial statement if a person to whom the statement belongs or pertains has requested that the record be designated confidential.

A person may not knowingly divulge or disclose records determined confidential by this subsection.

14. Audit process.  Nothing in this section may be construed to limit the State Tax Assessor's authority to conduct an audit of any taxpayer included as a designated business in a development program pursuant to subsection 2, paragraph B. If distributions are made to a municipality with respect to a state tax increment financing district, the designated businesses within that district are subject to audit. When it is determined by the State Tax Assessor upon audit that a municipality has received a distribution larger than that to which it is entitled under this section, the overpayment must be applied against subsequent distributions. When there is not a subsequent distribution, the designated business or businesses to which overpayments were made are liable for the amount of the overpayments and may be assessed pursuant to Title 36.

§5243. Development program fund; state tax increment revenues

If a municipality has designated captured assessed value under section 5227, subsection 1, the municipality shall annually set aside all state tax increment revenues payable to the municipality for public purposes and deposit all such revenues to the appropriate development program fund account in the following priority:

1. Development sinking fund account.  To the development sinking fund account established pursuant to section 5227, subsection 3, an amount sufficient, together with estimated future revenues to be deposited to the account and earnings on the amount, to satisfy all annual debt service on bonds and notes issued under section 5231 and the financial plan; and

2. Project cost account.  To the project cost account established pursuant to section 5227, subsection 3, an amount sufficient, together with estimated future revenues to be deposited to the account and earnings on the amount, to satisfy all annual project costs to be paid from the account.

§5244. Previously designated districts

Development districts and development programs designated before the effective date of this chapter remain in effect as authorized by law at the time of their designation and are governed by former chapter 207 as it existed immediately before its repeal except to the extent of any amendments to such development districts and development programs that are made in accordance with this chapter.

SUBCHAPTER 3
MUNICIPAL AFFORDABLE HOUSING
DEVELOPMENT DISTRICTS

§5245.  Findings and declaration of necessity

1. Legislative finding.  The Legislature finds that there is a need for the development of affordable, livable housing and the containment of the costs of unplanned growth in Maine municipalities.

2.  Authorization.  For the reasons set out in subsection 1, a municipality may develop a program to provide impetus for affordable housing development within a district of the municipality, as provided in the comprehensive plan adopted by the legislative body of the municipality.

3.  Declaration of public purpose.  It is declared that the actions required to assist the implementation of affordable housing development programs are a public purpose and that the execution and financing of these programs are a public purpose.

§5246.  Definitions

As used in this subchapter, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.

1. Affordable housing.  "Affordable housing" means a decent, safe and sanitary dwelling, apartment or other living accommodation for a household whose income does not exceed 120% of the median income for the area as defined by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development under the United States Housing Act of 1937, Public Law 412, 50 Stat. 888, Section 8, as amended.

2. Affordable housing development district.  "Affordable housing development district" or "district" means a specified area within the corporate limits of a municipality that has been designated as provided under sections 5247 and 5250 to be developed under an affordable housing development program and financed under section 5250-A.

3. Affordable housing development program.  "Affordable housing development program" or "program" means a statement of means and objectives designed to encourage the development and maintenance of affordable housing within an affordable housing development district.

4. Amenities.  "Amenities" means items of street furniture, signs and landscaping, including, but not limited to, plantings, benches, trash receptacles, street signs, sidewalks and pedestrian malls.

5. Authority.  "Authority" means the Maine State Housing Authority.

6. Captured assessed value.  "Captured assessed value" means the amount, as a percentage or stated sum, of increased assessed value that is utilized from year to year to finance the project costs contained within the affordable housing development program.

7. Current assessed value.  "Current assessed value" means the assessed value of the district certified by the municipal assessor as of April 1st of each year that the affordable housing development district remains in effect.

8. Director.  "Director" means the Director of the Maine State Housing Authority.

9. Financial plan.  "Financial plan" means a statement of the project costs and sources of revenue required to accomplish the affordable housing development program.

10. Increased assessed value.  "Increased assessed value" means the valuation amount by which the current assessed value of an affordable housing development district exceeds the original assessed value of the district. If the current assessed value is equal to or less than the original, there is no increased assessed value.

11. Maintenance and operation.  "Maintenance and operation" means all activities necessary to maintain affordable housing after development and all activities necessary to operate the affordable housing, including, but not limited to, informational, promotional, safety and surveillance activities.

12. Original assessed value.  "Original assessed value" means the assessed value of an affordable housing development district as of March 31st of the tax year preceding the year in which it was designated and, for affordable housing development districts designated on or after April 1, 2014, "original assessed value" means the taxable assessed value of an affordable housing development district as of March 31st of the tax year preceding the year in which it was designated by the municipality or plantation.

13. Project costs.  "Project costs" means any expenditures or monetary obligations incurred or expected to be incurred that are authorized by section 5249, subsection 1 and included in an affordable housing development program.

14. Tax increment.  "Tax increment" means real property taxes assessed by a municipality, in excess of any state, county or special district tax, upon the increased assessed value of property in the affordable housing development district.

15. Tax shifts.  "Tax shifts" means the effect on a municipality's state revenue sharing, education subsidies and county tax obligations that results from the designation of an affordable housing development district and the capture of increased assessed value.

16. Tax year.  "Tax year" means the period of time beginning on April 1st and ending on the succeeding March 31st.

§5247.  Affordable housing development districts

1. Creation.  A municipal legislative body may designate an affordable housing development district within the boundaries of the municipality in accordance with the requirements of this subchapter. If the municipality has a charter, the designation of an affordable housing development district may not be in conflict with the provisions of the municipal charter.

2. Considerations for approval.  Before designating an affordable housing development district within the boundaries of a municipality, or before establishing an affordable housing development program for a designated affordable housing development district, the legislative body of a municipality must consider whether the proposed district or program will contribute to the expansion of affordable housing opportunities within the municipality or to the betterment of the health, welfare or safety of the inhabitants of the municipality. Interested parties must be given a reasonable opportunity to present testimony concerning the proposed district or program at the hearing provided for in section 5250, subsection 1. If an interested party claims at the public hearing that the proposed district or program will result in a substantial detriment to that party's existing property interests in the municipality and produces substantial evidence to that effect, the legislative body shall consider that evidence. When considering that evidence, the legislative body also shall consider whether any adverse economic effect of the proposed district or program on that interested party's existing property interests in the municipality is outweighed by the contribution made by the district or program to the availability of affordable housing within the municipality or to the betterment of the health, welfare or safety of the inhabitants of the municipality.

3. Conditions for approval.  Designation of an affordable housing development district is subject to the following conditions.

A. At least 25%, by area, of the real property within an affordable housing development district must:

(1) Be suitable for residential use;

(2) Be a blighted area; or

(3) Be in need of rehabilitation or redevelopment.

B. The affordable housing development district is subject to the area cap established in section 5223, subsection 3, paragraph B.

C. The original assessed value of a proposed affordable housing development district plus the original assessed value of all existing affordable housing development districts within the municipality may not exceed 5% of the total value of taxable property within the municipality as of April 1st preceding the date of the director's approval of the designation of the proposed affordable housing development district.

E. The affordable housing development program must show that the development meets an identified community housing need. The affordable housing development program must provide a mechanism to ensure the ongoing affordability for a period of at least 10 years for single-family, owner-occupied units and 30 years for rental units.

G. The district must be primarily a residential development on which at least 33% of the dwelling units are affordable housing and that may be designed to be compact and walkable and to include internal open space, other common open space and one or more small-scale nonresidential uses of service to the residents of the development.

4. Powers of municipality.  Within an affordable housing development district and consistent with an affordable housing development program, a municipality may acquire, construct, reconstruct, improve, preserve, alter, extend, operate or maintain property or promote development intended to meet the objectives of the affordable housing development program. Pursuant to the affordable housing development program, the municipality may acquire property, land or easements through negotiation or by using eminent domain powers in the manner authorized for community development programs under section 5204. The municipality's legislative body may adopt ordinances regulating traffic in and access to any facilities constructed within the affordable housing development district. The municipality may install public improvements.

§5248.  Affordable housing development programs

1. Adoption.  The legislative body of a municipality shall adopt an affordable housing development program for each affordable housing development district. The affordable housing development program must be adopted at the same time as the district as part of the district adoption proceedings or, if at a different time, in the same manner as adoption of the district, with the same notice and hearing requirements of section 5250. Before adopting an affordable housing development program, the municipal legislative body shall consider the factors and evidence specified in section 5247.

