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The 191st General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 1: Definitions

Section 1. (a) As used in this chapter, the following words shall, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, have the following meanings:—

''Base date'', the last assessment date of the real property tax immediately preceding the creation of the district.

''Development district'', a specified area within the corporate limits of a city or town which has been designated as provided in section 2 and which is to be developed by the city or town under a development program.

''Development program'', a statement of means and objectives designed to improve the quality of life, the physical facilities and structures and the quality of pedestrian and vehicular traffic control and transportation within a development district. Means and objectives designed to increase or improve residential housing, both affordable and market rate, may also be addressed within a district and shall be considered part of a development program. The statement shall include:

(1) a financial plan;

(2) a complete list of public facilities to be constructed;

(3) the use of private property;

(4) plans for the relocation of persons displaced by the development activities;

(5) plans, if any, for the development of housing, both affordable and market rate;

(6) the proposed regulations and facilities to improve transportation;

(7) the proposed operation of the district after the planned capital improvements are completed; and

(8) the duration of the program which shall not exceed the longer of: (i) 30 years from the date of designation of the district; or (ii) 30 years from project stabilization, as defined in the development program.

''Financial plan'', a statement of the costs and sources of revenue required to accomplish the development programs which shall include: (1) cost estimates for the development program; (2) the amount of indebtedness to be incurred; and (3) sources of anticipated capital.

''Invested revenue district'', a type of development district or portion of a district that uses tax increment financing under section 3.

''Invested revenue district development program'', a statement which, in addition to the information required for a development program, shall also include: (1) estimates of tax revenues to be derived from the invested revenue district; (2) a projection of the tax revenues to be derived from the invested revenue district in the absence of a development program; (3) a statement as to whether the issuance of bonds contemplated pursuant to this chapter shall be general or special obligation bonds; (4) the percentage of the tax increment to be applied to the development program and resulting tax increments in each year of the program; and (5) a statement of the estimated impact of tax increment financing on all taxing jurisdictions in which the district is located.

''Original assessed value'', the aggregate assessed value of the invested revenue district as of the base date.

''Project'', a project to be undertaken in accordance with the development program.

''Project costs'', any expenditure made or estimated to be made or monetary obligations incurred or estimated to be incurred by the city or town which are listed in a project plan as costs of improvements including, but not limited to, public works, acquisition, construction or rehabilitation of land or improvements for sale or lease to residential, commercial or industrial users within a development district plus any costs incidental to those improvements, reduced by any income, special assessments or other revenues, other than tax increments, received or reasonably expected to be received by the city or town in connection with the implementation of this plan.

Project costs shall include, but not be limited to:—

(1) ''administrative costs'', any reasonable charges for the time spent by city or town employees in connection with the implementation of a project plan;

(2) ''capital costs'', the actual costs of the construction of public works or improvements, new buildings, structures and fixtures; the demolition, alteration, remodeling, repair or reconstruction of existing buildings, structures and fixtures; the acquisition of equipment; and the grading and clearing of land;

(3) ''discretionary costs'', those payments made by the appropriate body of a city or town that in its discretion are found to be necessary or convenient to the creation of development districts or the implementation of project plans.

(4) ''financing costs'', including, but not be limited to, all interest paid to holders of evidences of indebtedness issued to pay for project costs and any premium paid over the principal amount of that indebtedness because of the redemption of the obligations before maturity;

(5) ''improvement costs'', those costs associated with developing new employment opportunities, promoting public events, advertising cultural, educational and commercial activities, providing public safety, establishing and maintaining administrative and managerial support and such other services as are necessary or appropriate to carry out the development program;

(6) ''organizational costs'', all reasonable costs relating to the conduct of environmental impact and other studies and informing the public about the creation of development districts and the implementation of project plans;

(7) ''professional service costs'', including, but not limited to, those costs incurred for architectural, planning, engineering and legal advice or services;

(8) ''real property assembly costs'', any deficit incurred resulting from the sale or lease by the city or town, as lessor, of real or personal property within a development district for consideration which is less than its cost to the city or town;

(9) ''relocation costs'', all reasonable relocation payments made pursuant to a condemnation;

(10) ''training costs'', costs associated with providing skills, development and training for employees of businesses within the development district; provided, however, that these costs shall not exceed 20 per cent of the total project costs and shall be designated as training funds within 5 years of the issuance of bonds pursuant to this chapter for the project or the designation of the district, whichever occurs later; and

(11) ''water and sewer line costs'', which shall include the costs related to the construction or alteration of sewage treatment plants, water treatment plants or other environmental protection devices, storm or sanitary sewer lines, water lines or amenities on streets or the rebuilding or expansion thereto so long as required by the project plan for a development district, whether or not the construction, alteration, rebuilding or expansion is within the development district;

Project costs shall not include the cost of a building or a portion of a building used predominantly for the general conduct of government, such as a city hall, courthouse, jail, police or fire station or other state or local government office buildings.

''Project revenues'', receipts of a city or town with respect to a project including, without limitation, tax increments, investment earnings and proceeds of insurance or disposition of property.

''Tax increment'', all annual increases in the municipality's limit on total taxes assessed pursuant to subsection (f) of section 21C of chapter 59 that are attributable to parcels within the district for fiscal years with an assessment date later than the base date. The tax increment shall also include the part of increases in the limit on total taxes assessed allowed pursuant to said subsection (f) of said section 21C of said chapter 59 that are attributable to such increases pursuant to said subsection (f) of said section 21C of said chapter 59 in prior years that were part of the increment in such prior years. In any year that the limit on total taxes assessed pursuant to said section 21C of said chapter 59 is lower than the prior year's limit on total taxes assessed, the tax increment shall be reduced in the same proportion as the limit on total taxes assessed.

[There is no subsection (b).]