Bill Details - HB635 (2019)

HB 635-LOCAL - AS INTRODUCED

 

 

2019 SESSION

19-0740

05/04

 

HOUSE BILL 635-LOCAL

 

AN ACT enabling a payment in lieu of taxes for a combined heat and power agricultural facility.

 

SPONSORS: Rep. Laflamme, Coos 3; Rep. Hatch, Coos 6; Rep. Noel, Coos 3; Rep. Y. Thomas, Coos 3; Rep. Tucker, Coos 5; Sen. Starr, Dist 1

 

COMMITTEE: Science, Technology and Energy

 

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ANALYSIS

 

This bill authorizes municipalities to enter into a voluntary agreement with a combined heat and power agricultural facility to make a payment in lieu of taxes.

 

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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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

19-0740

05/04

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Nineteen

 

AN ACT enabling a payment in lieu of taxes for a combined heat and power agricultural facility.

 

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

 

1  Statement of Purpose.

I.  This act is intended to advance the public interests of the state by encouraging the growth of agricultural businesses that use on-site combined heat and power generation systems.  By using an on-site combined heat and power generation system, such facilities will minimize their impact on the state’s electric needs, which are currently subject to high energy demand, tight supply, and volatile prices.

II.  The use of large greenhouses for commercial food production is a growing industry, and such facilities are being built across the globe.  This act will make New Hampshire a more attractive location for this agricultural industry, bringing new business and jobs to the state.  The act will further encourage other agricultural facilities in the state to invest in on-site combined heat and power generation, which will in turn help the state meet its growing power needs.

III.  One such project that is being considered in Berlin, New Hampshire, is the construction of a 20-acre greenhouse with a generation plant that will tap into a local natural gas pipeline for the fuel source for the facility’s heat and power needs.  The project would bring an estimated 80 direct jobs to the North Country and generate an estimated 8.8 MWs of electrical power primarily to be used by the facility.

2  New Subdivision; Payment in Lieu of Taxes for Combined Heat and Power Agricultural Facilities:  Amend RSA 72 by inserting after section 74 the following new subdivision:

Payment in Lieu of Taxes for Combined Heat and Power Agricultural Facilities

72:74-a  Payment in Lieu of Taxes for Combined Heat and Power Agricultural Facilities.

I.  In this section, “combined heat and power agricultural facility” means a facility that engages in commercial agricultural production and uses an on-site combined heat and power system, as defined by RSA 362-A:1-a, I-d, with the exception that the size of such system may be up to .5 MW of electric power per acre of the portion of the combined heat and power agricultural facility that consists of that acreage that is used in the production and storage of agricultural commodities that are raised for sale, to furnish at least 85 percent of the facility’s heat and power needs, not to exceed a total of .5 MW of electric power per acre of the portion of the combined heat and power agricultural facility that consists of that acreage that is used in the production and storage of agricultural commodities that are raised for sale.  A combined heat and power agricultural facility shall not constitute a “utility” as defined by RSA 83-F:1, IV.  A combined heat and power agricultural facility shall include all structures used for active agricultural purposes, including any buildings in which the combined heat and power system is housed, all structures ancillary to the combined heat and power agricultural facility, and the entirety of the lot on which such structures are physically located.

II.  The owner of a combined heat and power agricultural facility and the governing body of the municipality in which the facility is located may, after a duly noticed public hearing, enter into a voluntary agreement to make a payment in lieu of taxes.  A lessee of a combined heat and power agricultural facility which is responsible for the payment of taxes on the facility may also enter into a voluntary agreement with the municipality in which the facility is located to make a payment in lieu of taxes, provided the lessee shall send by certified mail to the lessor written notice which shall state that the property of the lessor may be subject to RSA 80 should the lessee fail to make the payments required by the agreement.  A copy of such notice shall be provided to the municipality in which the facility is located.

III.  A combined heat and power agricultural facility subject to a voluntary agreement to make a payment in lieu of taxes under this section shall not be subject to the laws governing the utility property tax under RSA 83-F.  Payments made pursuant to such agreement shall satisfy any tax liability relative to the combined heat and power agricultural facility that otherwise exists under RSA 72.  The payment in lieu of taxes shall be equalized under RSA 21-J:3, XIII in the same manner as other payments in lieu of taxes.  In the absence of a payment in lieu of taxes agreement, the combined heat and power agricultural facility shall be subject to taxation under RSA 72.

IV.  If a municipality that contains more than one school district receives a payment in lieu of taxes under this section, the proceeds shall be prorated to the districts in the same manner as local taxes are prorated to the districts, or in the case of a cooperative school district between the city or town and pre-existing school district.

V.  The collection procedures in RSA 80 shall be used to enforce a voluntary agreement to make a payment in lieu of taxes authorized by this section.

VI.  If a municipality enters into a voluntary payment in lieu of taxes agreement with an owner, or a lessee responsible for payment of taxes, of a combined heat and power agricultural facility, the municipality, upon the request of the owner, or a lessee responsible for payment of taxes, of any other combined heat and power agricultural facility located within the municipality, shall offer a comparable agreement to the owner or lessee of such other facility.