2. Requirements.  The affordable housing development program must include:

A. A financial plan in accordance with subsection 3;

B. A description of facilities, improvements or programs to be financed in whole or in part by the affordable housing development program;

C. Plans for the relocation of persons displaced by the development activities;

D. The environmental controls to be applied;

E. The proposed operation of the affordable housing development district after the planned improvements are completed;

F. An assurance that the program complies with section 4349-A;

G. The duration of the program, which may start during any tax year specified in the approval of the affordable housing development program by a municipal legislative body, except that the program may not exceed 30 years after the tax year in which the designation of the district is approved by the director as provided in section 5250, subsection 3; and

H. All documentation submitted to or prepared by the municipality under section 5247, subsection 2.

3. Financial plan for affordable housing development district.  The financial plan for an affordable housing development district must include:

A. Cost estimates for the affordable housing development program;

B. The amount of public indebtedness to be incurred;

C. Sources of anticipated revenues;

D. A description of the terms and conditions of any agreements, contracts or other obligations related to the affordable housing development program; and

E. For each year of the affordable housing development program:

(1) Estimates of increased assessed values of the district;

(2) The portion of the increased assessed values to be applied to the affordable housing development program as captured assessed values and resulting tax increments in each year of the program; and

(3) A calculation of the tax shifts resulting from designation of the affordable housing development district.

4. Limitation.  For affordable housing development districts, a municipality may expend the tax increments received for any affordable housing development program only in accordance with the financial plan.

§5249. Project costs

1. Authorized project costs.  The director shall review proposed project costs to ensure compliance with this subsection. Authorized project costs are:

A. Costs of improvements made within the affordable housing development district, including, but not limited to:

(1) Capital costs, including, but not limited to:

(a) The acquisition of land or construction of public infrastructure improvements for affordable housing development;

(b) The demolition, alteration, remodeling, repair or reconstruction of existing buildings, structures and fixtures;

(c) Site preparation and finishing work; and

(d) All fees and expenses that are eligible to be included in the capital cost of such improvements, including, but not limited to, licensing and permitting expenses and planning, engineering, architectural, testing, legal and accounting expenses;

(2) Financing costs, including, but not limited to, closing costs, issuance costs and interest paid to holders of evidences of indebtedness issued to pay for project costs and any premium paid over the principal amount of that indebtedness because of the redemption of the obligations before maturity;

(3) Real property assembly costs;

(4) Professional service costs, including, but not limited to, licensing, architectural, planning, engineering and legal expenses;

(5) Administrative costs, including, but not limited to, reasonable charges for the time spent by municipal employees in connection with the implementation of an affordable housing development program;

(6) Relocation costs, including, but not limited to, relocation payments made following condemnation;

(7) Organizational costs relating to the establishment of the affordable housing district, including, but not limited to, the costs of conducting environmental impact and other studies and the costs of informing the public about the creation of affordable housing development districts and the implementation of project plans;

(8) Costs of facilities used predominantly for recreational purposes, including, but not limited to, recreation centers, athletic fields and swimming pools; and

(9) Costs for child care, including finance costs and construction, staffing, training, certification and accreditation costs related to child care located in the affordable housing development district;

(10) Costs of case management and support services; and

(11) Operating costs, including but not limited to property management and administration, utilities, routine repairs and maintenance, insurance, real estate taxes and funding of a projects capital reserve account; and 

B. Costs of improvements that are made outside the affordable housing development district but are directly related to or are made necessary by the establishment or operation of the district, including, but not limited to:

(1) That portion of the costs reasonably related to the construction, alteration or expansion of any facilities not located within the district that are required due to improvements or activities within the district, including, but not limited to, sewage treatment plants, water treatment plants or other environmental protection devices; storm or sanitary sewer lines; water lines; electrical lines; improvements to fire stations; and amenities on streets;

(2) Costs of public safety improvements made necessary by the establishment of the district;

(3) Costs of funding to mitigate any adverse impact of the district upon the municipality and its constituents. This funding may be used for funding public kindergarten to grade 12 costs and public facilities and improvements; and

(4) Costs to establish permanent housing development revolving loan funds or investment funds.

2. Limitation.  Tax increments received from any affordable housing development program may not be used to circumvent other tax laws.

§5250. Procedure

1. Notice and hearing.  Before designating an affordable housing development district or adopting an affordable housing development program, the municipal legislative body or the municipal legislative body's designee must hold at least one public hearing on the proposed district. Notice of the hearing must be published at least 10 days before the hearing in a newspaper of general circulation within the municipality.

2. Review by director.  Before final designation of an affordable housing development district, the director shall review the proposal for the district to ensure that the proposal complies with statutory requirements.

3. Effective date.  A designation of an affordable housing development district is effective upon approval by the director.

4. Administration of district.  The legislative body of a municipality may create a department, designate an existing department, office, agency, municipal housing or redevelopment authority or enter into a contractual arrangement with a private entity to administer activities authorized under this subchapter.

5. Amendments.  A municipality may amend a designated affordable housing development district or an adopted affordable housing development program only after meeting the requirements of this section for designation of an affordable housing development district or adoption of an affordable housing development program. A municipality may not amend the designation of an affordable housing development district if the amendment would result in the district's being out of compliance with any of the conditions in section 5247, subsection 3.

§5250-A.  Affordable housing tax increment financing

1. Designation of captured assessed value.  A municipality may retain all or part of the tax increment revenues generated from the increased assessed value of an affordable housing development district for the purpose of financing the affordable housing development program. The amount of tax increment revenues to be retained is determined by designating the captured assessed value. When an affordable housing development program for an affordable housing development district is adopted, the municipal legislative body shall adopt a statement of the percentage of increased assessed value to be retained as captured assessed value in accordance with the affordable housing development program. The statement of percentage may establish a specific percentage or percentages or may describe a method or formula for determination of the percentage. The municipal assessor shall certify the amount of the captured assessed value to the municipality each year.

2. Certification of assessed value.  Upon or after the formation of an affordable housing development district, the assessor of the municipality in which the district is located shall certify the original assessed value of the taxable property within the boundaries of the affordable housing development district. Each year after the designation of an affordable housing development district, the municipal assessor shall certify the amount by which the assessed value has increased or decreased from the original value.

Nothing in this subsection allows or sanctions unequal apportionment or assessment of the taxes to be paid on real property in the State. An owner of real property within the affordable housing development district pays real property taxes apportioned equally with property taxes paid elsewhere in the municipality.

3. Affordable housing development program fund; affordable housing tax increment revenues.  If a municipality has designated captured assessed value under subsection 1, the municipality shall:

A. Establish an affordable housing development program fund that consists of the following:

(1) A project cost account that is pledged to and charged with the payment of project costs that are outlined in the financial plan and are paid in a manner other than as described in subparagraph (2); and

(2) In instances of municipal indebtedness, a development sinking fund account that is pledged to and charged with the payment of the interest and principal as the interest and principal fall due and the necessary charges of paying interest and principal on any notes, bonds or other evidences of indebtedness that were issued to fund or refund the cost of the affordable housing development program fund;

B. Annually set aside all affordable housing tax increment revenues on captured assessed values and deposit all such revenues to the appropriate affordable housing development program fund account established under paragraph A in the following order of priority:

(1) To the affordable housing development sinking fund account, an amount sufficient, together with estimated future revenues to be deposited to the account and earnings on the amount, to satisfy all annual debt service on bonds and notes issued under section 5250-D and the financial plan; and

(2) To the affordable housing project cost account, an amount sufficient, together with estimated future revenues to be deposited to the account and earnings on the amount, to satisfy all annual affordable housing project costs to be paid from the account;

C. Make transfers between affordable housing development program fund accounts established under paragraph A as required, provided that the transfers do not result in a balance in the affordable housing development sinking fund account that is insufficient to cover the annual obligations of that account; and

D. Annually return to the municipal general fund any tax increment revenues remaining in the affordable housing development sinking fund account established under paragraph A in excess of those estimated to be required to satisfy the obligations of the development sinking fund account after taking into account any transfers made under paragraph C. The municipality, at any time during the term of the district, by vote of the municipal officers, may return to the municipal general fund any tax increment revenues remaining in the project cost account established under paragraph A in excess of those estimated to be required to satisfy the obligations of the development project cost account after taking into account any transfer made under paragraph C. In either case, the corresponding amount of local valuation may not be included as part of the captured assessed value as specified by the municipality.

