Charles County, MD
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted and amended as indicated in text.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Bond sales — See Ch. 8.
Building Code — See Ch. 15.
Circuit Court — See Ch. 21.
Code supplements — See Ch. 24.
Dredging operations — See Ch. 34.
Election districts — See Ch. 38.
Electrical apparatus and wiring — See Ch. 41.
Fire companies and rescue squads — See Ch. 54.
Human Relations Commission — See Ch. 69.
Human Resources Committee — See Ch. 70.
Roads and bridges — See Ch. 104.
Scholarships — See Ch. 114.
Self-liquidating projects — See Ch. 119.
Affirmative action — See Ch. 148.
Deferred compensation program — See Ch. 162.
Education reimbursement guidelines — See Ch. 166.
Code of Ethics — See Ch. 170.
Liability indemnification — See Ch. 185.
Occupational safety and health — See Ch. 192.
Personnel regulations — See Ch. 197.
Purchasing procedures — See Ch. 203.
Taxation — See Ch. 281.

§ 27-1 Number of Commissioners designated; terms; Redistricting Board.

[1959 Code, sec. 35; 1965 Code, sec. 27; 1969 Code, sec. 25. P.L.L., 1860, Art. 9, sec. 33; 1888, sec. 49; 1892, ch. 569; 1894, ch. 215, sec. 49; 1910, ch. 163, sec. 49 (p. 747); 1930, sec. 75; 1961, ch. 870; 1975, ch. 29; 1987, ch. 642;[1] 1991, ch. 428[2]]
A. 
There shall be five County Commissioners for Charles County, four of whom shall be elected at large, with one residing in each of the four County Commissioner Districts of the County. The fifth shall hold the position of President of the County Commissioners, may reside in any area of the County and shall be elected at large. The County Commissioners shall be elected at the General Election held in 1994 and every four years thereafter, for terms of four years. The terms of the Commissioners shall begin on the first Tuesday of December following the General Election or as soon afterwards as certified by the Governor.
B. 
Redistricting Board.
(1) 
Not later than January 1, 1992, a seven-member Redistricting Board shall be appointed as provided for in Subsection B(2) of this section.
(2) 
The Redistricting Board shall be composed of three appointees of the County Commissioners, two appointees of the Democratic Central Committee and two appointees of the Republican Central Committee. None of the appointees shall be employees of the County or the state. The Redistricting Board shall convene not later than 30 days after appointment to organize and elect a Chairman from among its members.
(3) 
By July 1, 1992, the Redistricting Board shall establish the tentative boundaries of the four Commissioner Districts after due consideration and investigation within reasonable and lawful guidelines. The Redistricting Board shall give priority consideration to election district lines, as well as to demographics and geography. The Redistricting Board shall set and conduct public hearings in each of the proposed four Commissioner Districts after tentative district boundaries have been drawn and defined. Notice of public hearings giving time, date and place shall be published in two County newspapers 10 days prior to the public hearings. After all public hearings have been held and a final draft of the districting plan has been completed, the Redistricting Board shall submit the districting plan to the County Commissioners not later than December 1, 1992. This plan shall then become law unless the plan is set aside by a court of law with proper jurisdiction. After the plan becomes law, the Redistricting Board shall terminate its existence.
(4) 
Necessary clerical assistance shall be provided to assist the Redistricting Board by the County Commissioners.
(5) 
Subsequent Redistricting Boards shall be appointed within one year after the publication of the national decennial census and the same appointing procedure outlined above shall be followed, including the timetable established herein.
[1]
Editor's Note: Chapter 642 of 1987 was approved at referendum November 8, 1988.
[2]
Editor's Note: This act also provided that it shall not be construed to affect the tenure of members of the Board of Commissioners prior to the terms that begin after the 1994 elections.

§ 27-2 Salaries and compensation; business hours established; reimbursement for expenses.

