Journal of the Senate

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Journal of the Senate

________________

Thursday, April 29, 1999

The Senate was called to order by the President.

Devotional Exercises

Devotional exercises were conducted by the Reverend Daniel Rupp of Barre.



Message from the House

A message was received from the House of Representatives by Mr. Palmisano, its First Assistant Clerk, as follows:

Mr. President:

I am directed to inform the Senate the House has passed bills of the following titles:



H. 551. An act relating to amendments to the City of Burlington charter.

H. 562. An act relating to City of Winooski charter.

In the passage of which the concurrence of the Senate is requested.

The House has considered Senate proposals of amendment to House bill of the following title:

H. 537. An act relating to the state’s transportation capital program and development plan.

And has concurred therein with amendments in which the concurrence of the Senate is requested.

The House has considered Senate bills of the following titles:

S. 79. An act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of age, religion or disability in regard to unfair labor practices.

S. 139. An act to increase the minimum wage.

And has passed the same in concurrence with proposals of amendment in the adoption of which the concurrence of the Senate is requested.

The House has adopted Joint Resolutions of the following titles:

J.R.H. 40. Joint resolution establishing an interim study committee to examine the provision of pharmacological treatment programs for opiate-addicted persons.


J.R.H. 97. Joint resolution relating to the development of a disaster relief, recovery and mitigation plan for Vermont.

In the adoption of which the concurrence of the Senate is requested.

The House has considered a Joint Resolution originating in the Senate of the following title:

J.R.S. 51. Joint resolution designating June 20 as Destroyer Escort Day.

And has adopted the same in concurrence.

The Governor has informed the House of Representatives that on the twenty-seventh day of April, 1999 he approved and signed bills originating in the House of the following titles:

H. 60. An act relating to reimbursement for job-related losses.

H. 233. An act relating to City of South Burlington charter.

H. 550. An act relating to changing the name of the Town of Sherburne to the Town of Killington.

Message from the House

A message was received from the House of Representatives by Mr. Bertrand, its Second Assistant Clerk, as follows:

Mr. President:

I am directed to inform the Senate the House has passed bills of the following titles:



H. 349. An act relating to issuance of liquor licenses.

H. 412. An act relating to lost, stray or homeless animals.

In the passage of which the concurrence of the Senate is requested.

The House has adopted a Joint Resolution of the following title:

J.R.H. 99. Joint resolution in honor of Mary S. Babcock on her retirement after a 53-year career in public education.

In the adoption of which the concurrence of the Senate is requested.

The House has considered Joint Resolutions originating in the Senate of the following titles:


J.R.S. 27. Joint resolution urging the United States Army Corps of Engineers and Federal Emergency Management Administration to adopt new regulations to fully integrate the Corps into the emergency management process, and in the alternative, requesting the United States Congress to enact statutory changes to accomplish this goal.

J.R.S. 28. Joint resolution relating to urgently requesting the United States government to immediately enter into negotiations with all other nuclear nations for the adoption of a verifiable treaty to abolish nuclear weapons.

And has adopted the same in concurrence.



Bills Referred

House bills of the following titles were severally read the first time and referred:



H. 551. An act relating to amendments to the City of Burlington charter.

To the Committee on Government Operations.



H. 562. An act relating to City of Winooski charter.

To the Committee on Government Operations.



Bills Referred to Committee on Appropriations

House bills of the following titles, appearing on the Calendar for notice, and carrying appropriations, under the rule, were severally referred to the Committee on Appropriations:



H. 548. An act relating to equal educational opportunity omnibus act.

H. 549. An act relating to miscellaneous adjustments to the state, teachers and municipal retirement systems.

Joint Resolution Adopted on the Part of the Senate

Joint Senate resolution of the following title was offered, read and adopted on the part of the Senate, and is as follows:

By Senator Shumlin,

J.R.S. 56. Joint resolution relating to weekend adjournment.


RESOLVED BY THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:

That when the two Houses adjourn on Friday, April 30, 1999, or on Saturday, May 1, 1999, it be to meet again no later than Tuesday, May 4, 1999, at ten o’clock in the forenoon.



Joint Resolution Referred

Joint resolution originating in the House of the following title was read the first time and is as follows:



J.R.H. 40. Joint resolution establishing an interim study committee to examine the provision of pharmacological treatment programs for opiate-addicted persons.