§5250-B.  Rules

The director may adopt rules necessary to carry out the duties imposed by this subchapter and to ensure municipal compliance with this subchapter following designation of an affordable housing development district. Rules adopted pursuant to this section are routine technical rules as defined in Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A.

§5250-C.  Grants

A municipality may receive grants or gifts for any of the purposes of this subchapter. The tax increment revenues within an affordable housing development district may be used as the local match for certain grant programs.

§5250-D.  Bond financing

The legislative body of a municipality may authorize, issue and sell bonds, including but not limited to general obligation or revenue bonds or notes, that mature within 30 years from the date of issue to finance all project costs needed to carry out the affordable housing development program within the affordable housing development district. The municipal officers authorized to issue the bonds or notes may borrow money in anticipation of the sale of the bonds for a period of up to 3 years by issuing temporary notes and notes in renewal of the bonds. All revenues derived under section 5250-A received by the municipality are pledged for the payment of the activities described in the affordable housing development program and used to reduce or cancel the taxes that may otherwise be required to be expended for that purpose. The notes, bonds or other forms of financing may not be included when computing the municipality's net debt. Nothing in this section restricts the ability of the municipality to raise revenue for the payment of project costs in any manner otherwise authorized by law.

§5250-E.  Administration

1.  Reports.  The legislative body of a municipality must report annually to the director regarding the status of an affordable housing development district.  The report must:

A.  Certify that the public purpose of the affordable housing district, as outlined in this subchapter, is being met;

B.  Account for any sales of property within the district; and

C.  Certify that rental units within the affordable housing development district have remained affordable.

2.  Recovery of public funds.  The authority shall develop by rule provisions for recovery of public revenue if conditions for approval of an affordable housing development district are not maintained for the duration of the district. Rules adopted by the authority pursuant to this subsection must be submitted to the Legislature in accordance with Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A.

§5250-F.  Advisory board

The legislative body of a municipality may create an advisory board, a majority of whose members must be owners or occupants of real property located in or adjacent to the affordable housing development district they serve. The advisory board shall advise the legislative body on the planning and implementation of the affordable housing development program, the construction of the district and the maintenance and operation of the district after the program has been completed.

§5250-G.  Unorganized territory

For the purposes of this subchapter, a county may act as a municipality for the unorganized territory within the county and may designate affordable housing development districts within the unorganized territory. When a county acts under this section, the county commissioners act as the municipality and as the municipal legislative body, the State Tax Assessor acts as the municipal assessor and the unorganized territory fund receives the funds designated for the municipal general fund.

SUBCHAPTER 4
PINE TREE DEVELOPMENT ZONES

§5250-I. Definitions

As used in this subchapter, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.

1. Affiliated business.  "Affiliated business" means a member of a group of 2 or more businesses in which more than 50% of the voting stock of each member corporation or more than 50% of the ownership interest in a business other than a corporation is directly or indirectly owned by a common owner or owners, either corporate or noncorporate, or by one or more of the member businesses.

3. Average employment during base period.  "Average employment during the base period" for a business means the total number of employees of that business as of each March 31st, June 30th, September 30th and December 31st of the base period, divided by 12.

4. Base level of employment.  "Base level of employment" means the greater of either the total employment in the State of a business as of March 31st, June 30th, September 30th and December 31st of the calendar year immediately preceding the year of the business's application to become a certified Pine Tree Development Zone business divided by 4 or its average employment during the base period. Pursuant to section 5250-J, subsection 4-A, "base level of employment" may be adjusted to mean 25% of the average number of employees of that business over the 3 months immediately preceding the catastrophic occurrence.
Pursuant to section 5250-J, subsection 4-C, "base level of employment" must be adjusted for a qualified business that has more than one location in the State and creates 250 or more jobs at one of these locations, so that the base level of employment is calculated from the location of the significant employment expansion of 250 jobs or more on the basis of that specific location.

5. Base period.  "Base period" means the 3 calendar years prior to the year in which a business applies to be certified as a qualified Pine Tree Development Zone business.

5-A. Catastrophic occurrence.   "Catastrophic occurrence" means accidental fire, flood, hurricane, windstorm, earthquake or other similar event.

6. Commissioner.  "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development.

7. Department.  "Department" means the Department of Economic and Community Development.

7-A. Experiential tourism.  "Experiential tourism" means tourism that allows individuals to be active participants in outdoor recreational activities including but not limited to: hiking, camping, birding and other wildlife viewing, nature photography, visits to historical and cultural sites and museums, nature tourism, adventure tourism and ecotourism.

8. Financial services.  "Financial services" means services provided by an insurance company subject to taxation under Title 36, chapter 357; a captive insurance company formed or licensed under Title 24-A, chapter 83; a financial institution subject to taxation under Title 36, chapter 819; or a mutual fund service provider as defined in Title 36, section 5212, subsection 1, paragraph E.

9. Labor market average weekly wage.  "Labor market average weekly wage" means the average weekly wage as published by the Department of Labor for the labor market or markets in which potential qualified Pine Tree Development Zone employees are located for the 12 most recently reported months preceding the date of application.

10. Labor market unemployment rate.  "Labor market unemployment rate" means the average unemployment rate as published by the Department of Labor for the labor market or markets in which potential qualified Pine Tree Development Zone employees are located for the 12 most recently reported months preceding the date of application for zone designation.

11. Manufacturing.  "Manufacturing" means:

A.  The production of tangible personal property intended to be sold or leased ultimately for final use or consumption;

B.  The production of tangible personal property pursuant to a contract with the Federal Government or any agency thereof; or

C.  To make, process, convert or transform raw materials, components or parts into finished goods or products for final use or consumption to meet customer expectations or specifications. 

11-A. Military redevelopment zone.  "Military redevelopment zone" means a specified area within a municipality that is contained within a labor market that includes a military facility that sustained a loss of 400 or more employed workers, if the loss was caused by a federal military facility closure or downsizing, during the 5-year period immediately preceding the time of application for designation as a military redevelopment zone, or is projected to sustain a loss of 400 or more employed workers during the 5-year period immediately following the time of application, and has been designated by the commissioner as a military redevelopment zone under section 5250-J, subsection 3-A.

13. Pine Tree Development Zone.  "Pine Tree Development Zone" or "zone" means a specified area within the boundaries of the State, that has been designated by the commissioner as a Pine Tree Development Zone in accordance with section 5250-J, subsection 3-A or 3-B.

14. Pine Tree Development Zone benefits.  "Pine Tree Development Zone benefits" means:

A. The exclusion from the limitations established under section 5223, subsection 3 of tax increment financing districts included within a Pine Tree Development Zone;
B. Expanded employment tax increment financing benefits under Title 36, chapter 917;

C. The sales tax exemption under Title 36, section 1760, subsection 87 and the sales tax reimbursement under Title 36, section 2016;

D. The Pine Tree Development Zone tax credits provided by Title 36, sections 2529 and 5219-W;

E. Discounted rates approved by the Public Utilities Commission, if applicable, and offered by transmission and distribution utilities as authorized under Title 35-A, section 3210-E, subsection 1; and

F. Line extensions and conservation programs approved or authorized under Title 35-A, section 3210-E.

16. Qualified business activity.  "Qualified business activity" means a business activity that is conducted within a Pine Tree Development Zone and is directly related to financial services, manufacturing or a targeted technology business for which the business receives a certificate from the commissioner pursuant to section 5250-O.