[1959 Code, sec. 37; 1965 Code, sec. 28; 1969 Code, sec. 26. P.L.L., 1920, ch. 427; 1930, Art. 9, sec. 77; 1939, ch. 275; 1943, ch. 836; 1953, ch. 290; 1957, ch. 773, sec. 77(a); 1961, ch. 298, sec. 37; 1961, ch. 622; 1965, ch. 409, sec. 37(a); 1974, ch. 105, sec. 26; 1979, ch. 45; 1981, ch. 131; 1985, ch. 420; 1988, ch. 324; 1989, ch. 42[1]; 1994, ch. 305; 1995, ch. 62; 1995, ch. 101; 1997, ch. 537; 2001, ch. 66; 2001, ch. 68]
A. 
Meetings.
(1) 
The Commissioners shall meet for the transaction of business on the days the Commissioners set by resolution at a public place designated for its meetings.
(2) 
The County Commissioners may conduct an emergency closed meeting as authorized under § 10-508 of the State Government Article.
(3) 
Notwithstanding Subsection A(1) or (2) of this section, the County Commissioners may cancel meetings because of:
(a) 
Illness;
(b) 
Vacations; or
(c) 
Any other reasonable cause.
(4) 
The County Commissioners shall give notice, in accordance with § 10-506 of the State Government Article, of:
(a) 
The day, place, and time that the County Commissioners meet; and
(b) 
The cancellation of scheduled meetings.
B. 
Legislative session days.
[Added 3-17-2003 by Bill No. 2003-01[2]; amended 1-30-2007 by Bill No. 2007-02]
(1) 
The County Commissioners may hold regular legislative sessions on the first and third Tuesday or Wednesday of each month, not to exceed 45 legislative days per year.
[Amended 12-9-2009 by Bill No. 2009-14]
(2) 
In the event that any regularly scheduled legislative session day shall fall on a County holiday or is otherwise not held due to an emergency, scheduling conflict, or other circumstance, the Tuesday or Wednesday immediately following that legislative session day may be designated as a substitute legislative session day.
[Amended 12-9-2009 by Bill No. 2009-14]
(3) 
Additional legislative session days, not to exceed the total number of legislative session days, as limited by law, may be held following due notice as provided by law upon resolution of the County Commissioners.
(4) 
Executive and legislative sessions may be held on the same day.
(5) 
Any bill pending before the County Commissioners which is not passed or defeated within 12 months of its introduction shall be declared defeated and may not be further considered by the County Commissioners unless reintroduced in the same manner in which any bill must be introduced.
[2]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also redesignated former Subsections B, C and D as Subsections C, D and E, respectively.
C. 
The salary of the President of the County Commissioners is:
[Amended 5-15-2006 by Bill No. 2006-03]
(1) 
$52,000 for calendar year 2007;
(2) 
$54,000 for calendar year 2008;
(3) 
$56,000 for calendar year 2009; and
(4) 
$58,000 for calendar year 2010 and each subsequent year.
D. 
The salary for the other County Commissioners is:
[Amended 5-15-2006 by Bill No. 2006-03]
(1) 
$42,000 for calendar year 2007;
(2) 
$44,000 for calendar year 2008;
(3) 
$46,000 for calendar year 2009; and
(4) 
$48,000 for calendar year 2010 and each subsequent year.
E. 
The County Commissioners are entitled to reimbursement for expenses in connection with their duties as County Commissioners in accordance with the County budget and guidelines, which shall be established by the County Commissioners. Reimbursement shall be made upon the submission of vouchers for the expenses monthly and after the approval of the vouchers by the Director of Fiscal Services for conformance to the adopted budget and guidelines. Any dispute over a reimbursement shall be referred to the County Administrator for resolution, who may refer it to the full Board of County Commissioners if he or she deems it necessary. Any Commissioner also may appeal a determination on an expense reimbursement to the full Board of County Commissioners.[3]
[Amended 10-6-2003 by Bill No. 2003-09]
[3]
Editor's Note: Original sec. 27, Chairman; additional compensation (1959 Code, sec. 38; 1965 Code, sec. 29; 1969 Code, sec. 27. P.L.L., 1957, ch. 773, sec. 77A; 1961, ch. 298, sec. 38; 1965, ch. 409, sec. 38), which immediately followed this section, was omitted as being no longer in effect.
F. 
Compensation Commission.
[Added 5-2-2005 by Bill No. 2005-09]
(1) 
There shall be a Compensation Commission, which shall set compensation to be paid to members of the Charles County Board of Commissioners. The Commission shall set the compensation and allowances not later than 15 days after the beginning of the fourth year of the term of each Board of Commissioners and Treasurer.
(2) 
The Commission shall be comprised of five members, with one member from each Commissioner District and one which may reside anywhere in the County. The Board of County Commissioners shall, during each term, appoint the members and Chair.
(3) 
The Commission, by resolution, shall submit its determination for compensation to the Board of County Commissioners. It may recommend an increase or decrease in compensation, but in no event shall compensation be less than already provided pursuant to § 27-2C and D.
[Amended 5-15-2006 by Bill No. 2006-03]
(4) 
Upon receiving the resolution, the Board of County Commissioners may reduce or reject the Commission's recommendation, but it may not increase any item in the resolution.
(5) 
The recommendations contained in the resolution shall become effective upon adoption of an ordinance encompassing the recommendations, as may be modified pursuant to § 27-2F(4) above. The compensation specified shall only apply at the time the President of the County Commissioners and the Commissioners take office and shall not change for that period during which they were elected. The ordinance making any change in the compensation paid to the President and members of the Board of Commissioners shall be ordained prior to the election of the President and members of the next succeeding Board and take effect only for the next succeeding President and Board of Commissioners.
[1]
Editor's Note: Section 2 of Chapter 42 of 1989 provided "That the salaries for the President of the County Commissioners and the other County Commissioners specified in Chapter 420 of 1985 shall remain in effect for the remainder of the current term."

