PA 17-240—HB 7318

Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING THE FAILURE TO FILE FOR CERTAIN GRAND LIST EXEMPTIONS, THE COMMUNITY HOUSING LAND BANK AND LAND TRUST PROGRAM AND THE TAX REVALUATION DEADLINE FOR THE TOWN OF ORANGE

SUMMARY: This act makes several changes in the Department of Housing's (DOH) Community Housing Land Bank and Land Trust Program ( 4). Among other things, the act broadens the types of real property transactions that can be made by a nonprofit corporation participating in the program.

The act also extends the mandatory filing deadlines for taxpayers in Berlin, Danbury, and New Britain for certain property tax exemptions ( 1-3). It also allows Orange to delay a property tax revaluation scheduled for 2016 until the October 1, 2017 assessment year without extending the mandatory five-year deadline for the next revaluation ( 5).

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2017, except that the revaluation delay provision takes effect upon passage and the changes to the Community Housing Land Bank and Land Trust Program take effect October 1, 2017.

COMMUNITY HOUSING LAND BANK AND LAND TRUST PROGRAM

The act makes several changes in the Community Housing Land Bank and Land Trust program.

Under prior law, nonprofit corporations that received state assistance under the program were not explicitly allowed to “transfer interests in” real property they acquired under the program. The act allows them to do so.

The act also allows the DOH commissioner to prescribe the terms and conditions under which title to real property, or interests in property, may be transferred to provide for the existing and future housing needs of very low-, low-, and moderate-income families (“eligible families”). The act specifies that developing market rate multifamily or single-family dwellings may serve this purpose.

Prior law allowed nonprofit corporations to convey to eligible families, limited equity cooperatives, and other corporations title only to the buildings and structures on real property they acquired under the program. The act additionally allows them to convey to these families and entities (1) land acquired under the program or (2) an interest (without title) in such land or the buildings and structures on it. As under existing law, these conveyances and transfers generally do not require the DOH commissioner's approval, but must include terms and conditions that preserve the transferred property's affordability. The act specifies that (1) in setting the affordability terms and conditions, the nonprofit corporation may allow a portion of the units in a multifamily dwelling to be market rate and (2) nonprofit corporations must convey the property according to their written policies and procedures.

Under existing law, nonprofit corporations may convey title to real property (including any improvements) to (1) community land trust corporations and (2) with the DOH commissioner's approval, other nonprofit corporations. The act additionally allows nonprofit corporations, with the DOH commissioner's approval, to convey real property acquired under the program to “other entities” (presumably including for-profit corporations). Under the act, (1) transfers to nonprofit corporations or “other entities” must be made according to the transferor's written conveyance policies and (2) proceeds of conveyances to “other entities” must be deposited in the Community Housing Land Bank and Land Trust Fund.

EXTENSION OF FILING DEADLINES TO CLAIM CERTAIN PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTIONS IN SPECIFIED MUNICIPALITIES

Berlin

Beginning in the October 1, 2011 grand list year, the law exempts from the property tax machinery and equipment used for manufacturing, biotechnology, and recycling, regardless of when it was acquired (CGS 12-81 (76)). But taxpayers must still include this property in their annual personal property declarations, which they must submit to tax assessors by November 1.

The act allows taxpayers in Berlin that missed this statutory filing deadline to claim the exemption for machinery and equipment that the municipality listed on its October 1, 2016 grand list. In order to claim the exemption, a taxpayer must file its declaration by July 31, 2017 and pay the statutory late fee. If the taxpayer does so, the city's tax assessor must verify whether the property qualifies for the exemption and approve it. The city must then refund any taxes the taxpayer paid on the property.

Danbury

Existing law allows municipalities to exempt from the property tax real and personal property leased to charitable, religious, or nonprofit organizations (CGS 12-81(58)).

The act allows eligible charitable, religious, or nonprofit organizations in Danbury that missed the exemption application deadline to claim an exemption for property on the city's October 1, 2013 and October 1, 2014 grand lists. To do so, an eligible organization must file for the exemption by July 31, 2017. If it does, Danbury's tax assessor must verify the organization's eligibility and approve the exemption, and the city must refund any taxes the taxpayer paid on the property.

New Britain

By law, certain manufacturing and service facilities acquired, constructed, substantially renovated, or expanded in designated municipalities qualify for a partial property tax exemption. Eligible taxpayers must annually file for this exemption by November 1.

The act allows eligible taxpayers in New Britain that missed this statutory filing deadline to claim the exemption for property on the city's October 1, 2016 grand list. To do so, an eligible taxpayer must file for the exemption by July 31, 2017. If the taxpayer does this, New Britain's tax assessor must verify the facility's eligibility, approve the exemption, and refund any taxes paid on the property.

ORANGE REVALUATION DELAY

By law, municipalities must reassess property values at least once every five years (i.e., revaluation) (CGS 12-62). The act allows Orange to delay a revaluation scheduled for the 2016 assessment year until the assessment year commencing October 1, 2017, if its legislative body approves the delay. Following a delay, the subsequent revaluation must take place as originally scheduled (i.e., as if there was no delay).