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December 4, 2003: The Taxation Committee of the Legislature voted 11-0 that LD 951 should be sent on with an Ought Not To Pass recommendation. For LD 938 (the constitutional amendment), the bill was forwarded with 7 voting ONTP and 4 voting Ought To Pass As Amended, that amendment being a constitutional amendment proposed by Representative Jon Courtney (R-Sanford) that would implement Limited Market Value in 2005, replacing the Maine Land Bank constitutional amendment.
These actions were taken with the understanding from legislative leadership that Representative Leila Percy and members of the Maine Land Bank Committee would have a seat at the table when leadership develops the comprehensive tax reform package that it hopes to pass in the next session.
Although this signals the end of current legislative consideration of the Maine Land Bank, it may usher in an era of increased collaboration and ultimate enactment of some form of land-bank-like legislation. Only time will tell.
May 16, 2003: The Taxation Committee of the Legislature voted unanimously to carry both LD 938 (the constitutional amendment) and LD 951 (the Land Bank statutes) over to the next session. This means that there will be no action on these bills this year since the special summer session of the legislature chose not to deal with comprehensive tax reform. Without action prior to Labor Day, the earliest that the constitutional amendment could be voted upon is November, 2004 and the earliest that the statutes could take effect is in 2005.
Our supporting legislators inform us that the "double carry over" is a huge victory for us. While it's true we've come a long way since October, 2002, from an idea to the last legislative cut, only in Augusta can it be considered a "victory" when you don't lose. But considering the number of bills rejected outright by the Taxation Committee, it's an accurate assessment, and we're encouraged by the Land Bank's continued legislative life.
In early June, the Taxation Committee gave up on comprehensive tax reform, choosing instead to focus on a measure to compete with the Maine Municipal Association's referendum question, which they claim constitutionally limits their ability to pass any related measures prior to the resolution of the MMA question on election day in November.
An event which went largely unreported in the press that will definitely have an impact on future events is the fact that Carol Palesky submitted her signatures to put her tax cap initiative on the ballot in 2004. Assuming that the signatures are valid and sufficient in number (both problems in past efforts), this event could change the taxation landscape considerably.
In the meantime, encouraged by the legislative "carry over," proponents for the Maine Land Bank and Community Preservation Program will continue to refine and build support for this innovative solution to the problem of excessive assessments.
Please continue to check this site for updates as they happen and we thank you for your interest and support of the Maine Land Bank. Of special note, please take a look at the proposed amendments for LD 938 and LD 951 which make the legislation more flexible in addressing homestead lands and lands used for business purposes, including working waterfront, forestry and farming.
Land Bank Fact Sheet -- A PDF file very briefly describing the program
The Maine Land Bank and Community Preservation Program -- A PDF file describing the program in more detail.
Land Bank Constitutional Amendment
-- A PDF file containing LD 938, the Maine Constitutional amendment needed to enable legislation for the Maine Land Bank Program.
Proposed Amendment -- A PDF file containing a proposed amendment to LD 938
which limits the program to homestead lands and lands used for business purposes,
including working waterfront, forestry and farming.
Land Bank Legislation -- A PDF file
containing LD 951, legislation creating and defining the Maine Land Bank
Proposed Amendment -- A PDF file containing a proposed amendment to LD 951
which clarifies some definitions and administrative procedures and establishes a framework for
differential treatment of homestead, working waterfront, forestry and farming lands.
Possible Alternative Proposal -- A PDF file containing a possible alternative to the Maine Land Bank
which eliminates second homes and doesn't require a constitutional amendment.
Land Bank Worksheet -- An Excel file which allows you to plug in your own property values and program assumptions and see the results. Only the yellow highlighted cells may be changed.
State of Maine Taxation Statutes -- A PDF file from the State's website.
October 14, 2002, Harpswell Grange Hall, initial discussion of Land Bank concept
October 25, 2002, Rockland, Island Institute Conference on Sustainable Islands
November 9, 2002, Chebeague Island public meeting
December 2, 2002, South Portland citizens group
December 5, 2002, Rockland, Island Institute Board of Directors
December 9, 2002, Fairfield, Department of Agriculture Conference
December 19, 2002, Somerset Economic Development Corporation, Madison breakfast meeting
January 13, 2003, Cumberland Town Council
January 15, 2003, Maine Agricultural Products Trade Show, Augusta
January 15, 2003, Yarmouth, Legislators and local leaders
General Announcement -- An open invitation to a public presentation of the Land Bank proposal scheduled for January 15, 2003 at the Harrison Middle School in Yarmouth.
Directions -- A map and directions to the Harrison Middle School in Yarmouth.
January 30, 2003, Legislative Rural Caucus, Taxation Room, State Office Building
January 30, 2003, Harpswell Public TV, Harpswell Town Hall
February 6, 2003, Joint Standing Committee on Taxation, Room 127, State House
February 24, 2003, Gorham Public TV, "Capital Talk," Gorham High School
April 15, 2003, Legislative Public Hearing, State House
April, May, 2003, numerous Legislative Workshops regarding tax reform, State House
August 14, 2003, Legislative Public Hearing, State House
October 9, 2003, Maine Municipal Association Convention, Augusta
About Testifying at a Legislative Hearing -- click here for useful information about the process
Local Public Access Television -- tapes of our Harpswell presentation have been distributed around the state. Call your local public access television station for further information and ask them to call us for a copy of the tape if they haven't already done so
Call David Hill at 207-846-4664 during evenings/weekends or leave a message
Send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org