Maine Revised Statutes

§60-A. Program established

1. Program.  In order to protect and support local farms, preserve farmland and reduce the potential tax burdens from new development, a municipality may enter into farm support arrangements with the owners of qualified farmland.
A. A farm support arrangement must be approved by majority vote of the municipality’s legislative body. [2007, c. 301, §1 (NEW).]
B. Unless approved by a 2/3 vote of the municipality’s legislative body, the municipality may not enter into farm support arrangements:
(1) Affecting more than 3% of the total annual valuation of taxable land in the municipality; and
(2) In any calendar year, affecting more than 1% of the total annual valuation of taxable land in the municipality. [2007, c. 693, §2 (AMD).]
[ 2007, c. 693, §2 (AMD) .]
2. Effects of arrangement.  A farm support arrangement may not diminish the eligibility of qualified farmland for participation in tax benefits under Title 36, chapter 105, subchapter 2-A or 10 or for consideration under Title 5, Part 15-A by the Land for Maine’s Future Board.
[ 2007, c. 301, §1 (NEW) .]
3. Nullification.  A farm support arrangement, once finally executed, is binding on the municipality. A municipality may not cease to make payments under the arrangement unless the land subject to the qualified easement is taken by eminent domain or state law otherwise authorizes the payments to cease. In the event that a municipality’s obligation to make farm support payments ceases, the farm support arrangement and the related qualified easement are void and may not be given effect and the municipality shall provide notice of this fact to the owner of the qualified farmland and record that notice with the appropriate registry of deeds.
[ 2007, c. 301, §1 (NEW) .]
4. Rules.  The department shall adopt rules governing farm support arrangements. Rules adopted under this subsection are major substantive rules as defined in Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A.
[ 2007, c. 301, §1 (NEW) .]
2007, c. 301, §1 (NEW). 2007, c. 693, §2 (AMD).