Maine Revised Statutes

§5683. Property tax relief

1. Scope.  This section establishes a revenue-sharing program that distributes surplus funds from the General Fund during times of prosperity to municipalities experiencing an inordinate amount of growth. The revenue-sharing funds are specifically dedicated to assisting these municipalities in meeting the unusually high costs associated with the capital construction and infrastructure necessary to accommodate growth and development.
[ 1989, c. 534, Pt. F, (NEW) .]
2. Definitions.  For the purposes of computing the revenue distributions from the Property Tax Relief Fund, the following terms have the following meanings.
A. "Population" means the population as determined by the latest federal decennial census or the population as determined and certified by the Department of Health and Human Services, whichever is more recent. For the purposes of this section, the department is authorized and required to determine the population of each municipality at least once every year. [1989, c. 534, Pt. F, (NEW); 2003, c. 689, Pt. B, §6 (REV).]
[ 1989, c. 534, Pt. F, (NEW); 2003, c. 689, Pt. B, §6 (REV) .]
3. Property Tax Relief Fund established.  There is established the Property Tax Relief Fund for the purpose of distributing unanticipated surplus revenues accruing in the General Fund to municipalities experiencing high rates of population growth. The purpose of the fund is to assist municipalities in meeting their infrastructure needs.
After the close of each fiscal year, the Governor may request a General Fund appropriation to the Property Tax Relief Fund from the next session of the Legislature in an amount not to exceed 1/2 of the balance remaining after all other required transfers or appropriations from the excess of total General Fund revenues received over accepted estimates in that fiscal year and all required deductions of appropriations, financial commitments, designated funds, transfers from the unappropriated surplus of the General Fund or transfers from the available balance remaining in the General Fund have been made.
General Fund revenue estimates may be made once during the First Regular Session of the Legislature and adjustments to these accepted revenue estimates may be made once during the Second Regular Session of the Legislature without mandatory transfer of funds to the Property Tax Relief Fund. If adjustments are made to those initial estimates presented to each regular session of the Legislature, an amount not to exceed 1/2 of the excess of the estimated revenue over the amounts required by law to be set aside for other purposes must be appropriated to the Property Tax Relief Fund.
The appropriation may not exceed $25,000,000 and may not lapse, but must remain a continuing carrying account to carry out the purpose of this section.
[ 1995, c. 464, §16 (AMD) .]
4. Distributions from Property Tax Relief Fund.  Money credited to the Property Tax Relief Fund shall be distributed to each municipality in an amount equal to the ratio of the population in each municipality to the population in the State as a whole.
[ 1989, c. 534, Pt. F, (NEW) .]
5. Restrictions on use of funds.  Funds distributed to municipalities pursuant to this section shall be expended only after the municipal legislative body has authorized the expenditure in the annual municipal budget. Funds shall be expended only for the following purposes:
A. For capital construction and improvements, land acquisitions, capital equipment acquisitions or other nonrecurring purposes; [1989, c. 534, Pt. F, (NEW).]
B. For purposes for which bonds have been previously authorized but not yet issued, in order to eliminate the need to incur the indebtedness; and [1989, c. 534, Pt. F, (NEW).]
C. For the local share of state, federal or privately financed capital construction and improvement projects. [1989, c. 534, Pt. F, (NEW).]
[ 1989, c. 534, Pt. F, (NEW) .]
6. Treasurer of State.  The Treasurer of State shall distribute the appropriation balance in the Property Tax Relief Fund no later than 30 days after the legislation appropriating funds for this purpose has been enacted by the Legislature and signed into law by the Governor.
[ 1995, c. 464, §17 (AMD) .]
1989, c. 534, §F (NEW). 1993, c. 707, §N1 (AMD). 1995, c. 464, §§16,17 (AMD). 2003, c. 689, §B6 (REV).