HB 660-FN-LOCAL – AS INTRODUCED
HOUSE BILL 660-FN-LOCAL
This bill provides that a cooperative school district shall be a town for the purposes of state and local taxation.
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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.
Matter removed from current law appears [
in brackets and struckthrough.]
Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Five
AN ACT relative to taxation in a cooperative school district.
Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
1 New Paragraph; Cooperative School District; Powers. Amend RSA 195:4 by inserting after paragraph IV the following new paragraph:
IV-a. For the purposes of taxation, a cooperative school district shall be a town as defined in RSA 21:5.
2 Cooperative School Districts; Procedure for Formation. Amend RSA 195:18, III(i) to read as follows:
(i) The method by which the articles of agreement may be amended with the approval of the board; except that no amendment may permit secession of territory. [
The provisions adopted under either subparagraph (e) or (g) above may be subject to review pursuant to an article for that purpose duly inserted in the warrant for a district meeting which may be held at any time after the expiration of the 5-year period measured from the date of the first annual meeting. If the apportionment formula for a cooperative school district has been duly changed, the basis for the apportionment of all such costs may be subject to review pursuant to an article for that purpose duly inserted in the warrant for a district meeting which may be held at any time after the expiration of the 5-year period measured from the date of the meeting at which the last change was made to the cost apportionment.] However, such [ provisions] articles may be amended at any time in order to permit the enlargement of a cooperative school district or an increase in the number of grades for which the cooperative school district shall be responsible.
3 Cooperative School Districts; Procedure for Formation. Amend RSA 195:18, IX to read as follows:
IX. The organization meeting of a cooperative school district shall be called to order by the chairperson of the cooperative school district planning board, or by the clerk-treasurer thereof, who shall serve as temporary chairperson for the first order of business which shall be the election of a moderator and of a temporary clerk, by ballot, who shall be qualified voters of the district. From and after the issuance of the certificate of formation by the board to the date of operating responsibility of the cooperative school district, such district shall have all the authority and powers of a regular school district for the purposes of incurring indebtedness, for the construction of school facilities and for such other functions as are necessary to obtain proper facilities for a complete program of education. [
When necessary in such interim, the school board of the cooperative school district is authorized to prepare a budget and call a special meeting of the voters of the district, which meeting shall have the same authority as an annual meeting, for the purpose of adopting the budget, making necessary appropriations, and borrowing money. Whenever the organization meeting is held on or before April 20 in any calendar year, no annual meeting need be held in such calendar year. Sums of money raised and appropriated at the organization meeting or any interim meeting prior to the first annual meeting shall be forthwith certified to the commissioner of revenue administration and the state department of education upon blanks prescribed and provided by the commissioner of revenue administration for the purpose, together with a certificate of estimated revenues, so far as known, and such other information as the commissioner of revenue administration may require. The commissioner of revenue administration shall examine such certificates and delete any appropriations which appear not made in accordance with the law, and adjust any sum which may be used as a setoff against the amount appropriated when it appears to the commissioner such adjustment is in the best public interest. The commissioner of revenue administration shall certify to the state department of education the total amount of taxes to be raised for said cooperative school district and the state department of education shall determine the proportional share of said taxes to be borne by each preexisting school district and notify the commissioner of revenue administration of its determination. Upon certification by the commissioner of revenue administration the selectmen of each town shall seasonably assess the taxes as provided by law. The selectmen shall pay over to the treasurer of the cooperative district such portion of the sums so raised as may reasonably be required according to a schedule of payments needed for the year as prepared by the treasurer and approved by the cooperative school board, but no such payment shall be greater in percentage to the total sum to be raised by one local district than that of any other local district comprising such cooperative school district.]
4 New Section; Taxation; Procedure. Amend RSA 195 by inserting after section 7 the following new section:
195:7-a Taxation; Procedure.
I. Whenever the cooperative school district votes to raise money by taxation or otherwise for any of its purposes, the clerk shall, within 10 days thereafter, deliver a certified copy of such vote to the selectmen of each town which contains any part of the cooperative school district and to the commissioner of revenue administration. Whether or not the cooperative school district is situated wholly within one town, the selectmen of each town shall assess the tax on that part of the cooperative school district lying within their own town and commit it to the collector of taxes from their own town. The collectors shall then collect the tax as required by law. The selectmen may make such assessments in the manner provided under RSA 76:4.
II. In the case of a cooperative school district with an annual budget of less than $200,000, the town treasurer of each school district within the cooperative school district shall distribute the amount of taxes collected and held in trust by each town under paragraph I to the cooperative school district treasurer no later than December 31 of each calendar year, unless otherwise agreed to in writing by the town treasurer and cooperative school district treasurer. In the case of a cooperative school district with an annual budget of $200,000 or more, the town treasurer shall distribute the amount of taxes collected and held in trust by the town under paragraph I by distributing to the cooperative school district treasurer all taxes collected in any given calendar month by the end of the next following month, unless otherwise agreed to in writing by the town treasurer and cooperative school district treasurer. The town treasurer, furthermore, shall turn over to the cooperative school district treasurer all interest earned on cooperative school district tax revenues held in trust by the town and all interest collected by the town on the account of any delinquent cooperative school district taxpayers' cooperative school district taxes in the same manner as the tax revenues are distributed.
5 Repeal. The following are repealed:
I. RSA 195:7, relative to the costs of capital outlay and operation.
II. RSA 195:8, relative to the procedure to reconsider apportionment of costs.
III. RSA 195:14, relative to certification of district taxes.
IV. RSA 195:14-a, relative to an alternative method for apportioning operating costs.
V. RSA 195:16, I(f), relative to apportioning operating and capital costs during enlargement of territory.
VI. RSA 195:18, III(e), relative to apportionment of operating expenses.
VII. RSA 195:18, III(g), relative to apportionment of capital expenses.
VIII. RSA 195:18, X, relative to the application of cost apportionment provisions.
6 Applicability. Within 2 years of the effective date of this act, a cooperative school board shall amend the articles of agreement or other existing arrangement to comply with the provisions of this act.
7 Effective Date. This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.
HB 660-FN-LOCAL - FISCAL NOTE
AN ACT relative to taxation in a cooperative school district.
The Department of Revenue Administration and Department of Education indicate this bill will have an indeterminable fiscal impact on state general fund expenditures, local revenue and local expenditures. There will be no fiscal impact on state and county revenue or county expenditures.
This bill states that for the purposes of taxation, a cooperative school district shall be a town.
The Department of Revenue Administration indicates this bill requires cooperative school districts to amend their articles of agreement to conform to the bill within 2 years. The Department estimates the requirement will have a fiscal impact on some communities within cooperative school districts but cannot calculate the impact because there are no provisions for apportioning costs within a cooperative school district in this bill.
The Department of Revenue indicates this bill will render many current cooperative agreements null within 2 years and, as a result, there will be some cost shifting resulting in some municipalities withdrawing from the cooperative. In addition, the Department states it is possible that school district costs could increase because there will be no budget or revenue oversight by the Department of Revenue Administration or the Department of Education.
The Department of Education indicates this bill:
• repeals the cooperative school board’s authority to act between the time that the State Board of Education grants a certificate and the date of operating responsibility,
• eliminates the requirement that a formula for apportioning operating and capital costs for a cooperative school district must be constant for a five year period,
• alters the distribution of state aid and has an indeterminable effect on the tax rates of pre-existing districts that compose the cooperative school districts,
• reduces the amount of building aid that a cooperative school district would be able to receive,
• prevents local school boards from acting,
• prevents the Department of Education from distributing state aid to cooperative districts, and
• could redistribute state adequate education grants among towns.