VII.  Except as provided in paragraph VIII, no voluntary agreement entered into under this section shall be valid for more than 5 years; however, any such agreement may be renewed or amended and restated for any number of consecutive periods of 5 years or less.

VIII.  The owner of a combined heat and power agricultural facility and the governing body of the municipality in which the facility is located may agree to a term exceeding 5 years if such term is necessary for the financing of the project or is otherwise advantageous to both parties and both parties agree to such term.

3  Department of Revenue Administration; Duties of Commissioner; Reference Added.  Amend RSA 21-J:3, XIII to read as follows:

XIII.  Equalize annually by May 1 the valuation of the property as assessed in the several towns, cities, and unincorporated places in the state including the value of property exempt pursuant to RSA 72:37, 72:37-b, 72:39-a, 72:62, 72:66, and 72:70, property which is subject to tax relief under RSA 79-E:4, and property which is subject to tax relief under RSA 79-E:4-a, by adding to or deducting from the aggregate valuation of the property in towns, cities, and unincorporated places such sums as will bring such valuations to the true and market value of the property, and by making such adjustments in the value of other property from which the towns, cities, and unincorporated places receive taxes or payments in lieu of taxes, including renewable generation facility property subject to a payment in lieu of taxes agreement under RSA 72:74 and combined heat and power agricultural facility property subject to a payment in lieu of taxes agreement under RSA 72:74-a, as may be equitable and just, so that any public taxes that may be apportioned among them shall be equal and just.  In carrying out the duty to equalize the valuation of property, the commissioner shall follow the procedures set forth in RSA 21-J:9-a.

4  Appraisal of Taxable Property; Reference Added.  Amend RSA 75:1 to read as follows:

75:1  How Appraised.  The selectmen shall appraise open space land pursuant to RSA 79-A:5, open space land with conservation restrictions pursuant to RSA 79-B:3, land with discretionary easements pursuant to RSA 79-C:7, residences on commercial or industrial zoned land pursuant to RSA 75:11, earth and excavations pursuant to RSA 72-B, land classified as land under qualifying farm structures pursuant to RSA 79-F, buildings and land appraised under RSA 79-G as qualifying historic buildings, qualifying chartered public school property appraised under RSA 79-H, residential rental property subject to a housing covenant under the low-income housing tax credit program pursuant to RSA 75:1-a, renewable generation facility property subject to a voluntary payment in lieu of taxes agreement under RSA 72:74 as determined under said agreement, combined heat and power agricultural facility property subject to a voluntary payment in lieu of taxes agreement under RSA 72:74-a as determined under said agreement, telecommunications poles and conduits pursuant to RSA 72:8-c, and all other taxable property at its market value.  Market value means the property's full and true value as the same would be appraised in payment of a just debt due from a solvent debtor.  The selectmen shall receive and consider all evidence that may be submitted to them relative to the value of property, the value of which cannot be determined by personal examination.  

5  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect April 1, 2019.

Docket

Date Status
Jan. 3, 2019 Introduced 01/03/2019 and referred to Science, Technology and Energy HJ 3 P. 23
Jan. 30, 2019 Public Hearing: 01/30/2019 11:15 am LOB 304
Feb. 5, 2019 Executive Session: 02/05/2019 09:45 am LOB 304
Feb. 14, 2019 Majority Committee Report: Ought to Pass for 02/14/2019 (Vote 13-4; RC) HC 11 P. 19
Majority Committee Report: Ought to Pass (Vote 13-4; RC)
Minority Committee Report: Inexpedient to Legislate
Feb. 14, 2019 Ought to Pass: MA VV 02/14/2019 HJ 5 P. 74
Feb. 14, 2019 Referred to Municipal and County Government 02/14/2019 HJ 5 P. 74
Feb. 26, 2019 Public Hearing: 02/26/2019 10:45 am LOB 301
March 5, 2019 Executive Session: 03/05/2019 01:00 pm LOB 301
March 14, 2019 Committee Report: Ought to Pass for 03/14/2019 (Vote 19-0; CC) HC 15 P. 6
Committee Report: Ought to Pass (Vote 19-0; CC)
March 14, 2019 Ought to Pass: MA VV 03/14/2019 HJ 9 P. 10
March 21, 2019 Introduced 03/21/2019 and Referred to Election Law and Municipal Affairs; SJ 10
May 8, 2019 Hearing: 05/08/2019, Room 102, LOB, 10:20 am; SC 21
Committee Report: Ought to Pass
May 30, 2019 Committee Report: Ought to Pass, 05/30/2019; SC 24

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Jan. 30, 2019 House Hearing
Feb. 5, 2019 House Exec Session
House Floor Vote
Feb. 14, 2019 House Floor Vote
Feb. 26, 2019 House Hearing
March 5, 2019 House Exec Session
March 14, 2019 House Floor Vote
May 8, 2019 Senate Hearing
Senate Floor Vote
May 30, 2019 Senate Floor Vote

Bill Text Revisions

HB635 Revision: 4912 Date: Jan. 16, 2019, 9:07 a.m.