17. Qualified Pine Tree Development Zone business.  "Qualified Pine Tree Development Zone business" or "qualified business" means any for-profit business in this State engaged in or that will engage in financial services, manufacturing or a targeted technology business that has added or will add at least one qualified Pine Tree Development Zone employee above its base level of employment in this State and that meets the following criteria:

A. It demonstrates that the establishment or expansion of operations within the Pine Tree Development Zone would not occur within the State absent the availability of the Pine Tree Development Zone benefits. The department shall determine whether the business has met the requirements of this paragraph; and

B. It has received a certificate as a qualified business pursuant to section 5250-O.

18. Qualified Pine Tree Development Zone employees.  "Qualified Pine Tree Development Zone employees" means new, full-time employees hired in this State by a qualified Pine Tree Development Zone business for work directly in one or more qualified business activities for whom a retirement program subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, 29 United States Code, Sections 101 to 1461, as amended, and group health insurance are provided and whose income derived from employment within the Pine Tree Development Zone, calculated on a calendar year basis, is greater than the most recent annual per capita personal income in the county in which the qualified employee is employed. "Qualified Pine Tree Development Zone employees" does not include employees shifted to a qualified business activity from a nonqualified activity of the qualified Pine Tree Development Zone business or an affiliated business. The commissioner shall determine whether a shifting of employees has occurred.

19. State average weekly wage.  "State average weekly wage" means the average weekly wage as published by the Department of Labor for the State as a whole for the 12 most recently reported months preceding the date of application.

20. State unemployment rate.  "State unemployment rate" means the average unemployment rate published by the Department of Labor for the State as a whole for the 12 most recently reported months preceding the date of application.

21. Targeted technology business.  "Targeted technology business" means a business primarily involved in a targeted technology as defined in Title 5, section 15301.

21-A. Tier 1 location.  "Tier 1 location" means a location designated by the department to be eligible for Pine Tree Development Zone benefits for a period of 10 years.

21-B. Tier 2 location.  "Tier 2 location" means a location designated by the department to be eligible for Pine Tree Development Zone benefits for a period of 5 years. After the 5 years, all Pine Tree Development Zone benefits expire, except for the expanded employment tax increment financing benefits under Title 36, chapter 917, which must be recalculated at that time to reflect the standard rates under that chapter.

22. Unit of local government.  "Unit of local government" means a municipality, county, plantation, unorganized territory or Indian tribe.

23. Working waterfront.   "Working waterfront" means a parcel of land abutting water subject to tidal influence or land located in the intertidal zone that is used primarily or predominantly to provide access to or support the conduct of commercial fishing and marine activities. For purposes of this subsection, "parcel" includes an entire unit of real estate notwithstanding the fact that it is divided by a road, way, railroad or pipeline.

24. Working waterfront industry.   "Working waterfront industry" means an industry primarily involved in supporting commercial fishing, marine and boat building activities.

§5250-J. Pine Tree Development Zones

2. Requirements for designation.  The commissioner shall adopt rules establishing the minimum requirements for the designation of Pine Tree Development Zones pursuant to subsections 3-A and 3-B.

2-A. Application for designation as military redevelopment zone.  (Repealed)

3. Limitations.  The designation of Pine Tree Development Zones is subject to the following limitations:

C. Pine Tree Development Zone benefits may not be used to encourage or facilitate the transfer of existing positions or property of a qualified business or affiliated businesses to a qualified business activity from a nonqualified activity elsewhere in the State;

D. Pine Tree Development Zone benefits may not be provided based upon any property, employees or positions transferred by the business or affiliated businesses to a qualified business activity from a nonqualified activity; and

F. One or more qualified Pine Tree Development Zone business activities must be a permissible activity in the Pine Tree Development Zone;

3-A. Pine Tree Development Zone classification; tier 1 locations.  Beginning January 1, 2009, the department shall classify the following on an annual basis as tier 1 locations:

A. From January 1, 2009 to December 31, 2009, all units of local government; 
B. Beginning January 1, 2010, a unit of local government that is contained in a county other than Cumberland County or York County, as well as a unit of local government that is contained in Cumberland County or York County with a municipal unemployment rate that is 15% higher than its labor market unemployment rate, based upon data published by the Department of Labor from the last completed calendar year; 

C. A unit of local government that has been designated by the department as a participating municipality in the Pine Tree Development Zone program as of December 31, 2008; 

D. Property within a military redevelopment zone as long as the property is classified by the department no later than December 31, 2018; and[

E. Washington County and the Downeast region, including 2 pilot projects to be established by the commissioner:

(1) A pilot project for the property of the former Cutler naval computer and telecommunications station, which may be excluded from the qualified business definitions established under section 5250-I, subsections 16 and 17 if a for-profit business is engaged in, or will engage in, tourism development including recreational tourism, experiential tourism, hotel development and resort facility development; and

(2) A pilot project that allows seasonal employees in seasonal industries based on natural resources to be considered qualified Pine Tree Development Zone employees for the purposes of section 5250-I, subsection 18. 

3-B. Pine Tree Development Zone classification; tier 2 locations.  Beginning January 1, 2010, the department shall classify the following units of local government on an annual basis as tier 2 locations:

A. All units of local government contained in Cumberland County or York County that are not classified as tier 1 locations pursuant to subsection 3-A.

4-A. Catastrophic occurrence; benefits.  A qualified Pine Tree Development Zone business whose primary purpose is to support the State's working waterfront industry may apply for an adjustment of the base level of employment as described in this section, if it meets the following criteria:

A. It is located on a working waterfront in a Pine Tree Development Zone; [

B. It has sustained at least a 5% loss of employed workers due to a catastrophic occurrence; and 

C. It has appropriate infrastructure and zoning or other land use regulations in place. 

For the purposes of this section and calculation of Pine Tree Development Zone benefits in section 5250-I, subsection 14, the base level of employment may be adjusted to mean 25% of the average number of employees of that business over the 3 months immediately preceding the catastrophic occurrence. A qualified business must apply for an adjustment of the base level of employment within 16 months of the catastrophic occurrence. Applications pursuant to this subsection must be received by August 1, 2011.

4-C. Significant employment expansion; Pine Tree Development Zone benefits.  A qualified Pine Tree Development Zone business that expands its employment at one of its locations in the State may apply for an adjustment of the base level of employment if it:

A. Has more than one location in the State; 

B. Creates 250 or more jobs at one location; 

C. Maintains its total employment in the State above 50% of its growth at the location of the employment expansion; and 

D. Has appropriate infrastructure and zoning or other land use regulations in place. 

For purposes of this section and calculation of Pine Tree Development Zone benefits in section 5250-I, subsection 14, the base level of employment must be calculated from the location where the business produces significant employment expansion of 250 jobs or more. The department shall determine on an annual basis if the business has produced significant employment expansion. If the department determines that the business does not meet the requirements of this section and its total employment in the State falls below 50% of its growth at this location of expansion, the business may not receive the adjustment pursuant to this section and the department shall calculate the base level of employment pursuant to section 5250-I, subsection 4.

5. Termination.  A qualified Pine Tree Development Zone business located in a tier 1 location may not be certified under this subchapter after December 31, 2018, and a qualified Pine Tree Development Zone business located in a tier 2 location may not be certified under this subchapter after December 31, 2013. All Pine Tree Development Zone benefits provided under this subchapter are terminated on December 31, 2028.

CHAPTER 213
REVENUE PRODUCING MUNICIPAL FACILITIES ACT

§5401. Definitions

As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.

1. Airport.  "Airport" means:

A. Any area of land or interest in land, structures or portions and improvements of structures, or water which is used, intended for use or useful in connection with any public airport, heliport or other location for the landing or taking off of aircraft;

B. Facilities incident to the operation of such properties including, but not limited to, runways, hangars, parking areas for aircraft or vehicles, access roads, wharfs, control towers, communication equipment, weather stations, safety equipment, terminal facilities for aircraft and land vehicles, facilities for servicing aircraft and for the sale of oil, gasoline, other fuels and other accessories, waiting rooms, lockers, space for concessions, offices; and

C. All facilities appurtenant to and all property rights, air rights, easements and interests relating thereto considered necessary for the construction or operation of the airport.

2. Cost.  "Cost," as applied to a revenue-producing municipal facility, includes:

A. The purchase price of any such facility;

B. The cost of construction;

C. The cost of all labor, materials, machinery and equipment;

D. The cost of improvements;
E. The cost of all lands, property, rights, easements and franchises acquired;

F. Financing charges;

G. Interest before and during construction and, if the municipal officers consider it desirable, for one year after construction is completed;

H. The cost of plans and specifications, surveys and estimates of cost and of revenues;

I. The cost of engineering and legal services; and

J. All other expenses necessary or incident to determining the feasibility or practicability of construction, administrative expense and any other expenses necessary or incident to the financing authorized in this chapter.

