HB4070 Little AM #1
Del. Little moved to amend the bill on page one, after the enacting clause, by striking out the remainder of the bill and inserting in lieu thereof the following:
ARTICLE 1B. Payments to counties in lieu of taxes for state owned lands.
The purposes of this article are:
(1) To compensate counties for the loss of tax base from state ownership of land and the need to provide services for state land; and
(2) To address the disproportionate impact of state land ownership on counties with a large proportion of state land relative to other ownership.
As used in this article:
“Acquired natural resources land” means:
(1) Land, other than wildlife management land, presently administered by the director in which the state acquired by purchase, condemnation, or gift, a legal interest in fee in lands which were previously privately owned; and
(2) Lands acquired by the state under Chapter 20 that are designated as state parks, state forests, recreation areas, scientific and natural areas, or wildlife management areas;
“Eligible county” means a county where the combined area of acquired natural resources land, other natural resources land, and wildlife management land constitutes at least 10,000 acres of a county with an area of 450 square miles or less, or at least 10 percent of the total area of the county for any county with an area greater than 450 square miles;
“Director” means the director of the Division of Natural Resources;
“Other natural resources land” means any land, other than acquired natural resource land or wildlife management land, presently owned in fee by the state and administered by the director, or any tax-forfeited land, which is owned by the state and administered by the director or any other land administered by the director and not subject to taxation by virtue of the state’s legal interest therein; and
“Wildlife management land” means land administered by the director in which the state acquired for wildlife management purposes and is actually used as a wildlife management area.
§20-1B-3. Certification of acreage in eligible counties.
(a) Each assessor of an eligible county shall certify to the Division of Natural Resources the number of acres of acquired natural resources land, other natural resources land, and wildlife management land within the county by July 1 of each year, broken down by each of these categories. The assessor shall also certify the percentage of the aggregate of this state-owned land with regard to the total area of the county. The Division of Natural Resources may, in addition to the certification of acreage, request descriptive lists of land so certified.
(b) The director of natural resources shall verify the total acreage for each category of land as identified by the assessor for each eligible county and, pursuant to the formula established in §20-1B-4 of this code, include the total amounts owed to the eligible counties in the submission of the division’s request to the Governor for inclusion in the executive budget for the next fiscal year.
§20-1B-4. Establishing formula for payment to eligible counties.
Each eligible county shall annually receive from the Division of Natural Resources an amount, based on the certified acreage as of July 1 of each year prior to the payment year, comprised of the total from the following amounts:
(1) Three dollars, multiplied by the total number of acres of acquired natural resources land in the county;
(2) Two dollars, multiplied by the total number of acres of wildlife management land in the county; and
(3) Two dollars, multiplied by the number of acres of other natural resources land in the county.
§20-1B-5. Timing of Payment.
The Division of Natural Resources shall ensure payments to the eligible counties as determined under §20-1B-4 of this code shall be made by July 1 each year.