Print Print
  • Acts
  • 2008
  • Chapter 129 AN ACT RELATIVE TO THE FURTHER ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH.

Whereas, The deferred operation of this act would tend to defeat its purpose, which is to provide forthwith for economic development in the commonwealth, therefore it is hereby declared to be an emergency law, necessary for the immediate preservation of the public health and convenience.

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. The last sentence of subsection (c) of section 10 of chapter 152 of the acts of 1997, as most recently amended by section 51 of chapter 122 of the acts of 2006, is hereby amended by adding the following clause:- ; and (vi) to reimburse the commonwealth for state infrastructure development assistance provided by the commonwealth in accordance with sections 8 and 11A of chapter 293 of the acts of 2006 relative to certified economic development projects within the Convention Center Finance District or the Springfield Civic and Convention Center Finance District.

SECTION 2. Said section 6 of chapter 293 of the acts of 2006 is hereby further amended by striking out subsection (b) and inserting in place thereof the following subsection:—

(b) In addition to the provisions of said chapters 23G and 40D of the General Laws pertaining to the security of bonds issued by the agency, bonds issued pursuant to this act may be secured by a pledge of state infrastructure development assistance as provided in section 8 under a trust agreement or other financing document with such terms and conditions as the agency shall determine in accordance with this act and the applicable provisions of said chapters 23G and 40D; provided, however, that any state infrastructure development assistance provided pursuant to section 8 shall be applied solely to the payment of, and the security for, bonds issued for the purposes described in subsection (a) in accordance with the infrastructure development assistance agreement between the agency, the commonwealth, the municipality and the developer executed pursuant to said section 8 and shall not exceed the amount necessary for debt service payments on such bonds.

SECTION 3. The first sentence of subsection (c) of said section 6 of said chapter 293 is hereby amended by striking out the figure “10” and inserting in place thereof the following figure:— 8.

SECTION 4. Subsection (d) of said section 6 of said chapter 293 is hereby amended by inserting the following sentence:- Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the agency shall not be precluded from carrying out its obligations under this act if it has previously provided technical, real estate, lending, bond financing or other assistance to: (i) an economic development project including, but not limited to, a project in which the agency may have an economic interest; (ii) an economic development district; or (iii) a municipality associated with, or that may benefit from, an economic development proposal.

SECTION 5.
The last sentence of subsection (b) of section 7 of said chapter 293 is hereby amended by striking out the word “body.”, the second time it appears, and inserting in place thereof the following words:- body; provided, however, that pending a vote of the governing body, the economic development proposal application process shall proceed upon mutual agreement of the secretary, municipal officers and developer, subject to final approval of the proposal by the governing body; provided, further, that for the purposes of this subsection, in a city having a Plan D or Plan E charter the term municipal officers shall mean the city manager, in any other city the term municipal officers shall mean the mayor, and in a town the term municipal officers shall mean the board of selectmen.

SECTION 6. Subsection (c) of said section 7 of said chapter 293 is hereby amended by striking out clause (iii) and inserting in place thereof the following clause:— (iii) the secretary certifies that the municipality has established a liquidity reserve for the benefit of the commonwealth for each assessment parcel within an economic development project in an amount equal to twice the total annual debt service due on the bonds allocable to said assessment parcel established pursuant to section 9; provided, further, that said reserve shall be funded by the municipality from amounts provided by the developer or with surety bonds, insurance policies or other credit facilities satisfactory to the secretary; and provided further, that said reserve shall be maintained throughout the municipality’s obligation to provide local infrastructure development assistance with respect to such assessment parcel; and.

SECTION 7. Said section 7 of said chapter 293 is hereby further amended by striking out subsection (d) and inserting in place thereof the following 2 subsections:-

(d) The aggregate principal amount of bonds issued pursuant to section 6 shall not exceed $250,000,000.
(e) The secretary shall not certify any economic development proposal where municipal approval was secured on or before September 7, 2006. The secretary shall not approve more than 2 economic development proposals from any 1 municipality. Not more than $200,000,000 shall be expended for projects in municipalities that are not economically distressed. Economically distressed municipalities shall include any municipality in which the unemployment rate is at least 1.5 per cent higher than the statewide average in the year the application is certified by the secretary or in which the median income of the municipality is 80 per cent or less than the state median income in the year the application is certified by the secretary. The secretary shall give priority to projects in economically distressed municipalities and he shall give highest priority to the projects in which both the unemployment rate and median income criteria are met.

SECTION 8. Subsection (a) of section 8 of said chapter 293 is hereby amended by striking out clauses (iii) and (iv) and inserting in place thereof the following 2 clauses:— (iii) the municipality shall provide local infrastructure development assistance to the commonwealth with respect to the economic development project to the extent and for such time as is provided in section 10; (iv) the commonwealth shall provide infrastructure development assistance to the agency to pay the debt service due in each fiscal year on any bonds issued by the agency to finance the costs of public infrastructure improvements included in such economic development project, subject to reimbursement of all or a portion of such state infrastructure development assistance through the collection of infrastructure assessments as provided in section 9 of this act and from local infrastructure assistance provided by the municipality as provided in section 10.

SECTION 9. Said section 8 of said chapter 293 is hereby further amended by striking out subsection (b) and inserting in place thereof the following subsection:—

(b) The agency shall pledge the infrastructure development assistance agreement and the rights of the agency to receive state infrastructure development assistance, as provided in section 10, pursuant to said agreement as security for the payment of bonds issued by the agency to finance costs of the public infrastructure improvements described in said agreement. The obligation of the commonwealth to pay such state infrastructure development assistance to the agency in the manner provided in the infrastructure development assistance agreement shall constitute a general obligation of the commonwealth for which the full faith and credit of the commonwealth shall be pledged for the benefit of the agency.