Any obligation or expenses incurred by the municipality in connection with any of the items of cost, including the payment in whole or in part of indebtedness incurred to pay such obligations or expenses and interest on those obligations or expenses, may be regarded as a part of that cost and reimbursed to the municipality out of the proceeds of revenue bonds issued under this chapter and Title 10, chapter 110, subchapter IV.

3. Energy facility.  "Energy facility" means:

A. An "energy distribution system project," as defined in Title 10, section 963-A, subsection 12;

B. An "energy generating system project," as defined in Title 10, section 963-A, subsection 13;

C. A hydroelectric power facility; or

D. A "qualified project" as defined in the United States Internal Revenue Code, Section 54(d)(2)(A) (2007).

This term also includes any combination or part of these facilities or any equipment and structures designed to distribute or transmit energy either from or to these facilities.

4. Improvements.  "Improvements" means those repairs, replacements, additions, extensions and betterments of and to a revenue-producing municipal facility that the municipal officers consider necessary to place or maintain the revenue-producing municipal facility in proper condition for its safe, efficient and economic operation or to meet requirements for service in areas which may be served by the municipality and for which no existing service is being provided.

5. Parking facility.  "Parking facility" means any land or any interest in land, structure or portions of structures, and improvements on land or structures intended for the off-street parking of motor vehicles by the public for a fee. Any such structure may be either single or multi-level and either at, above or below the surface. This term also includes:

A. Facilities incident to the operation of those properties for the parking of motor vehicles, including, without limitation, ancillary waiting rooms, lockers, space for concessions, stores and offices, terminal facilities for trucks and buses, facilities for servicing motor vehicles and for the sale of gasoline, oil and other accessories, and all facilities appurtenant to these incident operations; and

B. All property, rights, easements and interests relating to the facility that are considered necessary for the construction or operation of the facility.

6. Parking system.  "Parking system" means any parking facility, together with any public way or public parking area designated by the municipal officers as constituting part of that system on which parking meters have been or may be installed or from which fees or charges have been or may be collected for the parking of vehicles.

7. Revenue-producing municipal facility.  "Revenue-producing municipal facility" means:

A. A parking facility within the corporate limits of the municipality; or

B. Any of the following within or outside, or partly within and partly outside the corporate limits of the municipality:

(1) A water system or part of that system;

(2) A sewer system or part of that system;

(3) An airport or part of an airport;

(4) A telecommunications system or part of that system; or

(5) An energy facility or part of that facility.

8. Sewage disposal system.  "Sewage disposal system" means any plant, system, facility or property used or useful or having the present capacity for future use in connection with the collection, treatment, purification or disposal of sewage, including industrial wastes resulting from any processes of industry, manufacture, trade or business or from the development of any natural resources. This term also includes:

A. Any integral part of such a facility, including, but not limited to, treatment plants, pumping stations, intercepting sewers, trunk sewers, pressure lines, mains and all necessary appurtenances and equipment; and

B. All property, rights, easements and franchises relating to the facility that the municipal officers consider necessary or convenient for the operation of the system.

9. Water system.  "Water system" means all plants, systems, facilities or properties used or useful or having the present capacity for future use in connection with the supply or distribution of water. This term also includes:
A. Any integral part of such a facility, including, but not limited to, water supply systems, water distribution systems, reservoirs, wells, intakes, mains, laterals, aqueducts, pumping stations, standpipes, filtration plants, purification plants, hydrants, meters, valves and all necessary appurtenances and equipment; and

B. All property, rights, easements and franchises relating to the facility that the municipal officers consider necessary or convenient for the operation of the system.

§5402. Declaration of public necessity

The Legislature finds that:

1. Need for water and sewer systems.  The maintenance of safe and pure water supplies and the control of water pollution are necessary to the health, safety and general welfare of the public, and the people of the State require new and improved water and sewer systems in order to avoid the menace to public health and damage to the economy created by impure water and untreated sewage;

2. Need for free traffic circulation.  The free circulation of traffic of all kinds through the streets of the municipalities of the State is necessary for the rapid and effective fighting of fires and disposition of police forces in those municipalities for the health, safety and general welfare of the public, whether residing in those municipalities or traveling to, through or from the municipalities;

3. Need for parking facilities.  In recent years, the parking of motor vehicles of all kinds has so substantially impeded the free circulation of traffic as to constitute a public nuisance endangering the health, safety and welfare of the general public, as well as endangering the economic life of the municipalities; and this traffic congestion cannot be adequately abated except by provisions for sufficient off-street parking facilities;

4. Need for airports.  The establishment and improvement of municipal airports are necessary for the health, safety and general welfare of the public; and the people of the State require new and improved public airports and related facilities in order to avoid and reduce the hazards of air transportation and damage to the economy created by inadequate, unsafe and obsolete airports and airport facilities; and

5. Public necessity.  The enactment of laws to carry out the intent and purpose of this section is therefore a public necessity.

§5413. Exemption from taxation

As proper revenue-producing municipal facilities are essential for the health and safety of the inhabitants of the municipalities, and as the exercise of the powers conferred to effect these purposes constitute the performance of essential governmental functions, and as municipal facilities acquired or constructed under this chapter constitute public property and are used for municipal purposes, no municipality may be required to pay any taxes or assessments upon any parking facility or system, water or sewer system or telecommunications system revenue-producing municipal facility, or any part of such a system, whether located within or outside the corporate limits of the municipality, or upon the income from those facilities. Any bonds issued under this chapter, and their transfer and the income from the bonds, including any profit made on the sale of the bonds, shall at all times be free from taxation within the State, provided that nothing in this section exempts any lessee or person in possession of a parking facility or part of a parking facility or the property so leased or possessed from taxes or assessments payable under Title 36, section 551.

           
CHAPTER 223
MUNICIPAL FINANCES

§5651. Determination of municipal year; change

The municipal officers shall determine the municipal fiscal year.

A municipality or plantation may raise one or 2 taxes during a single valuation if the taxes raised are based on appropriations made for a municipal fiscal year that does not exceed 18 months. A municipal or plantation fiscal year may extend beyond the end of the current tax year and the municipal officers or assessors of a plantation, when changing the municipality's or plantation's fiscal year, may, for transition purposes, adopt one or more fiscal years not longer than 18 months each.

§5681. State-municipal revenue sharing

1. Findings and purpose.  The Legislature finds that:

A. The principal problem of financing municipal services is the burden on the property tax; and

B. To stabilize the municipal property tax burden and to aid in financing all municipal services, it is necessary to provide funds from the broad-based taxes of State Government.

2. Definitions.   As used in this section, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.

A. "Population" means the population as determined by the latest Federal Decennial Census or the population as determined and certified by the Department of Health and Human Services, whichever is later. For the purposes of this section, the Department of Health and Human Services shall determine the population of each municipality at least once every 2 years. For the purposes of the distributions required by this section, beginning July 1, 2009, "population" means the most current population data available as of the January 1st prior to the fiscal year of distribution.

B. "Property tax burden" means the total real and personal property taxes assessed in the municipal fiscal year pertaining to the latest state valuation, except the taxes assessed on captured value within a tax increment financing district, divided by the latest state valuation certified to the Secretary of State.

E. "Disproportionate tax burden" means the total real and personal property taxes assessed in the municipal fiscal year pertaining to the latest state valuation, except the taxes assessed on captured value within a tax increment financing district, divided by the latest state valuation certified to the Secretary of State and reduced by .01.  Beginning on July 1, 2013 and each July 1st thereafter, if the total revenue-sharing distribution as calculated by subsection 5 is distributed to the municipalities without transfer or reduction, the reduction factor must be increased by either .0005 or the percentage increase necessary to equal the statewide average property tax rate, whichever increase is smaller, until the fiscal year when the percentage reduction factor reaches the statewide average property tax rate. 

F. "Statewide average property tax rate" means the total real and personal property taxes assessed in all municipalities in the municipal fiscal year pertaining to the latest state valuation, except the taxes assessed on captured value within a tax increment financing district, divided by the total latest state valuation certified to the Secretary of State.

3. Revenue-sharing funds.  To strengthen the state-municipal fiscal relationship pursuant to the findings and objectives of subsection 1, there is established the Local Government Fund. To provide additional support for municipalities experiencing a higher-than-average property tax burden, there is established the Disproportionate Tax Burden Fund.