Whereas, according to the report entitled “Use of Alcohol and Illicit Drugs and Need for Treatment among the Vermont Household Population: 1995” prepared by the Vermont Department of Health, an estimated 2,000 persons in Vermont use either opiates or heroin, and

Whereas, the consequences of untreated heroin addiction include increased crime, death, disease, health care expenditures and joblessness, and

Whereas, according to the National Institutes of Health, while the causative factors of an individual’s initial use of heroin are poorly understood, it is clear that once the individual is dependent on opiates, such dependency constitutes a medical disorder, and

Whereas, pharmacological treatment, when coupled with nonpharmacological treatment services, is recognized by the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine, the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the White House Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy as the most effective treatment for heroin addiction, and

Whereas, Vermont is one of only eight states in the country that does not allow people addicted to heroin access to methadone treatment, and


Whereas, pharmacological treatment of heroin addiction has been proven to reduce the spread of HIV, hepatitis and other blood-borne diseases, and

Whereas, the comprehensive HIV prevention plan for Vermont calls for the immediate implementation of pharmacological treatment for people addicted to heroin, and

Whereas, the White House Office of Drug Control Policy and the National Institutes of Health are calling for an expansion of methadone treatment options across the United States, including greater physician control of dosing and distribution of methadone, and

Whereas, significant federal resources are available to support Vermont treatment programs designed to decrease opiate use and its associated societal problems, now therefore be it

RESOLVED BY THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:

That there is created an interim study committee to examine the issue of opiate use in Vermont, including addiction and potential treatment, and be it further



RESOLVED: That the committee shall be comprised of six members, including one member of the House of Representatives to be appointed by the Speaker, one member of the Senate to be appointed by the Committee on Committees, the Commissioner of the Department of Health or her designee , a representative of Vermont People With Aids Coalition, a representative of the Brattleboro Retreat, a representative of the Committee on Temporary Shelter and a recognized scientific, medical or health care professional with specialized experience in opiate treatment to be appointed by the University of Vermont Substance Abuse Treatment Center, and be it further

RESOLVED: That the committee shall be authorized to meet four times, one of which shall be a public hearing, and that legislative members of the committee shall be entitled to compensation and reimbursement of expenses pursuant to section 406 of Title 2 and that other members of the committee who are not otherwise compensated by the State of Vermont shall be entitled to per diem compensation as provided for in section 1010 of Title 32, and be it further


RESOLVED: That the Legislative Council shall provide professional and clerical support to the committee, and be it further

RESOLVED: That the committee shall submit a report of its findings and recommendations to the General Assembly by January 15, 2000.

Thereupon, the President, in his discretion, treated the joint resolution as a bill and it was referred to the Committee on Health and Welfare.



Joint Resolution Referred

Joint resolution originating in the House of the following title was read the first time and is as follows:



J.R.H. 97. Joint resolution relating to the development of a disaster relief, recovery and mitigation plan for Vermont.

Whereas, in response to Sec. 1 of Act No. 137, the Secretary of Administration filed with the General Assembly a report that addresses Vermont’s response to emergencies and disasters, and

Whereas, in response to Sec. 3 of Act No. 137, the Agency of Natural Resources filed a report with the General Assembly that outlines options for state flood control policies, plans and programs for flood prevention and flood emergency response, and

Whereas, the General Assembly commends both the Secretary of Administration and the Agency of Natural Resources for their efforts and responsiveness to the General Assembly’s request as articulated in Act No. 137 to consider the issues and propose options related to a state’s response to disasters and emergencies, and

Whereas, the administration’s report, a work-in-progress, addresses only the issue of federally-declared disasters for which federal procedures and funding are already in place, and


Whereas, the administration still needs to develop a specific and detailed proposal for a clear chain of command, a state plan that will provide an efficient, effective and speedy response to any state emergency or disaster that does not rise to the level of a federally-declared emergency or disaster, and budget proposals for program support, relief funding and procedures for distribution of relief funding, and

Whereas, the administration’s report has recommended that, in regard to federally-declared disasters, municipalities use their own resources to cover all of the nonfederal (25 percent) share up to an amount that does not exceed ten percent of the municipality’s property taxes assessed for nonschool purposes, and

Whereas, the Agency of Natural Resources has provided an extremely thoughtful, concrete and detailed proposal for flood prevention and flood disaster response, the goals and approach of which are supported by the General Assembly, and

Whereas, the report issued by the Agency of Natural Resources should be widely distributed to other relevant subdivisions of state government, state municipalities, regional planning organizations, federal agencies and any other governmental organization involved with disaster and emergency planning, and

Whereas, the administration should carefully review and consider the proposals included in the Agency’s report and coordinate those goals and programs with any administration disaster plan which shall be included in any budget proposals for FY 2001 and beyond, now therefore be it

RESOLVED BY THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:

That the General Assembly requests the Administration to complete its work-in-progress and provide to the General Assembly no later than December 1, 1999, an additional report that includes a comprehensive and detailed proposal, including legislation, for a state response to disasters and emergencies, with particular emphasis on disasters and emergencies that are not federally-declared, so that consideration of the legislative proposals may begin at the beginning of the 2000 legislative session, and be it further


RESOLVED: That the General Assembly urges the Agency of Natural Resources to present to the General Assembly no later than December 1, 1999, a follow-up report on implementation of their programs for review by the House Committee on General, Housing and Military Affairs, the Senate Committee on General Affairs and Housing and the House and Senate Committees on Natural Resources and Energy, and be it further

RESOLVED: That the House Committee on General, Housing and Military Affairs, the Senate Committee on General Affairs and Housing and the House and Senate Committees on Natural Resources and Energy will review the administration’s completed final proposal for a state disaster and emergency procedure and the Agency of Natural Resources’ follow-up report on the progress of implementing their flood prevention and relief proposals so that a comprehensive state disaster and emergency plan can be approved and implemented no later than January 1, 2001, and be it further

RESOLVED: That the General Assembly recommends that, in regard to a federally declared emergency or disaster, a municipality use its own resources to cover one-half of the nonfederal (25 percent) share, up to an amount that does not exceed ten percent of the municipality’s property taxes assessed for nonschool purposes, and be it further

RESOLVED: That the Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this resolution to the Secretary of Administration, Kathleen Hoyt, the Secretary of the Agency of Natural Resources, John Kassell, and each regional planning commission in Vermont.

Thereupon, the President, in his discretion, treated the joint resolution as a bill and it was referred to the Committee on General Affairs and Housing.


Joint Resolution Placed on Calendar

Joint resolution originating in the House of the following title was read the first time and is as follows:


J.R.H. 99. Joint resolution in honor of Mary S. Babcock on her retirement after a 53-year career in public education.

Whereas, Mary S. Babcock has dedicated her life to public education as a teacher and administrator, and

Whereas, after graduating from the Normal School in Gorham, Maine, Mary Shepard accepted her first teaching position, in 1937, a one-room schoolhouse in South Walden, Vermont where she taught 25 students in grades one through eight and, in return, was compensated with an annual salary of $700.00, and

Whereas, Mary S. Babcock temporarily put aside her teaching duties to serve her nation in World War II as a proud member of the U.S. Navy WAVES and was assigned duties as a flight mechanic, and

Whereas, subsequent to the war’s conclusion, and her marriage to Luther Babcock, to whom she was happily married for 34 years, she returned to the classroom, and

Whereas, in 1953, Mary S. Babcock assumed a new position as a teacher at the Swanton Central School, and

Whereas, after earning a bachelor’s degree in 1961 at the University of Vermont, she continued her professional duties and so impressed the local school board with her capabilities that she was selected to serve as both the principal, and later, the assistant elementary school principal, and

Whereas, Mary S. Babcock has been honored as Teacher of the Year in the Franklin Northwest Supervisory Union, and

Whereas, her community paid Mary S. Babcock its highest tribute when the Swanton Elementary School’s name was changed to the Mary S. Babcock Elementary School, and

Whereas, after 53 years as a public school teacher and administrator, Mary S. Babcock has decided to retire from the education profession and devote her time to church and community activities, now therefore be it


RESOLVED BY THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:

That the General Assembly congratulates Mary S. Babcock on an extraordinary 53-year career in public education and wishes her much happiness in the years ahead, and be it further



RESOLVED: That the Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this resolution to Mary S. Babcock in Swanton.

Thereupon, in the discretion of the Chair, under Rule 51, the joint resolution was placed on the Calendar for action tomorrow.



Bills Passed

Senate bills of the following titles were severally read the third time and passed:



S. 47. An act relating to a commission on Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders.

S. 62. An act relating to regulation of public assemblies.

S. 140. An act relating to the municipal employees’ retirement system and a separate retirement group for public safety officers.

Bill Passed in Concurrence with Proposal of Amendment

House bill of the following title was read the third time and passed in concurrence with proposal of amendment:



H. 446. An act relating to water commissioners.

Bills Passed in Concurrence

House bills of the following titles were severally read the third time and passed in concurrence:



H. 544. An act relating to transfers of balances of appropriations.

H. 555. An act relating to City of Barre charter.

Rules Suspended; Bills Messaged

On motion of Senator Shumlin, the rules were suspended and the following bills were ordered messaged to the House forthwith:


S. 47, S. 62, S. 140, H. 446, H. 544, H. 555.

Adjournment

On motion of Senator Shumlin, the Senate adjourned until three o’clock and thirty minutes in the afternoon.



