Topic:
LEGISLATION; PROPERTY TAX; TAX EXEMPTIONS;
Location:
TAX EXEMPTIONS; TAXES - PROPERTY;

OLR Research Report


October 12, 2006

 

2006-R-0644

PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTIONS CREATED OR EXPANDED 1994—2006

By: Judith Lohman, Chief Analyst

You asked for a list of the property tax exemptions the General Assembly created or expanded between 1994 and 2006. You also requested brief information concerning the legislative origin of each exemption provision. This report updates our report of January 25, 2005 (2005-R-0106).

The General Assembly created or expanded property tax exemptions 67 times in the 12 years from 1994 through 2006. Of the 67 provisions, 31 originated in committees, 24 were added to bills by floor amendments (22 House amendments, two Senate amendments), and 12 were enacted as part of emergency certified bills. Eleven of the emergency certified provisions were enacted in regular or special sessions occurring in 2000 through 2006.

Table 1 lists each exemption by year, along with a brief description, the public act and bill numbers, and where it originated. The list does not include changes in state reimbursements for exemptions or state payments in lieu of taxes. It also excludes procedural changes, such as filing deadline extensions or waivers.

There were no exemptions created or expanded in the 2005 session. Although they are not strictly exemptions, for the 2006 session, we have included three acts granting towns new options for phasing in property tax increases resulting from revaluations and one act that gives towns the authority to freeze property taxes for elderly residents who meet certain conditions.

Table 1: Property Tax Exemptions, 1994-2006

Public Act

Bill

Description

Origin

1994

94-145

5485

Establishes local option abatements on certain food manufacturing plants and amusement parks.

Planning & Development

94-157

5101

Expands the types of renewable energy systems subject to local option exemptions.

Energy & Technology

94-175

5651

Broadens exemption eligibility criteria for veterans of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

House amendment (LCO number cannot be determined)

94-201

5127

Establishes a local option exemption for certain types of farms.

House amendment (LCO number cannot be determined)

94-208

5268

Expands the local option exemption for personal property owned by nonprofit ambulance companies.

Planning & Development

94-241

271

Provides for the creation of enterprise corridor zones, making firms within them eligible for property tax exemptions and abatements.

Commerce

94-247

5698

Broadens the types of property in entertainment districts eligible for exemptions.

Planning & Development

1995

95-283

6998 

(1) Extends, from four to five years, the exemption for new and newly acquired manufacturing equipment and (2) makes machinery and equipment used to make motion pictures and video and sound recordings eligible for the exemption.

Finance, Revenue & Bonding

1996

96-222

93

Makes retail product distribution facilities eligible for enterprise zone tax benefits.

Transportation

96-252

5430

Extends the manufacturing equipment and machinery exemption to include investments by biotechnology companies.

House Amendment “B” (LCO 6300)

96-265

509

Exempts certain newly purchased and registered large commercial motor vehicles from property tax.

Transportation

1997

97-109

1270

Establishes a local option exemption for contaminated property that is remediated and redeveloped.

Finance, Revenue & Bonding

97-235

1015

Establishes a local option exemption for information technology improvements costing more than $100,000.

Energy & Technology

97-275

6549

Establishes a local option exemption for property that a water company is required to acquire.

Energy & Technology

97-282

1176

(1) Extends the exemption on large commercial vehicles to vehicle lessees, (2) broadens the exemption of machinery and equipment used by the biotechnology industry, and (3) exempts property leased by state colleges and universities to nonprofit organizations.

Finance, Revenue & Bonding

-Continued-

Public Act

Bill

Description

Origin

1998

98-28,

45

5005

Eliminates the 2006 sunset on the local option exemption for renewal energy technologies.

Energy & Technology

98-125

5670

Authorizes local option exemption for vehicles owned and retrofitted for use by people with disabilities.

Finance, Revenue & Bonding

98-146

481

Extends for five years the manufacturing facility property tax exemption for facilities manufacturing medicinal chemical and botanical products that employed at least 1,000 workers.

House Amendment “A” (LCO 4543)

98-179,

11

5434

Exempts Capitol City Economic Development Authority (CCEDA) from paying property taxes on convention center.

House Amendment “A” (LCO 5571)

98-207

528

Extends local option tax abatement to recreation and transportation facilities.

Finance, Revenue & Bonding

98-242

5662

Authorizes up to 100% real and personal property tax exemption for communications businesses.