4-A. Distribution of Local Government Fund.  The Treasurer of State shall transfer the balance in the Local Government Fund on the 20th day of each month. Money in the Local Government Fund must be distributed to each municipality in proportion to the product of the population of the municipality multiplied by the property tax burden of the municipality.

4-B. Distribution of Disproportionate Tax Burden Fund.  The Treasurer of State shall transfer the balance in the Disproportionate Tax Burden Fund on the 20th day of each month. Money in the Disproportionate Tax Burden Fund must be distributed to each municipality in proportion to the product of the population of the municipality multiplied by the disproportionate tax burden of the municipality.

5. Transfers to funds.  No later than the 10th day of each month, the State Controller shall transfer to the Local Government Fund 5% of the receipts during the previous month from the taxes imposed under Title 36, Parts 3 and 8, and Title 36, section 2552, subsection 1, paragraphs A to F and L, and credited to the General Fund without any reduction, except that the postage, state cost allocation program and programming costs of administering state-municipal revenue sharing may be paid by the Local Government Fund. A percentage share of the amounts transferred to the Local Government Fund each month must be transferred to the Disproportionate Tax Burden Fund and distributed pursuant to subsection 4-B as follows:

C. For months beginning on or after July 1, 2009, but before July 1, 2010, 15%;

D. For months beginning on or after July 1, 2010, but before July 1, 2011, 16%;

E. For months beginning on or after July 1, 2011, but before July 1, 2012, 17%;

F. For months beginning on or after July 1, 2012, but before July 1, 2013, 18%;

G. For months beginning on or after July 1, 2013, but before July 1, 2014, 19%;

H. For months beginning on or after July 1, 2014, 20%;

5-C. Transfers to General Fund.  For the months beginning on or after July 1, 2009, $25,383,491 in fiscal year 2009-10, $38,145,323 in fiscal year 2010-11, $40,350,638 in fiscal year 2011-12, $44,267,343 in fiscal year 2012-13, $73,306,246 in fiscal year 2013-14 and $85,949,391 in fiscal year 2014-15 from the total transfers pursuant to subsection 5 must be transferred to General Fund undedicated revenue. The amounts transferred to General Fund undedicated revenue each fiscal year pursuant to this subsection must be deducted from the distributions required by subsections 4-A and 4-B based on the percentage share of the transfers to the Local Government Fund pursuant to subsection 5. The reductions in this subsection must be allocated to each month proportionately based on the budgeted monthly transfers to the Local Government Fund as determined at the beginning of the fiscal year.

6. Plantations and unorganized territory.  For purposes of state-municipal revenue sharing, plantations and the unorganized territory shall be treated as if they were municipalities.

7. Indian territory.  For purposes of state-municipal revenue sharing, the Passamaquoddy Tribe and the Penobscot Nation Indian Territories shall be treated as if they were municipalities. In the absence of a levy of real and personal property taxes in either or both Indian territories, the property tax assessment is computed by multiplying the state valuation for the Indian territory for the period for which revenue sharing is being determined by the most current average equalized property tax rate of all municipalities in the State at that time as determined by the State Tax Assessor.

8.  Posting of revenue sharing projections.   For the purpose of assisting municipalities in a timely manner in their budget development process and in the determination of their property tax levy limits as required by section 5721-A, the Treasurer of State shall post no later than April 15th of each year on the Treasurer of State's website the projected revenue sharing distributions as required by this section according to the most recently issued state revenue forecasts issued by the Revenue Forecasting Committee pursuant to Title 5, chapter 151-B for the subsequent fiscal year beginning on July 1st.

§5683. Property tax relief

1. Scope.  This section establishes a revenue-sharing program that distributes surplus funds from the General Fund during times of prosperity to municipalities experiencing an inordinate amount of growth. The revenue-sharing funds are specifically dedicated to assisting these municipalities in meeting the unusually high costs associated with the capital construction and infrastructure necessary to accommodate growth and development.

2. Definitions.  For the purposes of computing the revenue distributions from the Property Tax Relief Fund, the following terms have the following meanings.

A. "Population" means the population as determined by the latest federal decennial census or the population as determined and certified by the Department of Health and Human Services, whichever is more recent. For the purposes of this section, the department is authorized and required to determine the population of each municipality at least once every year.

3. Property Tax Relief Fund established.  There is established the Property Tax Relief Fund for the purpose of distributing unanticipated surplus revenues accruing in the General Fund to municipalities experiencing high rates of population growth. The purpose of the fund is to assist municipalities in meeting their infrastructure needs.

After the close of each fiscal year, the Governor may request a General Fund appropriation to the Property Tax Relief Fund from the next session of the Legislature in an amount not to exceed 1/2 of the balance remaining after all other required transfers or appropriations from the excess of total General Fund revenues received over accepted estimates in that fiscal year and all required deductions of appropriations, financial commitments, designated funds, transfers from the unappropriated surplus of the General Fund or transfers from the available balance remaining in the General Fund have been made.

General Fund revenue estimates may be made once during the First Regular Session of the Legislature and adjustments to these accepted revenue estimates may be made once during the Second Regular Session of the Legislature without mandatory transfer of funds to the Property Tax Relief Fund. If adjustments are made to those initial estimates presented to each regular session of the Legislature, an amount not to exceed 1/2 of the excess of the estimated revenue over the amounts required by law to be set aside for other purposes must be appropriated to the Property Tax Relief Fund.

The appropriation may not exceed $25,000,000 and may not lapse, but must remain a continuing carrying account to carry out the purpose of this section.

4. Distributions from Property Tax Relief Fund.  Money credited to the Property Tax Relief Fund shall be distributed to each municipality in an amount equal to the ratio of the population in each municipality to the population in the State as a whole.

5. Restrictions on use of funds.  Funds distributed to municipalities pursuant to this section shall be expended only after the municipal legislative body has authorized the expenditure in the annual municipal budget. Funds shall be expended only for the following purposes:

A. For capital construction and improvements, land acquisitions, capital equipment acquisitions or other nonrecurring purposes;

B. For purposes for which bonds have been previously authorized but not yet issued, in order to eliminate the need to incur the indebtedness; and

C. For the local share of state, federal or privately financed capital construction and improvement projects.

6. Treasurer of State.  The Treasurer of State shall distribute the appropriation balance in the Property Tax Relief Fund no later than 30 days after the legislation appropriating funds for this purpose has been enacted by the Legislature and signed into law by the Governor.

§5685. Funding for required activities

1. Definitions.  As used in this section and in the Constitution of Maine, Article IX, Section 21, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.

A. "Local revenues" means revenues generated by local units of government, including property taxes, other locally levied taxes and user fees and other revenues, such as excise taxes collected and retained by local units of government pursuant to statutory authority.

B. "Local unit of government" or "local unit" means a municipality, as defined in this Title; a plantation, as governed by chapter 301; a county; a school administrative unit, as defined in Title 20-A, section 1; or a governmental entity that is:

(1) Created or authorized by special act of the Legislature or authorized to be created by a general purpose unit of government under a general act of the Legislature;

(2) Established to provide public services;

(3) Funded by local revenues;

(4) Governed by a locally elected body or a body appointed by a municipality or county; and

(5) Not an agency of State Government or other entity having statewide authority, jurisdiction or purpose.

C. "Mandate" means any law, rule or executive order of this State enacted, adopted or issued after November 23, 1992 that requires a local unit of government to expand or modify that unit's activity so as to necessitate additional expenditures from that unit's local revenues. "Mandate" includes laws, rules or executive orders that primarily affect the performance of a local unit's governmental activities.

D. "Mandate payment distribution schedule" means a schedule for distribution of state payments required by the Constitution of Maine, Article IX, Section 21, to be made to local units of government during the state fiscal year.

E. "Required state mandate funds" means those state funds required to be paid to local units of government under the Constitution of Maine, Article IX, Section 21.

2. Requirement for state funding.  The State may not impose a mandate on a local unit of government unless the State provides annually at least 90% of the funding for those expenditures from state funds not previously appropriated, allocated or otherwise designated for payment to that local unit of government. The Legislature may impose a mandate on a local unit of government without providing 90% funding as an exception to the provisions of the Constitution of Maine, Article IX, Section 21 if enacted upon the votes of 2/3 of all members elected to the Senate and the House of Representatives.

3. Implementation.  In implementing this section and the provisions of the Constitution of Maine, Article IX, Section 21, the following provisions apply.