AFTERNOON

The Senate was called to order by the President.



Message from the House

A message was received from the House of Representatives by Mr. Palmisano, its First Assistant Clerk, as follows:

Mr. President:

I am directed to inform the Senate the House has considered Joint Resolutions originating in the Senate of the following titles:



J.R.S. 53. Joint resolution urging Congress to substantially increase humanitarian assistance to the Kosovo refuges.

J.R.S. 54. Joint resolution designating Vermont Heritage Weekend.

J.R.S. 55. Joint resolution honoring Cabot Creamery on its 80th birthday.

And has adopted the same in concurrence.



Bills Referred

House bills of the following titles were severally read the first time and referred:



H. 349. An act relating to issuance of liquor licenses.

To the Committee on General Affairs and Housing.



H. 412. An act relating to lost, stray or homeless animals.

To the Committee on Agriculture.


Message from the Governor

A message was received from His Excellency, the Governor, by Kate O’Connor, Secretary of Civil and Military Affairs, as follows:

Mr. President:

I am directed by the Governor to deliver to the Senate communications in writing which require action to be taken thereon by the Senate.


Appointments Referred

The following communications from the Governor were read and referred:

“April 21, 1999

To the President of the Senate

Sir:

I have the honor to appoint, subject to the advice and consent of the Senate,



EDWARD ZUCCARO

of St. Johnsbury, as a Member of the Vermont Labor Relations Board, for a term from and including April 21, 1999, to June 30, 2004, and until his successor is appointed and has qualified.

Sincerely yours,

/s/Howard B. Dean

Howard B. Dean

Governor”

To the Committee on General Affairs and Housing.

“April 23, 1999

To the President of the Senate

Sir:


I have the honor to appoint, subject to the advice and consent of the Senate,

JOHN BOOTH

of Essex Junction, as a Member of the Transportation Board, for a term from and including April 23, 1999, to February 28, 2001, and until his successor is appointed and has qualified.

Sincerely yours,

/s/Howard B. Dean

Howard B. Dean

Governor”

To the Committee on Transportation.

Rules Suspended; Proposal of Amendment; Third Reading Ordered

Pending entry on the Calendar for notice, on motion of Senator Shumlin, the rules were suspended and House bill entitled:


H. 548. An act relating to equal education opportunity omnibus act.

Was taken up for immediate consideration.

Senator Rivers, for the Committee on Finance, to which the bill was referred, reported recommending that the Senate propose to the House to amend the bill by striking out all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:


* * * TITLE * * *

Sec. 1. TITLE

This act may be known as and shall be cited as the MISCELLANEOUS TAX REDUCTION ACT OF 1999, and the title of the act shall be amended accordingly.

* * * PART I. EDUCATION FUNDING PROVISIONS * * *

Sec. 2. SPECIAL EDUCATION FUNDING; LIMITS



(a) Implementation of the caps imposed in Sec. 120 of No. 71 of the Acts of 1998, relating to limits to state aid for special education, shall be delayed one year. The provisions of Sec. 120 of No. 71 of the Acts of 1998, relating to differential funding of special education costs, are repealed. Therefore, in fiscal year 2000, the general assembly shall appropriate funds to provide state aid for special education at the 60 percent level required under 16 V.S.A. chapter 101.

(b) The state board of education shall study ways to control special education costs while continuing to provide a free appropriate education to Vermont children and shall recommend to the general assembly by January 10, 2000, legislative action to implement this intent.

Sec. 3. 16 V.S.A. § 4010(f) is added to read:



(f) For purposes of the calculation under this section, a district’s equalized pupils shall in no case be less than ninety-six and one half percent of the district’s equalized pupils in the previous year.

Sec. 4. 16 V.S.A. § 4015(a) and (b) are amended to read:

§ 4015. SMALL SCHOOL SUPPORT

(a) In this section

(1) “Eligible school district” means a school district which operates at least one school and

(A) has a two-year average combined enrollment of fewer than 100 students in all the schools operated by the district, or


(B) has an average grade size of 20 or fewer.

(2) “Enrollment” means the number of students who are enrolled in a school operated by the district on October 1. A student shall be counted as one whether the student is enrolled as a full-time or part-time student.

(3) “Two-year average enrollment” means the average enrollment of the two most recently completed school years.

(4) “Average grade size” means two-year average enrollment divided by the number of grades taught in the district on October 1. For purposes of this calculation, kindergarten and pre-kindergarten programs shall be counted together as one grade.

