Chapter 40-T: Building Our Infrastructure
 

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  • Existing Financing Tools Are Inadequate To Fund Our Water, Sewer, Roads And Other Infrastructure Improvements

  • Our Needed Public Infrastructure Cannot  Be Financed by Relying Only On Local Property Taxes, And State /Federal Grants And Loans

  • We Are Missing A Tool That Does Not Cost Massachusetts' Local Or State Taxpayers One Penny!

A Solution: Chapter 40T - The Local Option Tool to Self-finance Our Infrastructure

Massachusetts is unable to meet all State and municipal infrastructure needs. Traditional funding techniques have proven inadequate. Local and state taxpayers are resisting further tax increases. The proposed Massachusetts legislation (H. 159 and S. 146) would add Chapter 40T to the General Laws. Chapter 40T would provide a totally local option for municipalities acting on petition of property owners to establish a voluntary, self-taxing mechanism. This could be used to fund a wide array of public infrastructure needs such as roads, parks, water and sewer facilities. Last year some $15 billion in land-secured tax-exempt bonds were issued to finance infrastructure improvements in states other than Massachusetts.

A local city or town would have no financial liability for bonds issued pursuant to Chapter 40T. Under Chapter 40T, bonds would be issued either by the Massachusetts Development Finance Agency (“MDFA”) or a Local Improvement District governed by a prudential committee appointed by the local municipality. The bonds would be repaid from assessments on real estate located within a designated Development Zone established by petition of the property owners. All matters relating to the financed improvements including the method of assessment of costs, the cost and nature of the improvements, and the boundaries of the Development Zone, would be described in a detailed Improvement Plan. The Improvement Plan is subject to review and approval by the municipality after a noticed public hearing.

Chapter 40T is not a redevelopment program but merely a voluntary method to fund infrastructure costs without using the local tax levy or State funds. No eminent domain powers are granted under Chapter 40T. All local and State taxes, and all regulations and statutes, except as specially noted in the legislation, are applicable to the Development Zone and any Local Improvement Districts. The legislation provides a useful tool for property owners and municipalities to fund badly needed public improvements when local and State resources are unavailable.