Substitute House Bill No. 6994

Public Act No. 01-158

AN ACT CONCERNING MUNICIPAL FISCAL DISPARITIES.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (NEW) (a) As used in this section:

(1) "Secretary" means the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management;

(2) "Municipality" means any town, city or borough, consolidated town and city or consolidated town and borough;

(3) "Population" for each municipality means the number of people according to the most recent estimate of the Department of Public Health;

(4) "Adjusted equalized net grand list per capita" means the most recent adjusted equalized net grand list per capita determined for each municipality pursuant to section 10-261 of the general statutes;

(5) "Equalized mill rate" means the tax rate derived from the most recent available grand levy of a municipality divided by the equalized net grand list on which such levy is based as determined by the secretary in accordance with section 10-261a of the general statutes;

(6) "Grand levy" means the mill rate of the municipality multiplied by the net taxable grand list of the municipality and includes the value of special service districts if such districts contain fifty per cent or more of the value of total taxable property within the municipality; and

(7) "Region" means a planning region designated or redesignated by the secretary pursuant to section 16a-4a of the general statutes.

(b) On or before September 15, 2001, and annually thereafter, the secretary shall submit to the Governor a list of municipalities that have (1) an equalized mill rate that is fifty per cent more than the average equalized mill rate of the region in which the municipality is located; (2) an adjusted equalized net grand list per capita that is forty per cent less than the average adjusted equalized net grand list per capita of the region in which the municipality is located; (3) a median household income which is thirty per cent less than the average median household income of the region in which the municipality is located; and (4) a decrease in population in the year of the latest equalized mill rate from the average population of the previous five years.

(c) Within thirty days of submission of the list prepared pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, the Governor shall convene a meeting of the chief elected officials in each region in which a municipality identified on the list is located. If any such municipality does not have a chief elected official, a member of its legislative body shall be chosen by a majority vote of such body to represent the municipality at the meeting. The member of the legislative body chosen under this section shall be deemed to be the chief elected official of such municipality for the purposes of the meeting. The Governor shall provide notice of such meeting to each chief elected official by certified mail, return receipt requested. Each chief elected official receiving a notice under this section shall participate in the process set forth in this section.

(d) On or before December thirty-first in the year of identification of a municipality under subsection (b) of this section, the chief elected officials shall submit to the Governor and the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to local government recommendations to address the problems of the municipality, including intertown collaboration and action. On or before December thirty-first in the second year after identification, the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, in consultation with the chief elected officials, shall prepare a specific implementation strategy that addresses the fiscal capacity of the municipality. Thereafter, the plan shall be revised annually until the municipality no longer meets the qualifying standards of subsection (b) of this section.

(e) The Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, within available funds, shall provide necessary staff and resources to assist municipalities in preparing the recommendations and in implementing the strategy required under subsection (d) of this section.

Sec. 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2001.

Approved July 6, 2001