(5) “AGS factor” means the following factors for each average grade size:

Average grade size

More than: - but less than or equal to: Factor:

0 7 0.19

7 9 0.175

9 10 0.16

10 11 0.145

11 12 0.13

12 13 0.115

13 14 0.10

14 15 0.085

15 16 0.070

16 17 0.055

17 18 0.040

18 19 0.025

19 20 0.015

(b) Small schools support grant: Annually, the commissioner shall pay a small schools support grant to any eligible school district. The amount of the grant shall be the greater of



(1) the amount determined by multiplying the two-year average enrollment in the district by $500.00 and subtracting the product from $50,000.00, except that no grant shall exceed with a maximum grant of $2,500.00 per enrolled student; or

(2) the amount of the general state support grant for the current year, multiplied by the two-year average enrollment, multiplied by the AGS factor.

Sec. 5. 32 V.S.A. § 3411 is amended to read:

§ 3411. POWERS OF THE PROPERTY VALUATION AND REVIEW DIVISION

The property valuation and review division shall through its director:

* * *

(9) annually publish a the report concerning the property appraisal practices within the state, including information required by Title 16 for the administration of state aid to education described in section 3412 of this title;



Sec. 6. 32 V.S.A. § 4301 is amended to read:

§ 4301. BASIS FOR COUNTY TAXES


(a) The director shall determine the aggregate fair market value of all taxable property in each town, unorganized town and gore in accordance with the procedure for such a determination with regard to property of school districts under section 3458a of Title 16, and such aggregate value, with the addition of the total amount of taxable polls in the town, unorganized town or gore, shall constitute the equalized grand list of the town, unorganized town or gore. The equalized municipal property tax grand lists for each town, unorganized town and gore shall be the basis of taxation for county purposes.


(b) Annually, on or before January 1, the director shall provide to each county treasurer the equalized municipal property tax grand list for each town, unorganized town, and gore within the county. “Equalized municipal property tax grand list” in this section shall mean the equalized education property tax grand list as defined in chapter 135 of this title plus inventory, machinery and equipment subject to municipal tax in that municipality at its grand list value.

Sec. 7. REPEALS



(a) 32 V.S.A. § 4302 (grand list for state taxes) is repealed.

(b) 32 V.S.A. § 4303 (grand list for county taxes) is repealed.

Sec. 8. 32 V.S.A. § 5401(7) is amended to read:

(7) "Homestead" means the principal dwelling owned and occupied by a resident individual, as defined in section 5811 of this title, in which the individual claims residence for purposes of income tax liability and rights and privileges of residency. A homestead also includes a dwelling owned by a farmer as defined under section 3752 of this title, and occupied as the permanent residence by a parent, sibling, child, grandchild or shareholder of the farmer-owner, provided that the shareholder owns more than 50 percent of a corporate farmer-owner, including attribution of stock ownership of a parent, sibling, child or grandchild. A homestead includes as much of the land surrounding the dwelling as is reasonably necessary for use of the dwelling as a home, but in no event more than two acres per dwelling unit, up to a maximum of 10 acres per parcel. A homestead may consist of a part of a multi-dwelling or multi-purpose building, including cooperative property occupied as a permanent residence by a member of a cooperative housing corporation incorporated under 11 V.S.A. chapter 14, and a part of the land upon which it is built. A mobile home may constitute a principal dwelling for purposes of this chapter. A homestead does not include buildings or improvements detached from the home except for a building used as a garage for personal passenger vehicles and any sheds used for noncommercial purposes. A homestead does not include that portion of a principal dwelling used for business purposes if the portion used for business purposes includes either two or more rooms or more than 25 percent of the floor space of the building.

Sec. 9. 1999 DECLARATION OF HOMESTEAD


Notwithstanding section 5410(d) of Title 32, a declaration of homestead in 1999 shall not be due on the date for filing the income tax return, but shall be filed by October 15, 1999.

Sec. 10. 32 V.S.A. § 6061(4) is amended to read:

(4) “Household income” means modified adjusted gross income received in a calendar year by

(A) all persons of a household while members of that household; and

(B) the spouse of the claimant who is not a member of that household and who is not legally separated from the claimant , unless the spouse is at least 62 years of age and has moved to a nursing home or other care facility with no reasonable prospect of returning to the homestead.

Sec. 11. 32 V.S.A. § 6067 is amended to read:

§ 6067. CREDIT LIMITATIONS

(a) Only one individual per household per taxable year shall be entitled to a benefit under this chapter.

(b) No benefits shall be available to a taxpayer under this chapter whose household income is $75,000.00 or more.

