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Senate Transportation Committee Meets Oct. 15 To Consider House Bill 2638 Creating New Local Authorities To Cleanup Polluted Land

The Senate Transportation Committee is scheduled to meet on October 15 to consider House Bill 2638 (Stephens-R-Montgomery) which would authorize new local authorities to cleanup former military installations or land having water, sewer or stormwater pollution identified by the Department of Environmental Protection or the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency financed by tax refunds by businesses and individuals working in the remediation area.

The bill authorizes new special “qualified authorities” formed after the effective date of the legislation and made up of 5 members from the area affected-- one Senator or his/her designee, one House member or his/her designee, one member appointed by a school district, one appointed by the authority established to redevelop the former military installation and one resident appointed by the municipality.

A “qualified authority” is authorized to submit an application to the Department of Revenue covering specific parcels requiring remediation of 100 acres or less listing all the businesses and residents employed in those businesses located within the remediation area.

The application is requesting the Department of Revenue and State Treasurer to refund the state paid by those businesses and residents in the remediation area to the “qualified authority” for the purpose of remediating the parcels included in the application.

The taxes covered include corporate, personal and sales taxes paid by businesses and personal income taxes paid by individual employed by these businesses within the remediation area.  Also included are realty transfer taxes and any local taxes designated by local taxing entities.

Requests for any local tax refunds are to be accompanied by a certification by the local governments involved designating the local taxes for this purpose.

The bill limits the transfer of any qualifying state taxes refunded to the “qualified authority” to 500 percent of the local taxes and any additional money transfered to the authority by the local taxing authorities.

Tax money refunded to the “qualified authority” can be used for remediation projects, payment of debt service on bonds issued or refinanced for the acquisition, development, construction, including related infrastructure and site preparation, reconstruction, renovation or refinancing of remediation projects or operational costs for the authority.

The application approved by the Department of Revenue can remain in effect for a period no later than 30 years from the effective date of the bill.

A House Fiscal Note and summary is available.

The Transportation Committee meeting will be held in the Rules Room, Off the Floor, which means there is no set time for the meeting.  It can happen any time after the Senate breaks after it convenes at 1:00 on Monday..

Sen. John Rafferty (R-Montgomery) serves as Majority Chair of the Committee and can be contacted by calling 717-787-1398 or by sending email to:    Sen. John Sabatina (D-Philadelphia) serves as Minority Chair and can be contacted by calling 717-787-2162 or by sending email to:

[Posted: Oct. 12, 2018]


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