HB 1651 – FINAL VERSION
HOUSE BILL 1651
This bill establishes a program to allow municipalities in Coos county to offer property tax exemptions to foster commercial and industrial construction.
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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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.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 Eight
AN ACT allowing municipalities in Coos county to offer property tax exemptions to foster commercial and industrial construction.
Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
224:1 Statement of Intent. The general court finds that over 1,000 jobs have been lost in Coos county due to the closure of 4 mills and that this has worsened an economically depressed situation in Coos county which existed prior to these mill closures. It is the purpose of this act to foster the economic development of economically depressed Coos county by enabling municipalities to encourage new construction, rehabilitation, and improvement of property for commercial and industrial use through the adoption of tax exemptions. It is the further purpose of this act to ensure that, once adopted, such exemptions shall be administered uniformly within the taxing districts so as to avoid the risk of unconstitutional ad hoc or discriminatory tax benefits.
224:2 New Subdivision; Commercial and Industrial Construction Exemption. Amend RSA 72 by inserting after section 74 the following new subdivision:
Commercial and Industrial Construction Exemption
I. In this subdivision:
(a) “Commercial uses” shall include all retail, wholesale, service, and similar uses.
(b) “Eligible municipality” shall mean any city or town in Coos county.
(c) “Industrial uses” shall include all manufacturing, production, assembling, warehousing, or processing of goods or materials for sale or distribution, research and development activities, or processing of waste materials.
II. An eligible municipality adopting a property tax exemption pursuant to RSA 72:76 may, in lieu of the definitions in this section, adopt by reference the definitions of similar terms as may be contained in that town’s or city’s zoning ordinances.
72:76 Property Tax Exemption. An eligible municipality may, by vote of the local legislative body pursuant to RSA 72:77, adopt a new construction property tax exemption for commercial or industrial uses, or both. The exemption shall apply only for municipal and local school property taxes assessed by the municipality which shall exclude state education property taxes under RSA 76:3 and county taxes assessed against the municipality under RSA 29:11, and shall be a specified percentage on an annual basis of the increase in assessed value attributable to construction of new structures, and additions, renovations, or improvements to existing structures. The exemption may run for a maximum period of 10 years following the new construction; provided, however, that the exemption for all years shall cumulatively not exceed 500 percent of the increased assessed value. Once adopted by the local legislative body, the percentage rate and duration of the exemption shall be granted uniformly within that municipality to all projects for which a proper application is filed.
72:77 Procedure for Adoption.
I. A municipality desiring to adopt the provisions of RSA 72:76 shall do so in accordance with the procedures set forth in RSA 72:27-a. The vote shall specify the percentage of new assessed value to be exempted, the number of years duration of the exemption following new construction, and a reference to zoning use category definitions, if applicable. The exemption shall take effect in the tax year beginning April 1 following its adoption.
II. A vote adopting RSA 72:76 shall remain in effect for a maximum of 5 tax years; provided, however, that for any application which has already been granted prior to expiration of such 5 tax year period, the exemption shall continue to apply at the rate and for the duration in effect at the time it was granted.
72:78 Application for Exemption.
I. On or before March 1 following the date of notice of tax under RSA 72:1-d for any year for which the exemption is claimed, a person qualified for an exemption under RSA 72:76 shall file an application with the selectmen or assessors, on an application form prepared by them, signed by the applicant under penalty of perjury, which contains adequate information to demonstrate that the applicant is qualified for the exemption.
II. The selectmen or assessors shall notify the applicant of their decision on or before July 1 following the date of notice of tax under RSA 72:1-d. The decision shall specify the amount of the exemption, that it is effective beginning the prior April 1, and the number of years for which the exemption applies to qualified construction. The decision of the selectmen or assessors may be appealed in the manner set forth in RSA 72:34-a.
III. Alternatively, an owner may apply for the exemption prior to construction, but in no case more than 12 months before the beginning of the tax year for which the exemption is sought. In such cases the selectmen or assessors may anticipatorily grant the exemption, subject to adjustment when the actual increase in assessed value becomes known. If construction is partially complete on April 1 of any year, the exemption for that year shall be based on the increased assessed value attributable to the partial construction, but the duration of the exemption shall be adjusted such that the cumulative amount of exemptions received, based on the construction as completed, is proportional to that received by other eligible properties.
IV. The selectmen or assessors may request such additional or updated information as is necessary to determine eligibility. If they are satisfied that the applicant has willfully made any false statement, or has refused to provide information after such a request, they may refuse to grant the exemption.
V. If the municipality completes a revaluation during the period for which an exemption has been granted, the amount of the exemption shall be adjusted by the difference in equalization ratios applicable in the municipality before and after the revaluation.
224:3 Procedure for Adoption, Modification, or Rescission. Amend the introductory paragraph of RSA 72:27-a, I to read as follows:
I. Any town or city may adopt the provisions of RSA 72:28, RSA 72:29-a, RSA 72:35, RSA 72:37, RSA 72:37-b, RSA 72:38-b, RSA 72:39-a, RSA 72:62, RSA 72:66, [
or] RSA 72:70, or RSA 72:76 in the following manner:
224:4 Repeal. RSA 72:75–RSA 72:78, relative to a program allowing economically depressed municipalities to offer tax exemptions to foster commercial and industrial construction, are repealed.
224:5 Effective Date.
I. Section 4 of this act shall take effect July 1, 2013.
II. The remainder of this act shall take effect July 1, 2008.
Approved: June 16, 2008
Effective Date: I. Section 4 shall take effect July 1, 2013.
II. Remainder shall take effect July 1, 2008.