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Senate Bill No. 395

PUBLIC ACT NO. 96-217

AN ACT CONCERNING THE ANNUAL REPORT TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY REGARDING MUNICIPAL GRAND LIST DATA, ESTABLISHING A PILOT PROGRAM TO IMPROVE TAX COLLECTION IN SEYMOUR AND OTHER TOWNS AND AMENDING THE TASK FORCE ON MUNICIPAL PROPERTY TAX COLLECTION.

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

Section 1. Section 12-120a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

The Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management shall, annually, not later than the fifteenth day of March, submit to the chairpersons and ranking members of the joint standing committee of the General Assembly on finance, revenue and bonding, with copies for such other committee members and staff personnel as said chairpersons may designate, a report concerning certain data applicable with respect to real and personal property in each town in the state and such totals of data pertaining to all towns as may be deemed appropriate by said secretary. The [annual] submission of such report in [1990] 1997 AND ANNUALLY THEREAFTER shall include a summary of data as described in each of the subsections in this section [, and annually thereafter, each such report shall include all data as described in this section.] Each such report shall include categories of such data for purposes of property subject to taxation and separate categories for property exempt from taxation. Such report shall include state-wide trends covering a five-year period, commencing with the October 1, 1988, grand list, and annually thereafter. Such report shall be organized, to the extent possible, in a manner consistent with the outline of information as described in each of the following subsections.

(a) For purposes of taxable residential, APARTMENT commercial [and] industrial AND PUBLIC UTILITY real property, such report shall include the total number of [such] BUILDINGS units or parcels and the total ASSESSED value of such BUILDINGS units or parcels [for each of the following: (A) Land, (B) buildings and (C) improvements separate from the buildings.]

(b) (1) For purposes of taxable [real property belonging to a public utility] VACANT LAND, such report shall include the total number of [such units] ACRES or parcels and the total ASSESSED value of such [units] ACRES or parcels [for each of the following: (A) Land, (B) buildings and (C) improvements separate from the buildings; (2) for purposes of taxable vacant land, such report shall include the total number of such parcels and the total value of such parcels for each of the following categories of permitted use: (A) Residential, (B) commercial, (C) industrial, (D) wetlands and (E) vacant land with improvements other than buildings; (3) for] FOR purposes of taxable land subject to assessment related to certain use value classifications, such report shall include [with respect to each town,] the total number of such parcels and the total ASSESSED value of such ACRES OR parcels for each of the following classifications related to use: (A) Farm, (B) forest [,] AND (C) open space [and (D) land so classified containing buildings for utility purposes.]

(c) For purposes of taxable land bearing timber and subject to tax at a rate not exceeding ten mills, such report shall include the total amount of such land AND THE ASSESSED VALUE OF THE LAND.

[(d) Land to be included in property tax lists in certain towns. For purposes of taxable land in which such land must be included in the property tax list of the owner in accordance with subsection (d) of section 12-41, such report shall include the amount of penalty imposed for failure to report such taxable property.

(e)] (d) (1) For purposes of taxable registered motor vehicles, such report shall include the total number of motor vehicles and the total ASSESSED value of such motor vehicles for each of the following classifications related to use: (A) Passenger, (B) commercial, (C) combination, (D) farm and (E) any other classification; (2) for purposes of taxable vehicles which are not registered [,] AND mobile manufactured homes [or aircraft,] such report shall include the total number of such vehicles [,] AND mobile manufactured homes [or aircraft] and the total ASSESSED value for each such category; (3) for purposes of all other taxable personal property, such report shall include the total value of each category of such property as contained in the tax list required pursuant to sections 12-42 and 12-43.

[(f)] (e) For purposes of exemptions from property tax with respect to which there is no state reimbursement, such report shall include the total number of such units or parcels of exempt property and the total value of such exempt property for each of the following categories of such property, identified by parenthetical reference to the appropriate subdivision or subdivisions of section 12-81, AS AMENDED under which such exemption is allowed: Federal (1), state (2), municipal (4), volunteer fire company (6), property used for scientific, educational, literary, historical or charitable purposes (7), college property and personal property loaned to tax-exempt educational institutions (8) and (9), agricultural or horticultural societies (10), cemeteries (11), religious organizations (12), (13), (14) and (15), hospitals and sanitoriums (16), veterans organizations (18), American National Red Cross (29) and nonprofit camps or recreational facilities for charitable purposes (49).

[(g)] (f) For purposes of exemptions from property tax with respect to which annual reimbursement is provided by the state, such report shall include the total value of such exempt property as determined for purposes of the most current state reimbursement payment immediately preceding such report and the amount of such state reimbursement, in relation to the following categories of such property: (A) State-owned, (B) private colleges and general hospital facilities and (C) manufacturing facilities and machinery and equipment, in such facilities, in distressed municipalities.

