An Act To Support the Role of Municipalities in Expanding Broadband Infrastructure
Sec. 1. 30-A MRSA §5401, sub-§7, ¶B, as enacted by PL 1987, c. 737, Pt. A, §2 and Pt. C, §106 and amended by PL 1989, c. 6; c. 9, §2; and c. 104, Pt. C, §§8 and 10, is further amended to read:
(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 . ; or
(6) A community broadband system or part of that system.
Sec. 2. 30-A MRSA §5402, sub-§1-A is enacted to read:
Sec. 3. 30-A MRSA §5403, sub-§13, as amended by PL 2005, c. 556, §1, is further amended to read:
Sec. 4. 30-A MRSA §5403, sub-§14, as enacted by PL 2005, c. 556, §2, is amended to read:
Sec. 5. 30-A MRSA §5403, sub-§15 is enacted to read:
Nothing in this chapter restricts a municipality from purchasing, leasing, constructing or equipping facilities that are designed to provide communications services. Nothing in this chapter restricts a municipality from using community broadband systems for internal municipal government purposes or, by written contract, leasing, selling capacity in or granting other similar rights to communications service providers to use the facilities in connection with the provider's offering communications services.
Sec. 6. 30-A MRSA §5413, as enacted by PL 1987, c. 737, Pt. A, §2 and Pt. C, §106 and amended by PL 1989, c. 6; c. 9, §2; and c. 104, Pt. C, §§8 and 10, is further amended to read:
§ 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 constitutes 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 , community broadband 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 are free from taxation within the State, provided except 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.
This bill recognizes broadband Internet as a public necessity. It designates a community broadband system or part of that system as a revenue-producing municipal facility. It allows a municipality to construct, maintain and operate a municipal or multimunicipal system composed of infrastructure capable of being utilized by communications service providers for the provision of communications services. The bill prohibits a municipality from providing retail communications services through community broadband systems to nonmunicipal entities. The bill exempts community broadband systems from taxation.