A. The State may not meet its obligation to provide required state mandate funds by authorizing a local unit of government to levy fees or taxes not previously levied by that local unit of government.

B. The State may not meet its obligation to provide required state mandate funds by requiring a local unit of government to spend funds previously appropriated to that local unit of government.

C. Reduction of state funds that are the State's share of the cost of mandates that have been suspended or reduced does not preclude imposition of a new mandate if the required state mandate funds are provided for that new mandate.

D. Required state mandate funds do not include the costs incurred by local units of government to comply with a federal law or regulation or to become eligible for the receipt of federal funds, except to the extent that the State imposes requirements or conditions that exceed the federal requirements.

E. Required state mandate funds do not include for the costs to local units of government of implementing laws, rules, executive orders or judicial decisions or orders that are required to comply with the following provisions of the Constitution of Maine:

(1) The reapportionment requirements of Article IV, Part First, Section 2 and Article IV, Part Second, Section 2;

(2) The constitutional referenda provisions of Article X, Section 4;

(3) The people's veto of legislation provisions of Article IV, Part Third, Section 17; and

(4) The direct initiative of legislation provisions of Article IV, Part Third, Section 18.

F. Legislation, even though enacted by a 2/3 vote of each House of the Legislature, may not be construed to override the funding requirements of the Constitution of Maine, Article IX, Section 21, unless the legislation contains specific language indicating that it is the intent of the Legislature to create an exception to the Constitution of Maine.

4. Local units of government not bound.  A local unit of government is not bound by any mandate unless funded or exempted from state funding in accordance with this section and the Constitution of Maine, Article IX, Section 21.

5. Appropriation and payment of state funds.  The State must appropriate, allocate or otherwise designate for payment in each state fiscal year a sum sufficient to meet at least 90% of the cost of each mandate imposed on local units of government.

A. The state agency to which state funds are appropriated, allocated or otherwise designated for payment to fund a mandate, referred to in this subsection as the "agency," shall pay to each local unit of government in each state fiscal year the required state mandate funds. The agency need not pay to local units of government the entire amount at the beginning of each fiscal year. However, the agency must make payments to local units of government in accordance with the mandate payment distribution schedule.

B. A mandate payment distribution schedule describes the number of annual payments, the time of each payment and the amount of each payment to be made during the state fiscal year to ensure that the State pays local units of government the required state mandate funds prior to the local units of government having to make expenditures required by a mandate.

C. A mandate payment distribution schedule must be established for each mandate that requires state funding under this section. The agency shall establish a mandate payment distribution schedule for a mandate by consulting with the affected local unit or units of government or with a representative sample of affected local units of government. If necessary, different mandate payment distribution schedules may be established for a single mandate.

D. Following public hearing and in accordance with the Maine Administrative Procedure Act, the State Controller shall adopt rules necessary to implement this subsection. At a minimum, those rules must include a process for establishing mandate payment distribution schedules for distribution of payments under this subsection, including the provision of public notice and an opportunity for comment on the schedules by local units of government and other affected persons.

E. Following public hearing and in accordance with the Maine Administrative Procedure Act, the State Auditor shall adopt rules establishing a process for oversight of local unit of government compliance with mandates and use of state funds provided under this subsection.

F. In accordance with the Maine Administrative Procedure Act, a local unit of government may appeal the number, amount and timing of payments under this section to the agency making payments. Decisions on appeals from the number, amount and timing of payments awarded under the schedule constitute final agency action.

6. Collection of data; report.  A state agency making payments to local units of government under this section shall submit a report to the Department of Administrative and Financial Services by September 1st each year. The report must identify specific mandates administered by the agency during the previous fiscal year, describe the payment schedule developed by the agency for each mandate and contain any other information requested by the department. The Department of Administrative and Financial Services shall compile that information and shall issue a report annually not later than January 15th to the Governor and the Legislature summarizing state agency activities under this section.

§5721. General authority

A municipality may raise or appropriate money for any public purpose, including, but not limited to, the purposes specified in sections 5722 to 5728. 

§5721-A. Limitation on municipal property tax levy

1. Definitions. As used in this section, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.

C. "Property growth factor" means the percentage equivalent to a fraction established by a municipality, whose denominator is the total valuation of the municipality, and whose numerator is the amount of increase in the assessed valuation of any real or personal property in the municipality that became subject to taxation for the first time, or taxed as a separate parcel for the first time for the most recent property tax year for which information is available, or that has had an increase in its assessed valuation over the prior year's valuation as a result of improvements to or expansion of the property. A municipality identified as having a personal property factor that exceeds 5%, as determined pursuant to Title 36, section 694, subsection 2, paragraph B, may calculate its property growth factor by including in the numerator and the denominator the value of personal and otherwise qualifying property introduced into the municipality notwithstanding the exempt status of that property pursuant to Title 36, chapter 105, subchapter 4-C.

§5730.  Historic and scenic preservation

Pursuant to the Constitution of Maine, Article IX, Section 8, Subsection 5, a municipality may raise or appropriate money to reimburse taxpayers for a portion of taxes paid under Title 36, Part 2 on real property if the property owner agrees to maintain the property in accordance with criteria that are adopted by ordinance by the governing legislative body of the municipality and that provide for maintaining the historic integrity of important structures or providing a scenic view.  The Maine Historic Preservation Commission shall provide guidance, if requested by a municipality, in implementing this section.

§5751. Purpose

It is the purpose of this subchapter to increase the likelihood of orderly development and to provide an incentive for coordinated multi-community economic development by permitting 2 or more communities to share their tax base.

§5752. Tax base sharing agreement

1.  Agreement.  Any 2 or more municipalities may, by a vote of their legislative bodies, enter into an agreement to share all or a specific part of the commercial, industrial or residential assessed valuation located within their respective communities. Municipalities that vote to enter into an agreement pursuant to this section are not required to have borders that are contiguous.

2.  Specifications.  Any such agreement must specify:

A.  A duration which must be at least 5 years;

B.  A description of the tax base that is to be shared, expressed in terms of type of property or location of property;

C.  The formula for sharing the property taxes generated through taxation of the valuation that is to be shared; and

D.  Any other necessary and proper matters.

3.  Administration.  The shared valuation must be assessed in the municipality in which the property is located.  It must be taxed at the rate applicable in that municipality.  The tax so assessed must be collected by the municipality in which the property is located and the share of that tax, as specified in the tax base sharing agreement, must be remitted within 15 days after collection or within such other period of time as the parties to the tax base sharing agreement specify to the other municipality or municipalities on the basis of the terms of the agreement to which they are parties. The municipality in which the property is located may be authorized by the tax base sharing agreement to make payments due to the other municipality or municipalities that are parties to the agreement to another party or entity. Payments to another party or entity must be for purposes that have a general public benefit.

§5753. Filing of agreement

Before becoming effective, any agreement made under this subchapter must be filed with the clerk of each municipality and with the Secretary of State.

CHAPTER 301

PLANTATIONS

§7001. Organization of unincorporated townships

1. Census. Any unincorporated township may, by petition of 20% or more of the voters of the township, require the county commissioners to determine from the Federal Decennial Census or by actual enumeration whether the township has 200 inhabitants or more. The county commissioners shall report the result of the census to the Secretary of State who shall record it.

2. Organization of township with population of 200 or more. If the report made under subsection 1 indicates that the township has a population of 200 or more, the county commissioners shall, with the consent of a majority of the petitioners under subsection 1, issue their warrant to an inhabitant of the unincorporated township, commanding that inhabitant to notify the voters of the unincorporated township, to assemble on a day and at a place named in the warrant, to choose a moderator, clerk, 3 assessors, treasurer, collector of taxes, constable, school committee and other necessary plantation officers.

A.  The person selected by the commissioners shall give notice of the meeting by posting an attested copy of the warrant for the meeting in 2 public and conspicuous places in the township at least 14 days before the day of meeting. The warrant, with the inhabitant's return on it, shall be returned to the meeting and the officers shall be chosen and sworn.