Sec. 12. 32 V.S.A. § 6066(a) and (b) are amended to read:

(a) The property tax of an eligible claimant who owned the homestead on the last day of the taxable year shall be adjusted as follows:

(1) the claimant's statewide property tax liability shall be:



(A) For claimants with household income of $75,000.00 or more, the lesser of 2.0 percent of household income for the taxable year plus the statewide property tax on the value of the homestead in excess of $175,000.00; or the amount of statewide property tax assessed on the homestead; and

(B) For claimants with household income less than $75,000.00, the lesser of 2.0 percent of household income for the taxable year, or the amount of statewide education property tax the municipality would have assessed on the homestead if its equalized value had been reduced by $15,000.00;

(2) the claimant's local share property tax liability shall be the local share percentage rate established under section 4027 of Title 16 for the municipality in which the homestead is located, multiplied by the statewide property tax liability determined under subdivision (1) of this subsection; and

(3) a claimant whose household income does not exceed $47,000.00 shall also be entitled to a credit against the claimant's tax liability under chapter 151 of this title equal to the amount by which the property taxes upon the claimant's homestead, adjusted under subdivisions (1) and (2) of this subsection, exceeds a percentage of the claimant's household income for the taxable year as follows:

If household income (rounded to then the tax payer is entitled to

the nearest dollar) is: credit for property tax paid in excess

of this percent of that income:

$0 - 4,999.00 3.5

$5,000.00 - 9,999.00 4.0

$10,000.00 - 24,999.00 4.5

$25,000.00   47,000.00 5.0


(4) A claimant age 62 or older as of the last day of the taxable year, with household income of $15,000.00 or less, who is otherwise qualified for a credit under this section, shall be entitled to an additional credit as follows:

If household income (rounded to the nearest dollar) is: the additional

credit is:

$0 - 2,999.00 $175.00

$3,000.00 - 5,999.00 $150.00

$6,000.00 - 8,999.00 $125.00

$9,000.00 - 11,999.00 $100.00

$12,000.00 - 15,000.00 $ 75.00

In no event shall the total credit under this subsection exceed the amount of the adjusted property tax.

(b) Only one claimant per household per year shall be entitled to relief under this chapter. A claimant age 62 or older as of the last day of the taxable year, with household income of $15,000.00 or less, who is otherwise qualified for a credit under this section, shall be entitled to an additional credit as follows:

If household income (rounded to the nearest dollar) is the additional credit is:

$0 - 2,999.00 $175.00

$3,000.00 - 5,999.00 $150.00

$6,000.00 - 8,999.00 $125.00

$9,000.00 - 11,999.00 $100.00

$12,000.00 - 15,000.00 $ 75.00

In no event shall the total credit under this subsection exceed the amount of the rent constituting property tax.

Sec. 13. 32 V.S.A. § 6062 is amended to read:

§ 6062. NUMBER AND IDENTITY OF CLAIMANTS; APPORTIONMENT

(a) In the case of a renter credit claim based solely on rent constituting property taxes, the claimant shall have rented property during the entire taxable year; provided, however, that a claimant who owned a homestead which was sold in the taxable year and who does not own another homestead on December 31 of the taxable year may file a renter credit claim. If two or more individuals of a household are able to meet the qualifications for a claimant hereunder, they may determine among them who the claimant shall be. Any disagreement under this subsection shall be referred to the commissioner and his or her decision shall be final.

(b) Only one claimant per household per year shall be entitled to relief under this chapter.

(c) When a homestead is owned by two or more persons as joint tenants, tenants by the entirety, or tenants in common and one or more of these persons are not members of the claimant's household, the property tax is the same proportion of the property tax levied on that homestead as the proportion of ownership of the homestead by the claimant and members of the claimant's household; provided, however, that

(1) the property tax of a claimant who is 62 years of age or older is the same proportion of the property tax levied on that homestead as the proportion of ownership of the homestead by the claimant, members of the claimant's household, and the claimant's descendants; and the claimant's siblings or spouse who have moved on an indefinite basis from the homestead to a residential care or nursing home and who claim no rebate or credit for such year under this chapter; and.

(2) the property tax of a claimant who is a joint tenant or tenant by the entirety with, and legally separated from, a spouse who is not a member of the household, is the actual tax paid by the claimant spouse on the homestead for which the claimant is responsible pursuant to a court approved settlement agreement.


(3) the property tax of a claimant who is a joint tenant with a former spouse and who has possession of the homestead pursuant to the joint owners’ final divorce decree is the property tax for which the claimant is responsible under the joint owners’ final divorce decree or any modifying orders.

