Public Laws

124th Legislature

First Regular Session



Chapter 445

S.P. 572 - L.D. 1493

An Act To Clarify the Rights of Bondholders and Noteholders in the Event a School Administrative Unit with Outstanding Bonds or Notes Is Dissolved or Is No Longer Authorized by Law

Emergency preamble. Whereas, acts and resolves of the Legislature do not become effective until 90 days after adjournment unless enacted as emergencies; and

Whereas, unless this measure is enacted as emergency legislation, the rights of bondholders or noteholders of school administrative units are subject to potential risk; and

Whereas, in the judgment of the Legislature, these facts create an emergency within the meaning of the Constitution of Maine and require the following legislation as immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety; now, therefore,

Be it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows:

Sec. 1. 20-A MRSA 15695-A is enacted to read:

15695-A. Bondholders of school administrative units

1. Rights of bondholders of school administrative units. If legislation, including a ballot measure approved at referendum, becomes effective that dissolves a school administrative unit that has issued outstanding general obligation bonds or notes or repeals the laws pursuant to which such a school administrative unit is organized and exists, the rights of the holders of the outstanding bonds and notes issued by that school administrative unit are not impaired and the underlying indebtedness of any such outstanding general obligation bonds or notes is deemed to survive, whether or not replacement or successor school administrative units are organized or established, and any state subsidy with respect to those outstanding obligations or the relative portion of those outstanding obligations to be paid or reimbursed by the State is not affected.
2. Power to tax. Until one or more school administrative units are organized or established to replace or succeed a former school administrative unit as described in subsection 1 and assume the outstanding bonds or notes issued by such former school administrative unit, all taxable property located in the municipalities that were members of that former school administrative unit is subject to ad valorem taxation to pay the underlying indebtedness of the bonds or notes issued by the former school administrative unit to the same extent as that taxable property was subject to ad valorem taxation in the former school administrative unit and as if such bonds or notes remained outstanding. Taxes to pay the underlying indebtedness of the outstanding bonds or notes of the former school administrative unit as described in subsection 1 must be levied and collected by the municipalities located in the former school administrative unit in the same manner as the taxes of the municipalities. If one or more school administrative units are organized or established to replace or succeed a former school administrative unit as described in subsection 1, all taxable property located in the municipalities that were members of the former school administrative unit and that are located within the replacement or successor school administrative unit or school administrative units is subject to ad valorem taxation to pay the underlying indebtedness of the bonds or notes of the former school administrative unit to the same extent as that taxable property was subject to ad valorem taxation in the former school administrative unit. Taxes to pay the underlying indebtedness of the outstanding bonds or notes of the former school administrative unit as described in subsection 1 must be levied and collected by the replacement or successor school administrative unit in the same manner as the taxes of the replacement or successor school administrative unit.
3. Power to levy. The holders of bonds and notes as described in subsection 1 retain the right to levy on taxable property located in the former school administrative unit and that taxable property is subject to Title 30-A, section 5701.
4. Payment responsibility. Until one or more school administrative units are organized or established to replace or succeed a former school administrative unit as described in subsection 1, the municipalities that were members of the former school administrative unit shall pay the underlying indebtedness of the bonds or notes of the former school administrative unit in accordance with their terms. As between the municipalities that were members of the former school administrative unit, payment responsibility for the underlying indebtedness of the bonds or notes of the former school administrative unit must be allocated in proportion to the most recent state valuations of those municipalities.

A school administrative unit or school administrative units organized or established to replace or succeed a former school administrative unit as described in subsection 1 shall pay the underlying indebtedness of the bonds and notes of the former school administrative unit in accordance with their terms. As between replacement or successor school administrative units of a former school administrative unit, payment responsibility for the underlying indebtedness of the bonds or notes must be allocated based upon the most recent state valuations of the municipalities that are located in each of the replacement or successor school administrative units and that were members of the former school administrative unit.

Nothing contained in this subsection may be construed to prohibit the organization or establishment of a school administrative unit or school administrative units that replace or succeed a former school administrative unit from employing a different method of allocating payment responsibility for the underlying indebtedness of the bonds or notes described in subsection 1.

Emergency clause. In view of the emergency cited in the preamble, this legislation takes effect when approved.

Effective June 18, 2009.

Office of the Revisor of Statutes
State House, Room 108
Augusta, ME 04333