An Act To Adjust the Calculation of Municipal Education Contributions for Communities Faced with Sudden and Severe Property Tax Valuation Reductions
Emergency preamble. Whereas, acts and resolves of the Legislature do not become effective until 90 days after adjournment unless enacted as emergencies; and
Whereas, the value of property within a municipality has a great effect on the calculation of the municipality’s required contribution for funding local schools; and
Whereas, the sudden closure of businesses has a severe effect on municipal property valuations that is not currently accounted for in the calculation of general purpose aid for local schools; and
Whereas, immediate relief is necessary to ensure municipalities with sudden and severe impacts upon property valuations are able to preserve adequate funding for education; and
Whereas, in the judgment of the Legislature, these facts create an emergency within the meaning of the Constitution of Maine and require the following legislation as immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety; now, therefore,
Sec. 1. 20-A MRSA §15672, sub-§23, ¶C, as enacted by PL 2013, c. 203, §1, is repealed and the following enacted in its place:
(1) The average of the certified state valuations for the 3 most recent years prior to the most recently certified state valuation; or
(2) If an adjustment has been approved by the State Tax Assessor pursuant to Title 36, section 208-A, that adjusted state valuation.
Sec. 2. Bucksport business equipment tax exemption. Notwithstanding the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 36, section 692, subsection 2, for the purpose of determining any reimbursement by the State to the Town of Bucksport under Title 36, section 694, subsection 2 in 2015, the just value of the paper mill generally located at 2 River Road, Bucksport is equal to the valuation determined for 2014.
Sec. 3. Bucksport property fiscal capacity. Notwithstanding the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 20-A, section 15672, subsection 23, the property fiscal capacity for the Town of Bucksport for fiscal year 2015-16 is $568,950.
Emergency clause. In view of the emergency cited in the preamble, this legislation takes effect when approved.
This bill provides that, for fiscal year 2015-16 and beyond, in the event a municipality is approved for an adjustment to its state property valuation due to a sudden and severe disruption in its municipal valuation, that adjusted state valuation is the property fiscal capacity for purposes of determining municipal contributions under the school funding formula. This bill also provides that the 2015 valuation of the paper mill located in the Town of Bucksport is equal to its 2014 valuation and sets the property fiscal capacity for the Town of Bucksport at $568,950 for fiscal year 2015-16.