Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

File No. 52

    February Session, 2018

House Bill No. 5137

House of Representatives, March 28, 2018

The Committee on Housing reported through REP. BUTLER of the 72nd Dist., Chairperson of the Committee on the part of the House, that the bill ought to pass.

AN ACT ELIMINATING REDUCTIONS OF STATE FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO MUNICIPALITIES WHOSE RESIDENTS RECEIVED GRANT PAYMENTS UNDER THE RENTERS REBATE PROGRAM.

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

Section 1. Section 12-170f of the 2018 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2018):

(a) Any renter, believing himself or herself to be entitled to a grant under section 12-170d for any calendar year, shall apply for such grant to the assessor of the municipality in which the renter resides or to the duly authorized agent of such assessor or municipality on or after April first and not later than October first of each year with respect to such grant for the calendar year preceding each such year, on a form prescribed and furnished by the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management to the assessor. A renter may apply to the secretary prior to December fifteenth of the claim year for an extension of the application period. The secretary may grant such extension in the case of extenuating circumstance due to illness or incapacitation as evidenced by a certificate signed by a physician or an advanced practice registered nurse to that extent, or if the secretary determines there is good cause for doing so. A renter making such application shall present to such assessor or agent, in substantiation of the renter's application, a copy of the renter's federal income tax return, and if not required to file a federal income tax return, such other evidence of qualifying income, receipts for money received, or cancelled checks, or copies thereof, and any other evidence the assessor or such agent may require. When the assessor or agent is satisfied that the applying renter is entitled to a grant, such assessor or agent shall issue a certificate of grant in such form as the secretary may prescribe and supply showing the amount of the grant due.

(b) The assessor or agent shall forward the application to the secretary not later than the last day of the month following the month in which the renter has made application. Any municipality that neglects to transmit to the secretary the application as required by this section shall forfeit two hundred fifty dollars to the state, provided the secretary may waive such forfeiture in accordance with procedures and standards adopted by regulation in accordance with chapter 54. The certificate of grant shall be delivered to the renter and the assessor or agent shall keep the [original copy] copies of such certificate and application.

(c) After the secretary's review of each claim, pursuant to section 12-120b, and verification of the amount of the grant, the secretary shall make a determination of any per cent reduction to all claims that will be necessary to keep within available appropriations and, not later than October fifteenth of each year, prepare a list of certificates approved for payment, and shall thereafter supplement such list monthly. Such list and any supplements thereto shall be approved for payment by the secretary and shall be forwarded by the secretary to the Comptroller, along with a notice of any necessary per cent reduction in claim amounts, and the Comptroller shall, not later than fifteen days following receipt of such list, draw an order on the Treasurer in favor of each person on such list and on supplements to such list in the amount of such person's claim, minus any per cent reduction noticed by the secretary pursuant to this subsection, and the Treasurer shall pay such amount to such person, not later than fifteen days following receipt of such order.

[(d) The secretary shall (1) select one or more grants of state financial assistance provided to a municipality pursuant to any provision of the general statutes to withhold or reduce for purposes of this section, (2) not later than June 30, 2018, and each fiscal year thereafter, withhold or reduce such state financial assistance provided to a municipality in an amount equal to fifty per cent of any grant payments made pursuant to this section to renters in such municipality for the most recent application period, provided the aggregate amount withheld or reduced shall not exceed two hundred fifty thousand dollars per municipality for any fiscal year, and (3) transfer such amounts withheld or reduced to the Office of Policy and Management for purposes of making grant payments pursuant to this section. For purposes of this subsection "state financial assistance" means any grant funded by an appropriation authorized by public or special act of the General Assembly, but excluding any grant or loan financed from the proceeds of the state's general obligation bond issued pursuant to any authorization, allocation or approval of the State Bond Commission.]

[(e)] (d) If the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management determines a renter was overpaid for such grant, the amount of any subsequent grant paid to the renter under section 12-170d after such determination shall be reduced by the amount of overpayment until the overpayment has been recouped. Any claimant aggrieved by the results of the secretary's review or determination shall have the rights of appeal as set forth in section 12-120b. Applications filed under this section shall not be open for public inspection. Any person who, for the purpose of obtaining a grant under section 12-170d wilfully fails to disclose all matters related thereto or with intent to defraud makes any false statement shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars.

[(f)] (e) Any municipality may provide, upon approval by its legislative body, that the duties and responsibilities of the assessor, as required under this section and section 12-170g, shall be transferred to (1) the officer in such municipality having responsibility for the administration of social services, or (2) the coordinator or agent for the elderly in such municipality.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

October 1, 2018

12-170f

HSG

Joint Favorable

 

The following Fiscal Impact Statement and Bill Analysis are prepared for the benefit of the members of the General Assembly, solely for purposes of information, summarization and explanation and do not represent the intent of the General Assembly or either chamber thereof for any purpose. In general, fiscal impacts are based upon a variety of informational sources, including the analyst's professional knowledge. Whenever applicable, agency data is consulted as part of the analysis, however final products do not necessarily reflect an assessment from any specific department.


OFA Fiscal Note

State Impact: See Below

Municipal Impact: See Below

Explanation

The bill, which eliminates a requirement that the Office of Policy and Management (OPM) reduce municipal aid by $8.5 million in FY 18 and FY 19, potentially results in a shift in savings to the General Fund. The agency would need to identity savings associated with the underlying lapse elsewhere in order to fulfill budget requirements.

PA 17-4, the revision to the FY 18 and FY 19 biennium budget act, includes a bottom line General Fund lapse of $8.5 million. OPM must achieve this lapse by cutting aid to municipalities by up to fifty percent of what their respective residents receive in Renter's Rebate payments.

This figure would change in FY 20 depending on the cost of the Renters' Rebate program.

The Out Years

The annualized ongoing fiscal impact identified above would continue into the future subject to inflation.

OLR Bill Analysis

HB 5137

AN ACT ELIMINATING REDUCTIONS OF STATE FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO MUNICIPALITIES WHOSE RESIDENTS RECEIVED GRANT PAYMENTS UNDER THE RENTERS REBATE PROGRAM.

SUMMARY

This bill eliminates the requirement under the Renters' Rebate Program that the Office of Policy and Management (OPM) annually recover from each municipality 50% of the cost of issuing rebates, up to $250,000. It thus shifts responsibility for funding the program entirely back to the state.

Beginning in FY 18, current law requires OPM to recover rebate costs by selecting at least one state grant per municipality from which to withhold funds, up to the $250,000 maximum.

By law, the Renters' Rebate Program provides rent and utility reimbursements to older adults or totally disabled renters whose incomes do not exceed certain limits. Individuals apply annually to local assessors or their agents between April 1 and October 1 for reimbursement for payments made in the preceding calendar year.

The bill also makes technical changes.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2018

COMMITTEE ACTION

Housing Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

12

Nay

0

(03/14/2018)

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