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HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 3510         FILED ON: 1/21/2011

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 2987

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

_________________

PRESENTED BY:

Antonio F. D. Cabral and Benjamin B. Downing

_______________

To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
              Court assembled:

              The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:

An Act to promote economic development & job growth in gateway cities.

_______________

PETITION OF:

 

Name:

District/Address:

Antonio F. D. Cabral

13th Bristol

Benjamin B. Downing

Berkshire, Hampshire, and Franklin

David B. Sullivan

6th Bristol

Barry R. Finegold

 

Michael J. Rodrigues

 

Patricia A. Haddad

5th Bristol

Michael R. Knapik

 

Michael O. Moore

 

Robert M. Koczera

11th Bristol

Stephen L. DiNatale

3rd Worcester

Shaunna O'Connell

3rd Bristol

Mark C. Montigny

 

Harriette L. Chandler

 

James J. O'Day

14th Worcester

Christine E. Canavan

10th Plymouth

Marcos A. Devers

16th Essex

Kevin Aguiar

7th Bristol

Michael D. Brady

9th Plymouth

Angelo J. Puppolo, Jr.

12th Hampden

Jennifer L. Flanagan

 

John P. Fresolo

16th Worcester

Stephen R. Canessa

12th Bristol

Thomas M. McGee

Third Essex and Middlesex

Christopher N. Speranzo

3rd Berkshire

Geraldine M. Creedon

11th Plymouth

Thomas A. Golden, Jr.

16th Middlesex

John F. Keenan

 

Stephen Stat Smith

28th Middlesex

Benjamin Swan

11th Hampden

David M. Torrisi

14th Essex

Paul A. Schmid, III

8th Bristol


HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 3510        FILED ON: 1/21/2011

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 2987

By Representative Cabral of New Bedford and Senator Downing, a joint petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 2987) of Antonio F. D. Cabral, Benjamin B. Downing and others for legislation to promote economic development and job growth in gateway cities designating residential tax abatement zones.  Revenue. 


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
 

_______________

In the Year Two Thousand Eleven

_______________

 

An Act to promote economic development & job growth in gateway cities.
 

              Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
 

              SECTION 1: Section 38R of Chapter 63 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2008 Official Edition, is hereby amended by:

              (a) striking clause (i) of paragraph (1) of subsection (b) and replacing it with the following:

              (i) The commissioner, in consultation with the Massachusetts historical commission, shall authorize annually, for the 12-year period beginning January 1, 2006, and ending December 31, 2017, under this section together with section 6J of chapter 62, an amount not to exceed $50,000,000 per year. The Massachusetts historical commission shall determine the criteria for eligibility for the credit, the criteria to be set forth in regulations promulgated under this section; but, (1) at least 25 per cent of the tax credits awarded annually shall be dedicated to projects that contain affordable housing whenever possible and consistent with the criteria, and (2) at least 10 per cent of the tax credits awarded annually shall be dedicated to forward-year funding.  Forward-year funding awards must be honored where the project continues to substantially meet the criteria established pursuant to this section.

              (b) inserting, at the end of subsection (a) the following:

              “Forward-year funding”, a preliminary award of future tax credits to be available for award pursuant to this section to a taxpayer seeking to perform a certified rehabilitation in a gateway municipality. 

              “Gateway Municipality”, as defined in section 3A of chapter 23A of the General Laws.

              SECTION 2: Section 6J of Chapter 62 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2008 Official Edition, is hereby amended by:

              (a) striking clause (i) of paragraph (1) of subsection (b) and replacing it with the following:

              (i) The commissioner, in consultation with the Massachusetts historical commission, shall authorize annually, for the 12-year period beginning January 1, 2006, and ending December 31, 2017, under this section together with section 38R of chapter 63, an amount not to exceed $50,000,000 per year. The Massachusetts historical commission shall determine the criteria for eligibility for the credit, the criteria to be set forth in regulations promulgated under this section; but, (1) at least 25 per cent of the tax credits awarded annually shall be dedicated to projects that contain affordable housing whenever possible and consistent with the criteria, and (2) at least 10 per cent of the tax credits awarded annually shall be dedicated to forward-year funding.  Forward-year funding awards must be honored where the project continues to substantially meet the criteria established pursuant to this section.

              (b) inserting, at the end of subsection (a) the following:

              “Forward-year funding”, a preliminary award of future tax credits to be available for award pursuant to this section to a taxpayer seeking to perform a certified rehabilitation in a gateway municipality. 

