04-067-O

ORDINANCE NO. __________


AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 2, ARTICLE XXXI OF DULUTH CITY CODE, 1959, AS AMENDED; PERTAINING TO TAX BASE IMPACT STATEMENT.

BY COUNCILOR NESS:

The city of Duluth does ordain:

     Section 1. That Section 2-162 of the Duluth City Code, 1959, as amended, be amended to read as follows:

Sec. 2-162.Definitions.

     For purposes of this Article:

     (a)  Tax base means the property, and the valuation of it, that is subject, under the law, to ad valorem taxes, any part of which tax, when collected, may be part of the city of Duluth’s revenues;

     (b)  Tax base impact worksheet means the form document, developed by the finance department and approved by resolution of the council, which records the relevant values and factors of a proposal;

     (c)  Tax base impact summary means a short statement approved by the mayor or city attorney that appears at the beginning of the statement of purpose of any proposal to which this Article applies;

     (d)  Tax base impact statement is a report that analyzes the information on the tax base impact worksheet, includes different and more detailed information, and states a conclusion as to the proposal’s expected impact on the property tax base during each of the first 25 years following adoption or approval of the proposal;

     (e)  Proposal means any ordinance or resolution, filed with the city clerk, or communicated to the city council, Duluth planning commission or DEDA, or any report or other written communication from the mayor, administrative assistant or other officer of the executive branch of city government, or of any city board or commission, which ordinance, resolution or written communication would allow, require or recommend any of the following:

           (1)  A transfer of any interest in real property, except an easement;

           (2)  A change in the tax classification of any property;

           (3)  The erection or demolition of any building covering an area of land greater than 1,100 square feet;

           (4)  A change or objection to change in the classification of tax forfeit land;

           (5)  The granting or recommendation of a loan, grant, business subsidy as defined in Minnesota Statutes Section 116J.993, et. seq., or its successor, tax abatement, tax assessment agreement;

           (6)  A lease or land use license for a period longer than one year;

           (7)  A special use permit or variance from zoning;

           (8)  The acceptance by the city of a gift or other conveyance of real property or any interest therein;

           (9)  The vacation of any easement;

           (10) Any other action or transaction that will affect the property tax base.

                 The term “proposal” does not include a transfer of property from one unit of government to another, nor an improvement completely paid for by one or more government units, located upon land owned by a government unit and the transferred property or improvement is intended for public use or to be exclusively used for government operations.

     Section 2. That Section 2-163 of Duluth City Code, 1959, as amended, be amended to read as follows:

Sec. 2-163.Tax base impact worksheet required.

     Before any proposal that requires a tax base impact statement is filed with the city clerk or presented to the city council, Duluth planning commission or DEDA, the proposer must cause to be accurately completed a tax base impact worksheet pertaining to the proposal. The completed worksheet shall be filed with the clerk as a public document, and shall be presented with any proposal that is not an ordinance or resolution, or with any proposal that requires a tax base impact statement.

     Section 3. That Section 2-165 of the Duluth City Code, 1959, as amended, be amended to read as follows:

Sec. 2-165.Tax base impact statement required.

     The proposer of the following proposals shall prepare a complete and accurate tax base impact statement, file it with the clerk as a public document and present it to the city council, Duluth planning commission or DEDA at the same time the proposal is presented:

     (a)  A proposal that involves more than 15 acres;

     (b)  A proposal that involves real property of fair market value, as shown on the records of the city assessor, in excess of $850,000, or that will involve construction, financed in any part with public money or business subsidy, of improvements, which construction will cost at least $1 million;

     (c)  A proposal that involves rezoning an area greater than 10,000 square feet two acres;

     (d)  A proposal for which a tax base impact statement is requested by the mayor, city council or Duluth planning commission.

     Section 4. That this ordinance shall take effect 30 days after its passage, approval and publication.


STATEMENT OF PURPOSE:  This ordinance changes the tax impact disclosure requirements by eliminating the requirement of a worksheet for small transactions that could have only a de minimus effect. Those transactions are subject to the summary statement that describes the effect. It also clarifies the language that describes exempt government to government transfers. And finally, it changes one of the thresholds for a full blown tax base impact statement from rezoning 10,000 square feet to rezoning two acres.