Legislature(2001 - 2002)

04/20/2001 10:50 AM RLS

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
VICE-CHAIRMAN  COWDERY  announced  that  a  Senate  Rules  Committee                                                            
substitute (Version T) to SB  4-MUNICIPAL PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTION                                                            
was before the committee.                                                                                                       
SENATOR THERRIAULT,  sponsor  of SB 4, explained  that Section  1 of                                                            
the  Senate  Finance  Committee   version  of  SB  4  allowed  local                                                            
governments  to assess  property  taxes on  a part-year  basis  when                                                            
senior citizens  who qualify for a property tax exemption  sell that                                                            
property to a  person who doesn't qualify.  However,  that provision                                                            
will create  timing problems for his  borough because right  now the                                                            
assessments  and taxes  are determined  once  per year.   Section  1                                                            
would  kick off  a process  in which  that valuation  would have  to                                                            
happen at  different times  of the year.   That section was  dropped                                                            
from Version T.                                                                                                                 
VICE-CHAIRMAN  COWDERY asked  if the annual  assessed value  remains                                                            
regardless of sales.                                                                                                            
SENATOR  THERRIAULT said  that is  correct and that  the status  quo                                                            
will  be maintained.    A person  who buys  property  from a  senior                                                            
citizen will  get the benefit  of the senior's  property  assessment                                                            
until the end  of that tax year.  That section was  more problematic                                                            
for local governments  than it was worth. He explained  that another                                                            
section  of the  Senate  Finance version  would  have inadvertently                                                             
impacted the local governments  that give 100 percent of the $10,000                                                            
property  tax exemption that  is currently  in statute.  The  Senate                                                            
Finance version provided  for 20 percent or less of the value of the                                                            
property and  would have actually  increased some people's  property                                                            
taxes.   That was  not the committee's  intent.   Version T  ensures                                                            
that  the  existing  $10,000  exemption  is  not  impacted  by  this                                                            
legislation.   It provides for an additional tax exemption  if local                                                            
governments choose to exercise it.                                                                                              
SENATOR THERRIAULT moved  to adopt Version T as the working document                                                            
of the  committee and  to move it  for the  purpose of calendaring.                                                             
There being no objection, the motion carried.                                                                                   

Document Name Date/Time Subjects