Connecticut Seal

General Assembly



February Session, 2018

LCO No. 5246



Offered by:


REP. DEMICCO, 21st Dist.

REP. HARDING, 107th Dist.

SEN. KENNEDY, 12th Dist.

SEN. MINER, 30th Dist.


To: Subst. House Bill No. 5360

File No. 78

Cal. No. 92


In line 86, after "may" insert the following: "adopt regulations in accordance with chapter 54 of the general statutes to"

After the last section, add the following and renumber sections and internal references accordingly:

"Sec. 501. Section 22-26jj of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2018):

(a) The Commissioner of Agriculture, with the approval of the State Properties Review Board, may acquire by purchase or accept as a gift, on behalf of the state, the fee simple title of any agricultural real property and any personal property related to such real property, including, but not limited to, machinery, equipment, fixtures and livestock. The state conservation and development plan established pursuant to chapter 297 shall be used as an advisory document in connection with acquisition of such property. The commissioner, in deciding whether or not to acquire such property, shall consider all of the factors stated in section 22-26cc and shall further consider the likelihood of subsequent sale of such property by the department for agricultural purposes, subject to the state's retention of development rights or future purchase of such development rights if such property is sold to a municipality or a nonprofit organization described in subsection (b) of this section. After a preliminary evaluation of such factors, the Commissioner of Agriculture shall obtain and review one or more fee appraisals of the property in order to determine the value of such property. Each such appraisal shall include an itemization of (1) the total value of the land, (2) the value of the land as agricultural land, (3) the value of the development rights of the land, and (4) the value of any related personal property proposed to be included in any sale. The commissioner shall give notice of any such appraisal to the Departments of Transportation, Economic and Community Development and Energy and Environmental Protection and the Office of Policy and Management. Any such appraisal may be obtained by the owner of the property and, if performed in a manner approved by the commissioner, shall be considered by the commissioner in making such determination. The commissioner may purchase such property for a lesser price than any price suggested by any such appraisal provided all considerations for acquisition specified in this subsection are taken into account. In determining the value of the property, consideration shall be given to sales of comparable properties in the general vicinity.

(b) After the acquisition of the fee simple title of any agricultural real property and any related personal property, the commissioner shall: [sell] (1) Sell such property, exclusive of any development rights, for agricultural purposes as soon as practicable [. The state shall] and retain any development rights, or (2) if the purchaser is a municipality or a nonprofit organization that has the preservation of agricultural lands as one of its purposes, the commissioner shall sell such property for use as agricultural land, including any development rights, and enter an agreement with such municipality or nonprofit organization for the purchase of such land's development rights. The commissioner may lease or otherwise transfer, assign or manage such property for agricultural, open space or other qualified purposes, in accordance with subsection (d) of this section, until such time as a sale as required by this section is completed.

(c) The commissioner may lease all or part of one property acquired by him under this section as part of a demonstration project, in accordance with subsection (d) of this section, provided such project is approved by the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management. Such property may be leased to one or more agricultural users for a period not to exceed five years. Such lease may be renewed for periods not to exceed five years. Any property leased under such demonstration project shall be exempt from taxation by the municipality in which the property is located. The assessed valuation of the property shall be included with the assessed valuation of state-owned land and buildings for purposes of determining the state's grant in lieu of taxes under the provisions of section 12-18b.

(d) No contract to sell, lease or otherwise transfer, assign or manage such property for agricultural, open space or other qualified purposes shall be entered into by the commissioner unless there has been a finding of the State Treasurer that such contract will preserve the exclusion from federal taxation, if any, of the interest on the bonds of the state issued to finance such acquisition. Any proceeds derived from any such contract shall not be deemed revenues of the General Fund and shall be deposited in the appropriate bond proceeds account. Any such proceeds shall be applied, upon allotment thereof, to acquisition of additional agricultural real property and related personal property or, upon approval of the State Bond Commission, for such other authorized capital purposes which the State Treasurer finds will best assure the preservation of such exclusion from federal taxation, if any, including payment of the principal, redemption price, if any, or interest on the bonds issued for the purchase of the agricultural property."

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

Sec. 501

October 1, 2018