              “Gateway Municipality”, as defined in section 3A of chapter 23A of the General Laws.

              SECTION 3:  (a) Section 38R of Chapter 63 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2008 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking in clause (i) of paragraph (1) of subsection (b) the figure “$50,000,000” and replacing it with the figure “$100,000,000”. (b) Section 38R of Chapter 63 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2008 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking in clause (i) of paragraph (1) of subsection (b) the figure “$50,000,000” and replacing it with the figure “$100,000,000”.

              SECTION 4: (a) Section 6J of Chapter 62 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2008 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking in clause (i) of paragraph (1) of subsection (b) the figure “$50,000,000” and replacing it with the figure “$100,000,000”. (b) Section 38R of Chapter 63 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2008 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking in clause (i) of paragraph (1) of subsection (b) the figure “$50,000,000” and replacing it with the figure “$100,000,000”.

              SECTION 5. Chapter 23B of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after paragraph (v) a new paragraph:-

              (w) the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development shall provide technical assistance to Gateway Cities who adopt Residential Tax Abatement Zones, as defined by Section 59B of Chapter 59 of the General Laws, and shall monitor the impacts of the program.

              SECTION 6. Chapter 59 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after Section 59A the following new section:-

              SECTION 59B. Property Tax Abatement Zones in Gateway Cities

              (a) As used in this section, the following terms shall, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, have the following meanings:-

              “Gateway Municipalities”, as defined in section 3A of chapter 23A of the General Laws.

              “Residential Tax Abatement Zone”, a housing development zone in a Gateway Municipality, to be designated by the mayor or manager and the city council, for the purpose of providing residential property tax abatement on all owner-occupied properties.

              “Under-utilized property”, a lot or part of a building in which the maximum number of residential units permitted under existing zoning regulations, building codes or approved variances has not been met.

              “Occupied Residential Unit”, a residential unit that is presently occupied or has been vacant for less than two years.

              “Incremental improvements”, an increased property value created by the construction of new residential units or improvements to a property

              (b) There is hereby established a Residential Tax Abatement Zone program available to all Gateway Municipalities. No later than July 1, 2012, the mayor or manager and city council for each Gateway Municipality are authorized to designate a specific area located in or around the Gateway Municipality downtown as the Residential Tax Abatement Zone.

              (c) All property located within the zone is eligible for this program with the exception of any occupied residential unit.

              (d) Gateway Municipalities may offer full or partial property tax abatement within Residential Tax Abatement Zones on any incremental improvements to vacant or under-utilized property.

              (e) The length of the abatement period will be designated for not fewer than ten years and not greater than twelve years. 

              (f) At the conclusion of the abatement period, Gateway Cities may offer a reduced property tax rate in the Residential Tax Abatement Zone for a period of up to three years. During each year of this period, Gateway Cities may incrementally increase the abatement tax rate in order to ease the transition back to the full property tax burden.

              (g) The Department of Revenue shall promulgate rules and regulations, including the above referenced guidelines.             

              SECTION 7.  Chapter 63 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after Section 38BB the following new section:-

              SECTION 38CC. Gateway Cities Mill Redevelopment Incentive Program

              (a) As used in this section, the following terms shall, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, have the following meanings:-

              “Gateway Municipalities”, as defined in section 3A of chapter 23A of the General Laws.

              “Secretary”, the secretary of housing and economic development.

              (b) There shall be a credit against tax due pursuant to chapter 62 and chapter 63 of the general laws equal to 5 percent of allowable costs, as determined by the secretary, for individuals or corporations who redevelopment mills that do not currently qualify for a credit pursuant to Sec. 6J of Chapter 62 or Sec. 38R of Chapter 63 of the General Laws .

              SECTION 8.  Chapter 63 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after Section 38CC the following new section:-

              SECTION 38DD. Commercial Shipping Port Incentive Program in Gateway Cities

              (a) As used in this section, the following terms shall, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, have the following meanings:-

              “Gateway Municipalities”, as defined in section 3A of chapter 23A of the General Laws.

              “Secretary”, the secretary of housing and economic development.

              (b) There shall be a credit against tax due pursuant to chapter 63 of the general laws equal to 5 percent of allowable costs, as determined by the secretary, for corporations operating within gateway municipalities containing a port facility capable of handling ocean going vessels that utilize said port facility for the transport of components used by the corporation or finished goods produced by the corporation.

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