House Amendment “B” (LCO 5113)

98-262,

18

5681

Authorizes up to 100% local option exemption for commercial fishing apparatus valued at or over $500 and that is subject to corporation tax.

House Amendment “D” (LCO 4564)

98-1, June Special Session, 98

6001

Extends for five years the manufacturing facility property tax exemption for facilities manufacturing pharmaceutical products that employ at least 1,000 workers.

Emergency Certification

1999

99-241,

43

1127

Exempts the Adriaen's Landing sportsplex, parking facilities, and convention center site from property taxes.

House Amendment “A” (LCO 12071)

99-272

6870

Authorizes up to $1,000 local option exemption for resident volunteer firefighters, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, and ambulance drivers.

House Amendment “D” (LCO 15015)

99-272

6870

Exempts not-yet-operational manufacturing machinery and equipment that would otherwise qualify for the manufacturing machinery and equipment exemption.

House Amendment “B” (LCO 15023)

99-272

6870

Makes more people eligible for the wartime service veterans' property tax exemptions.

House Amendment “A” (LCO 9693)

99-272

6870

Authorizes up to 100% local option exemption for federally funded modifications to veterans' homes.

Finance, Revenue & Bonding

-Continued-

Public Act

Bill

Description

Origin

2000

00-120

5757

Authorizes up to 100% local option exemption for fire- or weather-damaged personal property meeting specified criteria.

Planning & Development

00-120

5757

(1) Extends the local option exemption for volunteer emergency services personnel to otherwise eligible nonsalaried civil preparedness directors and nonresident volunteers. (2) Authorizes an alternative method of calculating the exemption.

House Amendment “B” (LCO 4080)

00-130

608

Authorizes up to 100% local option exemption for personal property belonging to a nonstock corporation providing citizenship classes.

Finance, Revenue & Bonding

00-170, 30 & 38-39

523

Authorizes local option exemptions for properties being developed under the Urban and Industrial Sites Reinvestment Program.

Commerce (sSB 450, died in Senate); Senate Amendment “A” (LCO 5311)

00-170,

27

523

Grants a five-year extension of the 80% property tax abatement for facilities and newly acquired machinery and equipment to financial institutions with at least 4,000 qualified employees.

Senate Amendment “A” (LCO 5311)

00-192,

50

5922

Authorizes up to 100% local option exemption for new school buses.

House Amendment “A” (LCO 5473)

00-192,

86

5922

Authorizes properly tax credits for manufacturing or biotechnology machinery and equipment meeting narrow criteria.

House Amendment “A” (LCO 5473)

00-206

5107

Authorizes local option property tax credits to homeowners who agree to restrict the sale of their properties to low- and moderate-income people.

Housing

00-214

5888

Extends the local option property tax exemption for motor vehicles adapted for use by people with disabilities to those owned by their parent or guardian.

Finance, Revenue & Bonding

00-215

5885

Authorizes up to 100% local option exemption for surviving spouses of police officers or firefighters killed in the line of duty.

House Amendment “A” (LCO 4123)

00-229

5865

Exempts real and personal property owned or leased by a nonprofit organization for a nonprofit nursing, rest, or residential care home.

Finance, Revenue & Bonding

00-1, JSS, 26

6001

Extends commercial fishing apparatus exemption to apparatus bought but not actually used.

Emergency Certification

-Continued-

Public Act

Bill

Description

Origin

2001

01-187

1333

Extends local option tax relief to volunteer civil preparedness staff.

House Amendment “B” (LCO 8525)

01-6, June Special Session,

17

2001

Gives companies manufacturing pharmaceutical, medicinal chemical, and botanical products an extra five years to continue receiving an 80% property tax exemption on machinery and equipment installed in a manufacturing facility if (1) it meets specified job targets and (2) the economic development commissioner approves.

Emergency Certification

01-6, June Special Session,

82

2001

Allows towns to increase the mandatory exemption for up to $100,000 of farm equipment by an additional $100,000.

Emergency Certification

01-9, June Special Session,

81

7507

Allows towns participating in CHFA's urban rehabilitation home ownership program to provide a five-year deferral of assessment increases resulting from participation.

Emergency Certification

01-9, June Special Session,

86

7507

Allows towns to fix taxes and assessments on a power plant's real and personal property during and after its construction instead of only after. Applies only to power plants that complete construction after 7/1/98.

Emergency Certification

2002

02-87

5434

Eliminates owner-occupation requirement for local option property tax credits triggered by an affordable housing deed restriction.