§ 27-3 Publication of County matters; contracts.

[1959 Code, sec. 39; 1965 Code, sec. 30; 1969 Code, sec. 28. P.L.L., 1904, ch. 507; 1930, Art. 9, sec. 78; 1955, ch. 532, sec. 78; 1957, ch. 328, sec. 78; 1991, ch. 248]
The County Commissioners shall contract for publishing all matters required by law to be published by the County Commissioners. The contract shall be for a period of at least one year.

§ 27-4 Statement of contributions. [1]

[Added 5-1-2012 by Bill No. 2012-14]
A. 
Each County Commissioner and candidate for election to be a County Commissioner shall append to the required financial disclosure statement a listing of all contributions made to the Campaign Committee of the Commissioner or candidate.
(1) 
This list shall be filed with the financial disclosure statement. The initial statement shall cover all contributions for the prior two years.
(2) 
Thereafter, each elected Commissioner shall file a new contribution disclosure every six months, due on October 30 and April 30 of each year in office.
(3) 
Upon leaving office, a Commissioner must file a report on contributions made since the last report. This report must be filed within 90 days of leaving office.
B. 
Contents. Each listing of campaign contributions shall include the name of the donor, the amount of the contribution and the date on which the contribution was made. If a contribution is made by a corporation, business, partnership, limited liability company or other entity, the principals of such entity, if known by the candidate or Commissioner, must be reported.
C. 
The statements of contributions shall be maintained by the County Attorney and shall be available for viewing by all members of the public during reasonable business hours.
[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 27-4, Publication of notices [1959 Code, sec. 40; 1965 Code, sec. 31; 1969 Code, sec. 29. P.L.L., 1908, ch. 459 (p. 735); 1930, Art. 9, sec. 79], was repealed by the Acts of 1991, ch. 248.

§ 27-5 (Reserved) [1]

[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 27-5, Appropriations for library facilities (1959 Code, sec. 41; 1965 Code, sec. 32; 1969 Code, sec. 30. P.L.L., 1957, ch. 581), was repealed by the Acts of 1991, ch. 248.

§ 27-6 Clerk to the County Commissioners.

A. 
Appointment; bond. The County Commissioners shall annually appoint a Clerk, who shall be liable to removal by said Commissioners, who shall fill any vacancy in said office at the next meeting thereafter or as soon as practicable. Said Clerk shall give bond to the State of Maryland, to be approved by said County Commissioners, in the penalty of $5,000, conditioned for the faithful performance of the duties imposed upon him as such Clerk, which bond shall be filed with the State Comptroller.
[1959 Code, sec. 42; 1965 Code, sec. 33; 1969 Code, sec. 31. P.L.L., 1882, ch. 454; 1888, Art. 9, sec. 50; 1906, ch. 572, sec. 50; 1930, sec. 80; 1993, ch. 264]
B. 
Copies of County documents; fees. Upon application, the Clerk shall exhibit the books, papers and levies in the Clerk's office and make certified copies or extracts of them for any person who requests them. The Clerk shall charge for the copies, for the use of the County, for similar work. The copies, under the Seal of the County Commissioners, are evidence to the same extent as the originals would be if produced in proceedings in court or otherwise. All fees received from this source shall be accounted for to the County Commissioners by the Clerk and Treasurer.
[1959 Code, sec. 43; 1965 Code, sec. 34; 1969 Code, sec. 32. P.L.L., 1860, Art. 9, sec. 37; 1888, sec. 52; 1902, ch. 384, sec. 52; 1930, sec. 81; 1945, ch. 650, sec. 81; 1955, ch. 552; 1991, ch. 248]
C. 
Compensation. He shall receive a salary as determined by the County Commissioners and shall receive no extra or other compensation or fees of any kind for the duties now imposed upon himself by law, by the provisions of this section or otherwise.
[1959 Code, sec. 44; 1965 Code, sec. 35; 1969 Code, sec. 33. P.L.L., 1988, Art. 9, sec. 53; 1886, ch. 119; 1902, ch. 384, sec. 53; 1930, sec. 82; 1933, ch. 533; 1937, ch. 103; 1945, ch. 650, sec. 82; 1953, ch. 67; 1961, ch. 856; 1969, ch. 336, 1972, ch. 654; 1973, ch. 184; 1974, ch. 118, sec. 33]

