Maine LD 1667: An Act To Protect the Tax Base of Municipalities by Removing the Property Tax Exemption for Land Held for Conservation or Public Access Purposes

LD 1667 (subjects: PROPERTY TAX PROCEDURES , MUNICIPALITIES )

Official bill page at mainelegislature.org: http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/display_ps.asp?ld=1667&PID=1456&snum=127


Sponsors | Actions | Bill Text | Patterns of Support


Sponsors

Principal Sponsor: Rep. Joel Stetkis of Canaan: (R – District 105) — e-mail | Facebook

3 Cosponsors:

Actions

Chamber

Action
3/22/2016 House Committee on Taxation suggested and ordered printed.
The Bill was REFERRED to the Committee on TAXATION.
Sent for concurrence. ORDERED SENT FORTHWITH.
3/22/2016 Senate On motion by Senator McCormick of Kennebec, REFERRED to the Committee on Taxation, in concurrence.
3/31/2016 Senate Pursuant to Joint Rule 310.3 Placed in Legislative Files (DEAD)

Bill Text

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An Act To Protect the Tax Base of Municipalities by Removing the Property Tax Exemption for Land Held for Conservation or Public Access Purposes

Be it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows:

Sec. 1. 36 MRSA 652, sub- 1, C, as amended by PL 2007, c. 627, 20, is further amended to read:

C. Further conditions to the right of exemption under paragraphs A and B are that:

(1) Any corporation claiming exemption under paragraph A must be organized and conducted exclusively for benevolent and charitable purposes . For the purposes of this subsection, for property tax years beginning on or after April 1, 2017, holding land primarily for conservation purposes or public access purposes is not a benevolent or charitable purpose;

(2) A director, trustee, officer or employee of an organization claiming exemption may not receive directly or indirectly any pecuniary profit from the operation of that organization, except as reasonable compensation for services in effecting its purposes or as a proper beneficiary of its strictly benevolent or charitable purposes;

(3) All profits derived from the operation of an organization claiming exemption and the proceeds from the sale of its property must be devoted exclusively to the purposes for which it is organized;

(4) The institution, organization or corporation claiming exemption under this section must file with the assessors upon their request a report for its preceding fiscal year in such detail as the assessors may reasonably require;

(5) An exemption may not be allowed under this section in favor of an agricultural fair association holding pari-mutuel racing meets unless it has qualified the next preceding year as a recipient of a stipend from the Stipend Fund provided in Title 7, section 86;

(6) An exemption allowed under paragraph A or B for real or personal property owned and occupied or used to provide federally subsidized residential rental housing is limited as follows: Federally subsidized residential rental housing placed in service prior to September 1, 1993 by other than a nonprofit housing corporation that is acquired on or after September 1, 1993 by a nonprofit housing corporation and the operation of which is not an unrelated trade or business to that nonprofit housing corporation is eligible for an exemption limited to 50% of the municipal assessed value of that property.

An exemption granted under this subparagraph must be revoked for any year in which the owner of the property is no longer a nonprofit housing corporation or the operation of the residential rental housing is an unrelated trade or business to that nonprofit housing corporation.

(a) For the purposes of this subparagraph, the following terms have the following meanings.

(i) “Federally subsidized residential rental housing” means residential rental housing that is subsidized through project-based rental assistance, operating assistance or interest rate subsidies paid or provided by or on behalf of an agency or department of the Federal Government.

(ii) “Nonprofit housing corporation” means a nonprofit corporation organized in the State that is exempt from tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Code and has among its corporate purposes the provision of services to people of low income or the construction, rehabilitation, ownership or operation of housing.

(iii) “Residential rental housing” means one or more buildings, together with any facilities functionally related and subordinate to the building or buildings, located on one parcel of land and held in common ownership prior to the conversion to nonprofit status and containing 9 or more similarly constructed residential units offered for rental to the general public for use on other than a transient basis, each of which contains separate and complete facilities for living, sleeping, eating, cooking and sanitation.

(iv) “Unrelated trade or business” means any trade or business whose conduct is not substantially related to the exercise or performance by a nonprofit corporation of the purposes or functions constituting the basis for exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Code.

(b) Eligibility of the following property for exemption is not affected by the provisions of this subparagraph:

(i) Property used as a nonprofit nursing home, residential care facility licensed by the Department of Health and Human Services pursuant to Title 22, chapter 1663 or a community living arrangement as defined in Title 30-A, section 4357-A or any property owned by a nonprofit organization licensed or funded by the Department of Health and Human Services to provide services to or for the benefit of persons with mental illness or mental retardation;

(ii) Property used for student housing;

(iii) Property used for parsonages;

(iv) Property that was owned and occupied or used to provide residential rental housing that qualified for exemption under paragraph A or B prior to September 1, 1993; or

(v) Property exempt from taxation under other provisions of law; and

(7) In addition to the requirements of subparagraphs (1) to (4), an exemption is not allowed under paragraph A or B for real or personal property owned and occupied or used to provide residential rental housing that is transferred or placed in service on or after September 1, 1993, unless the property is owned by a nonprofit housing corporation and the operation of the residential rental housing is not an unrelated trade or business to the nonprofit housing corporation.

For the purposes of this subparagraph, the following terms have the following meanings.

(a) “Nonprofit housing corporation” means a nonprofit corporation organized in the State that is exempt from tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Code and has among its corporate purposes the provision of services to people of low income or the construction, rehabilitation, ownership or operation of housing.

(b) “Residential rental housing” means one or more buildings, together with any facilities functionally related and subordinate to the building or buildings, containing one or more similarly constructed residential units offered for rental to the general public for use on other than a transient basis, each of which contains separate and complete facilities for living, sleeping, eating, cooking and sanitation.

(c) “Unrelated trade or business” means any trade or business whose conduct is not substantially related to the exercise or performance by a nonprofit organization of the purposes constituting the basis for exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Code.

summary

This bill addresses the effect of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court decision in Francis Small Heritage Trust, Inc. v. Town of Limington et al., 2014 ME 102, by specifying that holding land primarily for conservation or public access purposes is not a benevolent and charitable purpose, which is a condition necessary to obtaining an exemption from property tax. The change applies to property tax years beginning on or after April 1, 2017.

Patterns of Support

Pattern of Cosponsorship by Region:

Pattern of Cosponsorship by Gender:

Pattern of Cosponsorship by Party:

Pattern of Cosponsorship by Campaign Finance Classification:

Note: Maine Clean Elections Act (MCEA) Qualified candidates only accept a small dollar value of initial contributions early in their campaigns, pledge not to accept further campaign contributions from private sources, and receive public funding for their campaigns. MCEA Non-Qualified candidates choose not to obtain public funding and instead are free to accept campaign contributions from individuals, party committees, political action committees and business sources.


This information about LD 1667 was last updated on 2016-05-13.
The Open Maine Politics website is in a beta release and results should not be taken as definitive. Please visit the official website of the Maine State Legislature for entirely verifiable information.

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