(4) The property tax of a claimant who is a joint tenant with one or more parents or stepparents is the property tax on the homestead of the claimant, provided that the homestead was purchased prior to April 1, 1999 and the parent or stepparent is on the promissory note and the deed for the sole purpose of qualifying the claimant for a loan of funds with which to purchase the claimant’s homestead. The commissioner may require any documentation which in the commissioner’s judgement is necessary to establish the purpose of the parent or stepparent’s inclusion on the deed.

(d) When a claimant owns the homestead for part of the preceding calendar year and rents it or a different homestead for a part of that year, property tax means the property tax on the homestead owned by the claimant, multiplied by the percentage of the taxable year that the property was owned and occupied by the claimant as his or her homestead; plus the rent constituting property taxes paid by the claimant for the remaining percentage of the taxable year.

(e)(d) Whenever a homestead is an integral part of a larger unit such as a farm, or a multi purpose or multi dwelling building, property taxes paid shall be that percentage of the total property tax as the value of the homestead is to the total value. Upon a claimant's request, the listers shall certify to the claimant the value of his or her homestead.

(e) A dwelling owned by a trust is not the homestead of the beneficiary unless the claimant is the sole beneficiary of the trust and:

(1) the claimant was the grantor of the trust and the trust is revocable; or


(2) the claimant is the parent, grandparent, child, grandchild or sibling of the grantor, the claimant is mentally disabled or severely physically disabled, and the grantor’s modified adjusted gross income is included in the household income calculation.

Sec. 14. 32 V.S.A. § 6061(5) is amended to read:



(5) “Modified adjusted gross income” means the sum of “adjusted gross income” as defined in section 5811 of this title

(A) (but before the deduction of any trade or business loss, loss from a partnership, loss from a small business or “subchapter S” corporation, loss from a rental property, or capital loss), except that in the case of a business which sells a business property with respect to which it is required, under the Internal Revenue Code, to report a capital gain, a business loss incurred in the same tax year with respect to the same business may be netted against such capital gain;

(B) with the addition of alimony, support money, cash public assistance and relief (not including relief granted under this subchapter), cost of living allowances paid to federal employees, allowances received by dependents of servicemen and women, the gross amount of any pension or annuity (including railroad retirement benefits, all payments received under the federal Social Security Act, and all benefits under Veterans’ Acts), nontaxable interest received from the state or federal government or any of its instrumentalities, workers' compensation, the gross amount of “loss of time” insurance, and the amount of capital gains excluded from adjusted gross income, less the net employment and self-employment taxes withheld from or paid by the individual (exclusive of any amounts deducted to arrive at adjusted gross income or deducted on account of excess payment of employment taxes) on account of income included under this section, less any amounts paid as child support money if substantiated by receipts or other evidence that the commissioner may require. It does not include; and

(C) without the inclusion of gifts from nongovernmental sources, surplus food or other relief in kind supplied by a governmental agency, or the first $4,000.00 of income earned by a full-time student who qualifies as a dependent of the claimant under the federal Internal Revenue Code, or the first $4,000.00 of income received by a parent who qualifies as a dependent of the claimant under the Internal Revenue Code, or payments made by the state for foster care or to a family for the support of an eligible person with a developmental disability as defined in subdivision 8722(2) of Title 18. If the commissioner determines, upon application by the claimant, that a person resides with a claimant who is disabled or was at least 62 years of age as of the end of the year preceding the claim, for the primary purpose of providing attendant care services (as defined in section 6321 of Title 33) or homemaker or companionship services, with or without compensation, which allow the claimant to remain in his or her home or avoid institutionalization, the commissioner shall exclude that person's modified adjusted gross income from the claimant's household income. The commissioner may require that a certificate in a form satisfactory to the commissioner be submitted which supports the claim.

Sec. 15. 32 V.S.A. § 4467 is amended to read:

§ 4467. DETERMINATION OF APPEAL

Upon the appeal to the director or the court, the appraiser or court shall proceed de novo and determine the correct valuation of the property as promptly as practicable and to determine a homestead value if a homestead has been declared with respect to the property for the year in which the appeal is taken. The appraiser or court shall take into account the requirements of law as to valuation, and the provisions of Chapter I, Article 9 of the Constitution of Vermont and the 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. If the appraiser or court finds that the listed value of the property subject to appeal does not correspond to the listed value of comparable properties within the town, the appraiser or court shall set said property in the list at a corresponding value. The findings and determinations of the appraiser shall be made in writing and shall be available to the appellant. If the appeal is taken to the director, the appraiser shall inspect the property prior to making a determination.