§ 27-7 Annual levy authorized for Circuit Court personnel and expenses; penalty provisions.

[1959 Code, sec. 45; 1965 Code, sec. 36; 1969 Code, sec. 34. P.L.L., 1882, ch. 454, 1888, Art. 9, sec. 55; 1906, ch. 572, sec. 55; 1930, sec. 83; 2006, ch. 372]
A. 
It shall be the duty of the County Commissioners to levy for the use of the Treasurer of Charles County, annually in advance, such sum of money as they may deem sufficient to discharge all claims which may accrue for the attendance of bailiffs, crier, messengers, and witnesses for the Circuit Court for one year next succeeding the first day of January after said levy.
B. 
Payment by County Treasurer.
(1) 
The County Treasurer shall collect and have ready said money to pay said bailiffs, crier, messengers, and witnesses, in cash upon a certificate from the Clerk of said court as to the amount due to each of the same.
(2) 
The County Treasurer shall collect and have ready money to pay each prospective, qualified, and sworn juror on a certificate that is signed by the Jury Commissioner and states the number of days that each has been required to be in attendance at or in proximity to the court for jury service.
C. 
Any failure upon the part of said County Commissioners to make said levy as aforesaid shall be deemed a misdemeanor, for which they shall be liable to the penalty of a fine of not more than $100 each, upon conviction.
D. 
In case said Treasurer shall fail to collect said money, unless it shall be known in his defense that the failure to collect the same was through no fault or neglect on his part, he shall be similarly fined as in the case of the County Commissioners as aforesaid and shall be liable to removal from office by said County Commissioners upon conviction.

§ 27-8 (Reserved) [1]

[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 27-8, Salary Review Board (1969 Code, sec. 35, P.L.L., 1980, ch. 145), was repealed by the Acts of 1989, Ch. 44.

§ 27-9 Construction and maintenance of County hospital authorized; operation by nonprofit organization.

[1959 Code, sec. 46; 1965 Code, sec. 38; 1969 Code, sec. 35. P.L.L., 1959, ch. 573; 1961, ch. 857, sec. 46; 1996, ch. 65]
A. 
Operation and control; appropriation. The County Commissioners may construct, maintain and operate a hospital or hospitals in the County. The operation and control may be exercised through a Board of Trustees appointed by the County Commissioners, and the Commissioners may appropriate such sums as may be necessary for the proper operation of the hospital facilities.
B. 
Agreement for operation by nonprofit organization; appropriation. In lieu of the operation of a hospital as provided above, the County Commissioners may enter into an agreement with any nonprofit organization whereby the operation of the hospital will be delegated to the nonprofit organization, using the buildings and premises of the County Commissioners under such terms and conditions as the parties may agree upon. The County Commissioners may appropriate annually to the operating organization an amount that the County Commissioners may deem necessary.

§ 27-10 Operation and maintenance of nursing homes.

[1965 Code, sec. 39; 1969 Code, sec. 37. P.L.L., 1965, ch. 391; 1966, ch. 511; 1975, ch. 28]
A. 
Operation and control. The County Commissioners of Charles County may maintain and operate a nursing home or homes for Charles County. The operation and control may be exercised through a Board of Trustees appointed by the County Commissioners or by any other method of operation and control the County Commissioners consider proper.
B. 
Appropriation. The County Commissioners may appropriate the funds necessary to operate and maintain a nursing home or homes.

§ 27-11 Disposition of dog license funds; licensing requirements.

