|January 10, 2013 04:29 PM
|Representative Marcy Toepel
|All House members
|Open Space Preservation Act- Former HB 2167
|In the near future, I will be re-introducing former HB 2167, which amends Act 442 of 1967 (“Preserving Land for Open Air Spaces”). The legislation will allow municipalities that currently have a portion of their local option tax (which includes the real property tax or the earned income tax) dedicated to the purchase of open space land to use such local option tax revenue for expenses necessary to prepare the resource, recreation or land use plan required for such purchases under the Act and for the costs associated with design, engineering, improvement and development of the purchased real property consistent with the approved resource, recreation or land use plan. These funds could only be used to improve and develop the acquired property once the municipality has satisfied its annual debt service obligations or acquisition fees. Currently, the funds raised from the dedicated Local Option tax can only be used for the purchase of open space land, retiring of debt incurred in purchasing such land, and transactional fees related to purchase (including, but not limited to, cost of appraisals, legal services, title searches and insurance, document preparation, closing fees and survey expenses).
Many municipalities that have purchased open space through the voter approved referendum are seeking clarity on the issue of whether or not needed improvements to trails, parks, etc., to comport with the original open space land use plan, as well as costs associated with developing such plan itself, can be paid for with funds raised through the local option tax. The legislation will remove that uncertainty. Please know the legislation is not authorizing a tax increase, nor is it expanding the current taxing authority of municipalities under Act 442. It is simply expanding and clarifying that funds raised may be used for the additional purposes enumerated above (as noted, such purposes are directly related to the land purchase as they deal with the production and implementation of the required open space land use plan that must accompany such a land purchase).
Former co-sponsors of HB 2167: QUIGLEY , TOEPEL, SCHRODER , ADOLPH , CARROLL , DALEY , FREEMAN , GOODMAN, GROVE, HENNESSEY , MAHER , MYERS , O'NEILL , PEIFER , QUINN , WATSON , MURT and BRADFORD
Introduced as HB1523