3. Alternative method. Any unincorporated or unorganized place containing any number of inhabitants may be organized under this subsection. One or more of the county commissioners, on written application signed by at least 3 voters of any unincorporated or unorganized place in their county, may issue a warrant to one of the 3 voters, requiring that voter to announce a meeting of the voters of the unincorporated or unorganized place residing within the limits described in the warrant. When a state or county tax is assessed to the unincorporated or unorganized place, the Treasurer of State or the county commissioners, without application by the voters, may issue their warrant to an inhabitant of the unincorporated or unorganized place. In either case the warrant, notice of meeting and proceedings shall be the same as provided in subsection 2.

4. Organization meeting. At the time and place appointed for meetings for the organization of plantations under subsections 2 (new);  3, a moderator shall be chosen by ballot by the voters present to preside at the meeting. The person to whom the warrant was directed shall preside until the moderator is chosen and sworn by that person. A clerk, 3 assessors, treasurer and school committee shall be chosen by ballot and sworn by the moderator or a dedimus justice. Other plantation officers may be chosen by ballot or other method agreed on by vote of the meeting and shall be sworn by the moderator or a dedimus justice.

5.  Documents recorded with Secretary of State. When a plantation is organized, the clerk and assessors shall send to the Secretary of State:

A. 

  1. A certified copy of all proceedings performed in organizing the plantation, including:

(1)  The petition, if any;

(2)  The warrant issued for the organizational meeting and the return on the warrant; and

(3)
The record of the organizational meeting.

B.  A written description of the limits of the plantation.

The Secretary of State shall record these documents. Upon recording, all laws applicable to organized plantations apply to plantations organized under this chapter.

§7002. Organized plantations to consist of one township

Organized plantations may not be composed of more than one township, and when organized under section 7001, former organizations cease.

§7003. Plantations reorganized.

Plantations organized upon application of 3 or more inhabitants may be reorganized at any time under this chapter.

§7004. Annual meeting

Organized plantations shall hold an annual meeting and choose a clerk, 3 assessors, treasurer, collector of taxes and a school committee.

1.  Term of office and election of assessors.  The provisions of section 2526, subsection 5, relating to the terms of office and election of assessors, apply to the terms of office and election of assessors of organized plantations.

2.  Road commissioners.  When money is raised for the repair of ways and bridges, the assessors of the plantation shall appoint one or more road commissioners.

§7006. Town law applies to officials and employees
           
1.  Plantation meetings, officials and employees. The following provisions apply to plantations and their officials and employees, as far as applicable, except when specifically provided otherwise.

A.  Laws relating to calling, notifying and conducting town meetings; and

B.  Laws relating to the election, appointment, hiring, qualification, duties, powers, compensation, liabilities and penalties for official neglect and misconduct of town officials and employees.

2. Unlawful voting. Voters in plantations are liable to the same penalties for unlawful voting as voters in towns.

§7007. Duties of officials

Assessors of plantations shall be considered the selectmen of the plantation for the purpose of performing the duties performed by the selectmen of towns. Treasurers, collectors and constables of plantations must give the same bond as similar officials of towns are required to give, to be approved in the same manner. The valuation of property for the assessment of taxes in plantations, as well as the assessment, collection and disposal of taxes, shall be the same as in towns.

§7008. Inventory of estates; basis of taxation; money for ways

The assessors first chosen in plantations organized under section 7001 shall immediately ascertain and list the value of the property in the plantation, in the same manner as done in towns. They shall return this list to the county commissioners of their county on or before the 15th day of May following the election of the assessors. The county commissioners may examine and correct the list so as to make it conform to the last state valuation, and return a copy of this corrected valuation to the Treasurer of State. When this copy is returned to the Treasurer of State, the plantation's ratable proportion according to the corrected valuation of all state and county taxes shall be assessed on the plantations in the same manner as on towns.

1. Money for ways. Such plantations, and any other plantations that are required by special order of the Legislature to pay state or county taxes, may raise money by taxation for making and repairing ways in compliance with Title 23, sections 2001 and 3302.

2. When valuation is taken. The valuation of property in any plantation shall be taken as required under this section, corrected and returned to the Treasurer of State, whenever required.

§7009. Incorporation into town; first valuation

When towns are incorporated, the assessors of the town shall return to the county commissioners of their county the original valuation first taken in their towns, on or before the 15th day of May following the town's incorporation. The county commissioners shall examine and correct this valuation and return a copy of the valuation to the Treasurer of State. This corrected valuation shall be the basis of state and county taxes in the same manner as the valuations of plantations under section 7008.

§7010. Failure to make and return valuation

If the valuation required by section 7008 or 7009 is not made and returned by any town or plantation, which is not within a primary assessing district or is not itself a primary assessing district, within the time specified, the county commissioners shall appoint 3 suitable persons of the county to be assessors in that town or plantation. These persons shall be sworn and make and return the valuation required within the time fixed by the commissioners. The county commissioners shall examine and correct this valuation and return a copy of the valuation to the Treasurer of State. This corrected valuation shall be the basis for the assessment of state and county taxes, in the same manner as if the valuation had been taken by the assessors chosen by the town or plantation.

1. Assessors paid by county commissioners. Assessors appointed under this section shall be paid from the county treasury a reasonable compensation, to be determined by the county commissioners, for their services. Any sum paid to the assessors for compensation under this section shall be added to the county tax apportioned to the town or plantation and shall be collected and paid into the treasury in the same manner as county taxes.

CHAPTER 303
DEORGANIZED PLACES

§7301. Applicability to deorganization by Legislature

This chapter applies to any municipalities or plantations that are or have been deorganized by Act of the Legislature.

§7302. Records surrendered

Whenever any municipality is deorganized, the municipality shall surrender all its records to the State Archivist.

§7303. Debts of municipalities and school districts therein

When municipalities are deorganized by a repeal of their charters, and their liabilities are excepted and reserved by the repealing act, legal service of process to collect those liabilities may be made on any inhabitant of lawful age residing in the territory included in the municipality, provided that there are no legal officers in that territory on whom service can be made.  This section extends to school districts in deorganized municipalities so far as applicable.

§7304. Power and authority of State Tax Assessor

Whenever the organization of any municipality or plantation has been terminated by Act of the Legislature, the powers, duties and obligations relating to the affairs of that municipality or plantation are vested in the State Tax Assessor for not more than 5 years.  The real and personal property of the municipality or plantation shall be held by the State Tax Assessor and used as described in this chapter.

1.  Powers of State Tax Assessor.  The State Tax Assessor may:

A.  Subject to the restriction in subparagraph (1), sell or otherwise dispose of any property which the municipality or plantation holds title to at the time of deorganization or may receive title to after deorganization.  When disposing of property, the State Tax Assessor shall ensure that the interests of the residents of the unorganized territory are the most important consideration.

(1)  In the case of school property, the State Tax Assessor shall consult with the Commissioner of Education; and

B.  Assess taxes any time after the act terminating the organization of the municipality or plantation takes effect by making assessment once a year under the laws relating to the assessment of property taxes in unorganized territory.

(1)  The State Tax Assessor may make additional assessments in the same manner against the property owners in the deorganized municipality or plantation to provide funds to pay the debts of the municipality or plantation.

2.  Use of money.  All money received under this section shall be applied:

A.  To pay the necessary expenses of the State Tax Assessor in making assessments under subsection 1;

B.  To pay any obligation of the municipality or plantation outstanding at the time its organization is terminated;

C.  To pay taxes assessed against the municipality or plantation; and

D.  To complete any public works of the municipality or plantation already begun.

3.  Surplus funds and property.  At the end of the 5-year period, or when in the judgment of the State Tax Assessor final payment of all known accounts against the municipality or plantation has been made, any funds which have not been expended shall be deposited with the county commissioners as undedicated revenue for the unorganized territory fund of that county.  Any property of the municipality or plantation which has not been sold shall be held by the State in trust for the unorganized territory or transferred to the county to be held in trust for the unorganized territory.  Income from the sale or use of the property shall be used as described in Title 36, section 1604.

§7305. Cemetery trust funds

The State Tax Assessor may transfer any cemetery trust funds held by a municipality at the time of deorganization to a cemetery association, provided that association is formed under the laws of the State.  If no such association exists, the State Tax Assessor may transfer the funds to the county commissioners.  These funds are to be retained for the purpose of allowing the interest only to be used in the same manner and for the same purposes for which the fund was originally accepted by the deorganized municipality.  If the funds are in the care and custody of the county commissioners and a cemetery association is subsequently formed, the county commissioners may transfer the funds to the cemetery association.