Housing

02-137

5625

Allows towns to increase local option property tax assessment reduction for low-income wartime veterans or surviving spouses from a maximum of $1,000 to a maximum of $10,000.

House Amendment “B” (LCO 4863)

02-4, May 9 Special Session,

7

700

Expands applicability of PA 01-9 86 (see above) to power plants completed after 7/1/02 and also allows the town to fix the assessment at less than full amount. Applies only to a permanent electric generating facilities that filed applications with the Connecticut Siting Council between 1/1/02 and 3/31/02.

Emergency Certification

-Continued-

Public Act

Bill

Description

Origin

02-4, May 9 Special Session,

18

700

Allows renewal of defense-dependent municipality designation for two two-year periods rather than one. Designation gives manufacturing facilities in town property tax exemptions for non-defense economic development projects and entitles the town to a state grant equal to 50% of lost revenue.

Emergency Certification

02-5, May 9 Special Session,

15

701

For FY 2003, expands the Adriaen's Landing housing projects that qualify for property tax benefits from those receiving a minimum of $5 million in CCEDA funding to a minimum of $3 million.

Emergency Certification

2003

03-44

5264

(1) Increases maximum income levels for local option veterans' property tax exemption. (2) Allows towns to exempt up to 10% of the property's value instead of a maximum of $10,000.

Planning & Development

03-234

5215

Creates a local option exemption for up to $100,000 of assessed value of farm buildings other than a farmer's house.

Planning & Development

03-269

1098

Extends exemption to one leased passenger vehicle for active duty armed forces members, wartime and disabled veterans, and others eligible.

Finance, Revenue & Bonding

03-270

1099

Establishes property tax exemption for temporary housing owned by nonprofit charity and used for specified purposes.

Finance, Revenue & Bonding

2004

04-40

600

Allows active duty service members or veterans to keep receiving certain veteran's property tax exemptions when they move to a different town during the assessment year.

Finance, Revenue & Bonding

04-115

5588

Makes several changes in how forestland qualifies for 490 tax relief.

House Amendment “A” (LCO 3025)

04-241

62

Expands optional property tax relief for certain volunteers to include volunteer canine search and rescue teams.

Public Safety

04-2, May Special Session,

76 & 77

5801

Retroactively restores the mandatory $1,000 property tax exemption for the disabled that was suspended for 2003.

Emergency Certification

2006

06-83,

9-14

702

Exempts all manufacturing machinery and equipment from property taxes after a five-year phase-in.

Emergency Certification

06-128

546

Sets conditions under which municipalities, including boroughs and special taxing districts, may abate property taxes on open space land.

Planning & Development

-Continued-

Public Act

Bill

Description

Origin

06-148

6688

Authorizes a new method for phasing in revaluations, extends the maximum phase-in period to five years, and requires local legislative bodies to approve a phase-in method.

Finance, Revenue & Bonding

06-153,

1

169

Excludes veterans' disability payments when determining income for purposes of income-based property tax exemptions for veterans, the blind, and people with total disabilities. 

Veterans' Affairs

06-153,

2

169

Explicitly includes the reserve components of the

U. S. Armed Forces, including the National Guard performing duty under Title 32 of federal statutes (e.g., on certain homeland security missions), in the definition of “armed forces, thereby making guard members' Title 32 service qualifying service for state veterans' benefits, including local property tax exemptions.

House Amendment “A” (LCO 5407)

06-176,

1

5093

Allows towns to freeze property taxes on homes owned by people age 70 or older and surviving spouses who are at least age 62 when the homeowner dies. Homeowners must meet certain conditions.

Aging

06-176,

2 & 3

5093

Creates a new method for phasing in increases from a property revaluation over five years. Allows a town to phase in all or part of the revaluation increase.

House Amendment “A” (LCO 5370)

06-183,

2 & 3

5605

Allows Hartford to implement a special property tax relief program limiting annual tax increases for residential and apartment property resulting from a revaluation to 3.5% per year for five years. Exempts Hartford from the statutory requirement that all property be assessed for property tax purposes at 70% of its fair market value.

House Amendment “A” (LCO 5691)

06-186,

84 & 85

5485

Extends the property tax exemptions for manufacturing machinery and equipment to recycling equipment.

Emergency Certification

06-194,

24

5814

Allows a municipality that buys state land to enter into an agreement that exempts the land or any part of it from municipal property taxes.

House Amendment “A” (LCO 5308)

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