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  • Acts
  • 2002
  • Chapter 2 AN ACT RETURNING TAX TITLE PROPERTIES TO PRODUCTIVE USE.

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. Chapter 58 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 8B the following section:-

Section 8C. A city or town may establish, relative to sites or portions of sites that will be used as affordable housing, as defined in section 1 of chapter 60, or affordable housing and commercial, an agreement between the city or town and the developer of said sites or portions of sites, regarding the abatement of up to 75 per cent of the real estate tax obligations and up to 100 per cent of the outstanding interest and penalties on said sites or portions of sites, if the commissioner has approved in writing the request of the city or town to grant the abatement. Upon the written request of a city or town to grant such an abatement, the commissioner shall make a determination within 30 days from the date of the receipt of the request or the request shall be deemed approved. The agreement, for the purpose of developing affordable housing on such sites and redevelopment in such communities, shall include, but shall not be limited to, the amount outstanding, the per cent of interest to accrue if determined applicable by the parties, the description of quantifiable monthly payments, the inception date of such payments, the date of the final payment, late penalties, the number of affordable units, and any other contractual obligations arranged between the parties. The terms of repayment shall be set at the discretion of the municipality and shall be included in the agreement between the parties. A city or town that accepts this section shall adopt an ordinance or by-law specifying the method for negotiating and approving agreements under this section. Copies of each such agreement shall be signed by the municipal officer required by the ordinance or by-law and by the owner of the property in question, notarized, attested to by the city or town clerk, and provided to the department of housing and community development, the commissioner, the city council or board of selectmen, and the owners of the property in question. An abatement under this paragraph may be granted only for a new owner of a parcel who is not liable for any of the outstanding charges secured by the municipality's lien. This section shall take effect in any city or town only upon its acceptance by such city or town. The commissioner, in consultation with the department of housing and community development, may make, and from time to time revise, such reasonable rules and regulations that are consistent with provisions of the preceding paragraph as he deems necessary to carry out the provisions of this paragraph.

SECTION 2. Section 1 of chapter 60 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2000 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting before the definition of "Abandoned Property" the following definition:-

"Affordable housing", housing with an affordable housing restriction recorded with the registry of deeds in the county where the property is located that requires the housing, for not less than 45 years, to be rented or owned by families and individuals whose income at initial occupancy is no more than 120 per cent of the area median income as determined by the federal department of housing and urban development guidelines and adjusted for family size and that thereafter such units shall be rented or sold, subject to such restrictions on appreciation as determined by the municipality to be reasonable and necessary to maintain long term affordability, to families or individuals at incomes of no more than 120 per cent of the area median income.

SECTION 3. Section 65 of said chapter 60, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the word "eighty-one A", in line 7, the following words:- , or there has been a certification pursuant to section 81B that the redemption amount as determined pursuant to section 62 exceeds the assessed value of the parcel.

SECTION 4. Section 69A of said chapter 60, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the word "eighty-one A", in line 8, the following words:- , or there has been a certification pursuant to section 81B that the redemption amount as determined pursuant to section 62 exceeds the assessed value of the parcel.

SECTION 5. Said chapter 60 is hereby further amended by inserting after section 77B the following section:-

Section 77C. Cities and towns, acting through their legislative bodies, may accept a deed, in which all persons who have an interest in title join as grantors, in lieu of foreclosure to any parcel of land within the city or town which meet the requirements set forth in this section. Upon acceptance and recording of that deed, any real estate taxes and other municipal charges and liens shall be treated as having been paid, and shall be accounted for by the city or town in the same manner as if a tax title foreclosure had been completed. The procedure provided for in this section shall apply only to property upon which there are no other liens or encumbrances other than the liens of the city or town. No grantor under this section may purchase or otherwise acquire from the city or town any parcel of land acquired by the city or town under this section.

SECTION 6. Section 79 of said chapter 60, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out, in line 14, the figure "$10,000" and inserting in place thereof the following figure:- $15,000.

SECTION 7. The first paragraph of said section 79 of said chapter 60, as so appearing, is hereby amended by adding the following sentence:- The dollar value of such parcels specified in the previous sentence shall be increased every January 1 by the percentage increase of the Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers prepared by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the United States Department of Labor for the previous calendar year.

SECTION 8. Said chapter 60 is hereby further amended by inserting after section 81A the following section:-

Section 81B. Whenever a city or town shall have purchased or taken land for nonpayment of taxes under section 43 or 53, and the treasurer of the city or town certifies that the redemption amount as determined pursuant to section 62 exceeds the assessed value of the parcel, the treasurer shall make an affidavit of such certification which shall be recorded in the registry of deeds for the district wherein the land lies. Upon the recording of the affidavit, the treasurer shall bring a petition in the land court pursuant to section 65 for the foreclosure of all rights of redemptions of the land.

Approved January 11, 2002.