[1959 Code, secs. 47 and 48; 1965 Code, secs. 40 and 41; 1969 Code, secs. 30A, 38 and 39. P.L.L., 1927, ch. 628; 1930, Art. 9, sec. 84; 1943, ch. 54; 1970, ch. 74, secs. 38 and 39; 1971, ch. 300; 1991, ch. 248]
A. 
Proof of inoculation required prior to issuance of license. Before any annual license shall be issued for any dog, the owner of the dog shall first have the dog inoculated against rabies and shall produce proof that the inoculation was performed within the two-year period prior to application for the license.
B. 
Animal rabies clinics offered annually. The Charles County Health Department shall hold annual animal rabies clinics in several locations throughout the County and shall provide animal owners with the necessary rabies vaccine at a nominal cost.

§ 27-12 Central communications facility authorized.

[1965 Code, sec. 42; 1969 code, sec. 40. P.L.L., 1961, ch. 300]
A. 
Operation and maintenance. The County Commissioners of Charles County are hereby authorized to provide for the maintenance, operation and supervision of a central communications facility for Charles County. This facility shall be manned and operated by competent personnel 24 hours a day on each and every day of the year.
B. 
Employment and compensation of personnel. The Commissioners are authorized to employ such personnel for the facility and to pay such salaries as they deem necessary.

§ 27-13 Annual audit authorized; levy for costs.

[1959 Code, sec. 51; 1965 Code, sec. 43; 1969 Code, sec. 41. P.L.L., 1935, ch. 216]
The County Commissioners of Charles County are hereby authorized and directed to appoint a certified public accountant to audit the books of the County Treasurer of said County at the end of each fiscal year, beginning with the end of the fiscal year 1935–1936. Said County Commissioners shall levy a sufficient sum each year to pay for the cost of said audit.

§ 27-14 (Reserved) [1]

[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 27-14, Secretarial assistance authorized for legislative delegation; compensation (1965 Code, sec. 44; 1969 Code, sec. 42. P.L.L., 1961, ch. 855; 1965, ch. 407; 1968, ch. 53), was repealed by the Acts of 1991, ch. 248.

§ 27-15 Acquisition and disposition of railroad.

[1969 Code, sec. 43. P.L.L., 1966, ch. 545]
The County Commissioners of Charles County are hereby authorized to purchase from the federal government such portion as they shall determine of the railroad, including land and any easements, running from Brandywine in Prince George's County to the Patuxent Naval Air Test Center in St. Mary's County and to hold the same or resell it as the County Commissioners shall, in their discretion, determine.

§ 27-16 Certain appropriations authorized.

[1959 Code, secs. 59, 60 and 61; 1965 Code, secs. 51, 52, 53, 55 and 56; 1969 Code, secs. 51, 52, 53, 55, 56, 57, 58 and 58A. P.L.L., 1957, ch. 830; P.L.L., 1959, chs. 574 and 681; P.L.L., 1966, ch. 586, sec. 54A; P.L.L., 1973, ch. 115; 1961, chs. 301 and 857; 1965, chs. 588, 592 and 662; 1966, ch. 584, sec. 61A and ch. 753; 1970, ch. 573; 1975, ch. 234; 1976, ch. 60, sec. 58A(b) and ch. 708; 1991, ch. 248]
A. 
Tuition payments for junior college students. The County Commissioners shall appropriate a sum of money for the tuition of students at any junior college established in Charles County by the County Board of Education. The sum shall be at least equal to the amount of the state contribution for each student at a community college under the provisions of Title 16, Subtitle 4, of the Education Article of the Annotated Code.
B. 
Children's Aid Society and Library Fund. The County Commissioners shall pay the following sums annually from the general funds of the County:
(1) 
The Children's Aid Society for use in its work in Charles County: $1,000.
(2) 
The Charles County Library Fund: $8,500. It shall be used to equal any state funds which may be available for the establishment and maintenance of free libraries in Charles County.
C. 
Tri-County Committee.
(1) 
The County Commissioners of Calvert, Charles and St. Mary's Counties may appropriate $5,000 each annually in order to make a total of $15,000 available annually for the use of the Tri-County Committee for Community Action.
(2) 
The County Commissioners of Calvert, Charles and St. Mary's Counties shall, respectively, appropriate annually the following sums for the use of the Tri-County Committee for Community Action:
(a) 
Calvert County: $2,000.
(b) 
Charles County: $4,000.
(c) 
St. Mary's County: $4,000.
(3) 
The sums so appropriated shall be used, together with funds presently available to the Committee, for the purpose of securing the services of a planner, to be known as the "Tri-County Planner."
D. 
Port Tobacco Courthouse. The County Commissioners may appropriate a sum of money, in their discretion, to assist in the restoration of the Courthouse at Port Tobacco. In addition, the County Commissioners may appropriate an amount of money each year as they may determine to be necessary for the maintenance of the restored building.
E. 
Retirement salaries.
[Amended 4-18-2007 by Bill No. 2007-06; 4-16-2008 by Bill No. 2008-04]
(1) 
The County Commissioners shall appropriate annually a sum of money sufficient to finance a retirement salary as provided in Subsection E(2) to persons 65 years of age and over who no longer hold elective public office but who have held one of the following elected public offices of Charles County for the number of terms specified in Subsection E(2):
(a) 
County Commissioner.
(b) 
County Treasurer.
(c) 
State's Attorney.
(d) 
Judge of the Orphans' Court.
(2) 
Anyone who has held one or more of the elected public offices of Charles County enumerated in Subsection E(1) for a combined total of four full terms shall be entitled to an annual retirement salary in an amount equal to the total of 5% of each of the highest annual salaries received by the person for each year the official held office. However, the maximum annual retirement salary may not exceed 80% of the highest annual salary the person received while holding one of those offices. Further, the amount of any pension being paid to a person by reason of retirement from employment with the County shall be subtracted from any retirement salary payable under this subsection.
(3) 
The annual retirement salary provided for in this subsection shall be paid to the recipient on a monthly basis.