Sec. 16. 32 V.S.A. § 4961(a) is amended to read:

(a) A state tax determined pursuant to this section is hereby annually assessed upon the grand list of the gore in Chittenden county. A state tax of fifty cents $0.50 is hereby annually assessed on the grand list of the town of Glastenbury in the county of Bennington and of the unorganized town of Somerset in the county of Windham for the purposes hereinafter provided shall be the only tax assessed or levied thereon, except the county tax. Any unorganized town or gore with fewer than five students shall receive the general state support grant under 16 V.S.A. § 4011 for each student based on weighted ADM count which shall not be equalized. If the local education spending in an unorganized town or gore is in excess of the general state support grant, the provisions of sections 428 and 511 of Title 16 shall not apply to that unorganized town or gore, and it shall impose a tax on its education property tax grand list as defined in section 5401(5) of Title 32, at the rate necessary to raise that excess amount. For purposes of a claim for property tax adjustment under chapter 154 of Title 32 by a taxpayer in a municipality affected under this section, ‘local share property Tax” shall mean the tax assessed in the fiscal year under this section; and the “local share property tax liability” under subdivision 6066(a)(2) of Title 32 shall be the claimant’s statewide property tax liability multiplied by a fraction, the numerator of which is the tax rate imposed under this section and the denominator of which is the equalized statewide property tax rate. These provisions relating to unorganized towns and gores shall terminate on July 1, 2001.

Sec. 17. 32 V.S.A. § 5401(1) is amended to read:

(1) "Coefficient of dispersion" for a municipality in any school year shall be computed determined by the director of property valuation and review as follows:

(A) determine the ratio of assessment to the selling price of each fair market sale of real estate calculate the ratio of the listed value to the fair market value of each property used in determining the equalized education property value of the municipality as required by section 5406 of this title;

(B) determine the mean assessment ratio of all fair market sales of real estate median of the ratios calculated in subdivision (A) of this subdivision;

(C) determine the absolute deviation of each assessment ratio from the mean median ratio calculated in subdivision (B) of this subdivision;

(D) determine the mean calculate the average absolute deviation.

The coefficient of dispersion is the mean average absolute deviation expressed as a percentage of the mean assessment median ratio.

Sec. 18. 32 V.S.A. § 5405(g) is added to read:


(g) If the grand list of a municipality drops more than 15% from the prior year, due to extraordinary loss in the tax base and not due to any town-wide reappraisal, as determined by the director of property valuation and review, then the departments of education and taxes shall use the most current grand list and the most current common level of appraisal to estimate an equalized grand list to use for purposes of state education tax liability.

Sec. 19. 16 V.S.A. § 4027(e) is added to read:



(e) Annually, on or before June 1, each school district shall report to the commissioner its local education budget adopted for the following fiscal year on a form prescribed by the commissioner.

Sec. 20. 16 V.S.A. § 4029(e) and (f) are added to read:



(e) For the purposes of this section, notwithstanding any provision of municipal law to the contrary, “legitimate items of current educational expense” may include reasonable payments to a municipality for services performed on behalf of a school district by its corresponding town or city clerk, the town or city treasurer, or the town or city auditors.

(f) Annually, on a form prescribed by the commissioner, each school district shall report for the previous school year the amount it paid to or received from its corresponding municipality or municipal officials, including any payments made pursuant to subsection (e) of this section, and any property or in-kind services it donated to or received from its corresponding municipality.

Sec. 21. 16 V.S.A. § 1071(a)(1) is amended to read:


(1) at least one hundred seventy-five student attendance days in each school year. For purposes of this section, a majority of students enrolled in a school must be recorded on the school roll as in attendance on any day counted as a student attendance day.

Directory: DOCS -> 2000
DOCS -> As a child Collins studied classical piano with Antonia Brico, making her public debut at age 13 performing Mozart's
DOCS -> The Archetype
DOCS -> Straight From the Heart by Dr. Linda Boen
DOCS -> Early Childhood iPad App Recommendations note
DOCS -> This romantic story is about two college students, Jenny and Oliver, who meet when Oliver visits the library to buy a book. Although Oliver’s family is poor and Jenny’s is rich, the two young people fall in love
DOCS -> Snow White Interactive Story
DOCS -> Frankenstein sfx questions By Stephen Jewell
DOCS -> -
DOCS -> It’s Your Story—Tell It!: A world of Girls Audience: This series is for Brownie Girl Scouts and is suitable for in-school and after-school troops. Purpose
2000 -> Joseph Ejercito Estrada, Third State of the Nation Address, July 24, 2000


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