AGENDA ITEM #11
Amanda Mihill, Legislative
Expedited Bill 8-10,Finance
Planning, Housing, and Economic Development Committee recommendation:
enact Bill 8-10.
Expedited Bill 8-10, Finance Public Facilities - Agricultural Easements, sponsored by the
Planning, Housing, and Economic Development Committee and Councilmember Leventhal, was
introduced on March 16, 2010. A public hearing was held on April 6 at which 3 speakers
testified in support of Bill 8-10 (see testimony beginning on ©5). A Planning, Housing, and
Economic Development Committee worksession was held on April 21.
Bill 8-10 would amend the definition of public facility to explicitly include the purchase of
agricultural easements as defined in Article 3 of Chapter 2B (the County Agricultural Easement
Program (AEP)). Under current practice, the AEP is funded by Agricultural Transfer Taxes. At
its March 4 worksession on the Agricultural Land Preservation Easements project in the CIP, the
PHED Committee expressed an interest in allowing general obligation bonds to be used to
purchase agricultural easements. However, the Committee was advised by the Department of
Finance that G.O. bonds could not be used to purchase easements because in the Department's
view, easements were not included in the definition of "public facilities" in Chapter 20. Bill
8-10 would not create a new easement program, but enable the use of a different type of funding
in addition to the Agricultural Transfer Taxes for an easement program that is already in
operation. Bill 8-10 does not appropriate any funding; the decision regarding whether or not to
use G.O. bonds to fund the AEP would be made as part of the budget process.
The Council received testimony from several members of the agricultural community supporting
Bill 8-10; the County Executive supports Bill 8-10.
The Committee recommended approval
of Bill 8-10.
This packet contains:
Expedited Bill 8-10
Legislative Request Report
Public Hearing Testimony
F:\LAW\BILLS\l008 Finance - Public Facilities - Ag Easements\Action Memo.Doc