[(h)] (g) For purposes of exemptions from or reductions in property tax for certain individuals, with respect to which state reimbursement is applicable, such report shall include (A) the total number of individuals and the total amounts of each such exemption or reduction in the case of such benefits not subject to income requirements and (B) in the case of such benefits subject to income requirements, such total number of individuals and total amounts of exemption or reduction in relation to each category of income in such income requirements, with such data to be applicable to the assessment year ending immediately preceding such report in respect to each of the following: (1) Exemptions related to veterans under subdivisions (19) to (26), inclusive, of section 12-81 AS AMENDED and (2) exemption for totally disabled persons.

[(i)] (h) For purposes of exemption from property tax for certain individuals, with respect to which there is no state reimbursement, such report shall include for the assessment year ending immediately preceding such report, the total number of individuals and the total value of each of the following exemptions: (1) Exemptions related to veterans under subdivisions (19) to (26), inclusive, of section 12-81 AS AMENDED and (2) exemption for blind persons under subdivision (17) of said section.

Sec. 2. Section 10 of public act 95-228 is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) There is established a task force to study technical issues related to municipal property tax collection functions, administrative functions related to municipal property tax collection and alternative methods of property tax collection functions. The task force shall be composed of: The Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, or his designee, who shall serve as a chairman of the task force; the Attorney General, or his designee; the Commissioner of Revenue Services, or his designee; one tax collector certified in accordance with section 12-130a of the general statutes who is currently employed as a municipal tax or revenue collector to be appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives; one member of the Connecticut chapter of the Government Finance Officers Association to be appointed by the speaker of the House of Representatives; one member of The University of Connecticut, Institute of Public Service to be appointed by the president pro tempore of the Senate; and one member of the Municipal Finance Advisory Commission to be appointed by the minority leader of the Senate. One representative from each town conducting pilot programs pursuant to sections 11 and 12 of [this act] PUBLIC ACT 95-228 AND ONE REPRESENTATIVE FROM EACH TOWN OR TOWN AND BOROUGH CONDUCTING PILOT PROGRAMS PURSUANT TO SECTION 4 OF THIS ACT shall serve as nonvoting members of the task force. The task force shall convene its initial meeting no later than [thirty days following the effective date of this act] AUGUST 6, 1995.

(b) The study of the task force shall include an evaluation of the legal, financial reporting, accountability and other technical and practical issues related to the charge of the task force.

(c) The task force may submit [initial] findings and recommendations AND LEGISLATIVE PROPOSALS NECESSARY TO IMPLEMENT ITS RECOMMENDATIONS to the General Assembly and the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to finance, revenue and bonding and planning and development, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a of the general statutes on or before February 1, 1996, [and] January 1, 1997 AND FEBRUARY 1, 1998. The task force shall submit its final recommendations [on or before January 6, 1998, concerning an evaluation of the pilot programs established pursuant to sections 11 and 12 of this act] NOT LATER THAN JANUARY 1, 1999, and any legislative [recommendations] PROPOSALS necessary to implement its recommendations. The Office of Policy and Management shall be the staff agency to assist the task force in implementing the provisions of this section.

Sec. 3. Section 13 of public act 95-228 is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

Nothing contained in section 11 or 12 of [this act] PUBLIC ACT 95-228 OR IN SECTION 4 OF THIS ACT shall be construed to authorize any other town to implement a program as described in said sections. [11 and 12 of this act.] The pilot programs established in sections 11 and 12 of [this act] PUBLIC ACT 95-228 AND IN SECTION 4 OF THIS ACT shall not be renewed or otherwise extended. [Neither the city of New Haven nor the town of South Windsor] NO PARTICIPANT IN THE PILOT PROGRAM ESTABLISHED UNDER SECTION 11 OR 12 OF PUBLIC ACT 95-228 OR SECTION 4 OF THIS ACT shall be permitted to extend any provisions for tax collections authorized under said pilot [program] PROGRAMS beyond the time period provided in said pilot [program] PROGRAMS.

Sec. 4. The Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management shall establish a pilot program for the fiscal years commencing July 1, 1996, and July 1, 1997, in the town of Seymour. The purpose of said pilot program shall be to improve the tax collection capabilities of such town. Notwithstanding any provision of the general statutes or regulations adopted thereunder, the town of Seymour is authorized, for the period of the pilot program, to employ a third-party agent, acting under the direction of the town tax collection official to collect current and delinquent property taxes, interest and fees, provided such collection shall not extend beyond June 30, 1999. All procurement processes and contracts entered into pursuant to this section shall be approved by the Office of Policy and Management prior to their execution. The town of Seymour shall submit a final report no later than September 15, 1998, to the task force established pursuant to section 10 of public act 95-228, as amended by section 2 of this act, comparing tax collections under the pilot program to previous years, any administrative savings realized by participation in the pilot program and any additional information the task force requests. The town of Seymour may employ a third-party agent until June 30, 1999.

Sec. 5. This act shall take effect from its passage, and section 4 shall apply to tax sale notices which are posted, filed or published on or after said date.

Approved June 4, 1996. Effective June 4, 1996, and applicable as provided in section 5.

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