SECTION 10. Subsection (a) of section 10 of said chapter 293 is hereby amended by striking out the last sentence and inserting in place thereof the following 2 sentences:— For as long as state infrastructure development assistance shall be provided in accordance with this section, the commissioner shall determine and certify to the secretary and the treasurer of the municipality the amount of new state tax revenues generated with respect to each commercial component of a certified economic development project. Such determination and certification shall be made annually after the commissioner has received the relevant data necessary for such determination.

SECTION 11. Said section 10 of said chapter 293 is hereby further amended by striking out subsection (b) and inserting in place thereof the following subsection:-

(b) Where the commissioner determines that the new state tax revenues generated by a completed and occupied commercial component of a certified economic development project are less than the allocable debt service apportioned to that commercial component, such amount shall constitute a revenue shortfall for such commercial component and a municipality shall be obligated to provide local infrastructure development assistance in an amount equal to such shortfall. Local infrastructure development assistance provided by the municipality shall be paid to the commonwealth in reimbursement for state infrastructure development assistance provided by the commonwealth with respect to such certified economic development project. Local infrastructure development assistance shall constitute a general obligation of the municipality to which its full faith and credit shall be pledged. To the extent the municipality shall fail to provide any or all portions of such local infrastructure development assistance to or for the credit of the commonwealth, the secretary shall certify the amount that is unpaid to the state treasurer and the state treasurer shall reduce amounts distributable or payable by the commonwealth to such municipality by the unpaid amount in accordance with section 20 of chapter 59 of the General Laws. Notwithstanding the foregoing, once the cumulative new state tax revenues attributable to an assessment parcel allocable to a commercial component of a certified economic development project equal or exceed an amount equal to the principal amount of bonds issued by the agency which are allocable to such commercial component, plus an amount equal to all interest accrued on such bonds to such date, the municipality shall have no obligation thereafter to provide local infrastructure development assistance for such assessment parcel.

SECTION 12. Said section 10 of said chapter 293 is hereby further amended by adding the following subsection:-
(d) Notwithstanding any provision of this act to the contrary, if the developer of any certified economic development project has agreed to the levy and collection of infrastructure assessments within the economic development district during a revenue shortfall, as determined in accordance with this section, the infrastructure development assistance agreement for such certified economic development project shall provide that the obligation of the municipality to provide local infrastructure development assistance to the commonwealth for any such revenue shortfall shall be assumed by the developer and payable solely from such infrastructure assessments; but such assumption shall not relieve the municipality of its general obligation or preclude the commonwealth from recovering the amounts otherwise distributable to the municipality in accordance with section 20 of chapter 59 of the General Laws.

SECTION 13. Subsection (b) of section 11 of said chapter 293 is hereby amended by striking out clause (i) and inserting in place thereof the following clause:- (i) designation as a TIF zone pursuant to section 59 of chapter 40 of the General Laws; provided, however, that a certified economic development project designated as a TIF zone pursuant to said section 59 of said chapter 40 prior to January 1, 2009 shall be eligible to receive financial assistance for public infrastructure improvements pursuant to this act;.

SECTION 14. Said subsection (b) of said section 11 of said chapter 293 is hereby further amended by adding the following sentence:- The ineligibility to participate in economic assistance programs as provided in clauses (i) to (v), inclusive, shall not apply to any tenant of a certified economic development project which is not an affiliate of the developer.

SECTION 15. The first sentence of subsection (c) of said section 11 of said chapter 293 is hereby amended by striking out the words “within Suffolk County”.

SECTION 16. Said chapter 293 is hereby further amended by inserting after section 11 the following section:-
Section 11A. Notwithstanding any provision of this act to the contrary, the estimates calculated under clause (iv) of subsection (a) and clause (i) of subsection (c) of section 7 of new state tax revenue attributable to an economic development project within the Convention Center Finance District as defined in section 2 of chapter 152 of the acts of 1997 or within the Springfield Civic and Convention Center Finance District as defined in subsection (b1/2) of section 10 of said chapter 152 shall include an amount of new revenue from the excises imposed by section 2 of chapter 64H of the General Laws if the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority has entered into an agreement with a developer and the secretary dedicating such excises deposited into the Convention Center Fund in such amount to support the economic development project in accordance with clause (vi) of subsection (c) of said section 10 of said chapter 152. The commissioner shall also determine and certify to the secretary the amount of such excises attributable to the economic development project that have been deposited into the Convention Center Fund in each fiscal year pursuant to subsection (b) or said subsection (b1/2) of said section 10 of said chapter 152 and, subject to said subsection (c) of said section 10 of said chapter 152, the amount of such receipts provided for pursuant to the agreement between the convention center authority, the developer and the secretary shall be transferred to the General Fund, but in no event shall the amount transferred exceed the new state tax revenue attributable to the related economic development project as calculated by the commissioner for purposes of section 10. Nothing in this section shall be construed to allow the secretary to approve more than 2 economic development proposals from any 1 municipality, in accordance with subsection (e) of section 7.

SECTION 17. Said chapter 293 is hereby further amended by inserting after section 12 the following section:-

Section 12A. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, a private entity engaged in a construction, development, renovation, remodeling, reconstruction, rehabilitation or redevelopment project receiving funds pursuant to this act shall properly classify individuals employed on the project and shall comply with all laws concerning workers’ compensation insurance coverage, unemployment insurance, social security taxes and income taxes with respect to all such employees. All construction contractors engaged by an entity on any such project shall furnish documentation to the appointing authority showing that all employees employed on the project have hospitalization and medical benefits that meet the minimum requirements of the connector board established in chapter 176Q of the General Laws.

Approved June 12 , 2008