§ 27-17 Housing Fund.

[1991, ch. 224]
A. 
The County Commissioners of Charles County may establish a Charles County Housing Fund for the purpose of making loans in connection with the construction of low- and moderate-income housing projects in Charles County.
B. 
The maximum amount of funds that may be allocated to the Charles County Housing Fund may not exceed $1,000,000.
C. 
Rules and regulations.
(1) 
The County Commissioners of Charles County shall adopt rules and regulations before the establishment of the Charles County Housing Fund.
(2) 
The rules and regulations shall set forth all appropriate criteria for making loans and the terms for the loans.

§ 27-18 Economic Development Commission.

[1996, ch. 543]
A. 
Establishment; operation.
(1) 
Except as provided in Subsection B of this section, the County Commissioners may establish an Economic Development Commission in the County and provide funds sufficient for the proper operation of an Economic Development Commission.
(2) 
An Economic Development Commission established under Subsection A(1) of this section shall be operated by a Board of Directors appointed by the County Commissioners.
B. 
Functions; use of buildings; funds.
(1) 
The County Commissioners may enter into an agreement with any nonprofit organization to operate the functions of an Economic Development Commission.
(2) 
Under the terms or conditions of an agreement entered under Subsection B(1) of this section, the County Commissioners may authorize a nonprofit organization under Subsection B(1) of this section to use the buildings or premises of the County Commissioners or the Charles County Community College.
(3) 
The County Commissioners may provide funds to a nonprofit organization in an amount the County Commissioners consider necessary to operate an Economic Development Commission under Subsection B(1) of this section.

§ 27-19 Business improvement incentive tax credits.

[Added 8-4-2003 by Bill No. 2003-05[1]]
A. 
Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
REHABILITATION
The process of returning a property to a state of utility, through repair or alteration, which makes possible an efficient business use.
(1) 
The change, strengthening, or addition of load-bearing elements, or the refinishing, replacement, bracing, strengthening, upgrading, or extensive repair of existing materials, elements, components, equipment or fixtures, or all of these.
(2) 
"Renovation" does not include the interior reconfiguration of space or painting.
(3) 
"Renovation" shall include the total reconstruction of a prior existing business property destroyed by wind, hail, fire or other acts of God.
B. 
Scope of the tax credit; applications process; approval/denial by municipalities, Director of Fiscal Services, and County Commissioners.
(1) 
For the purpose of encouraging economic development by revitalizing business communities, the County Commissioners are hereby authorized to grant a real property tax credit to the owner(s) of any qualifying business real property in an incorporated municipality within the County where an increase in the assessed value of said improved property has occurred as the direct result of the rehabilitation or renovation of the property.
(2) 
The credit shall be a declining percentage on an annual basis and shall not exceed five years.
(3) 
It shall be the sole responsibility of the property owner(s) to apply for the tax credit and to provide documentation satisfactory to the incorporated municipalities and Director of Fiscal Services as to the qualifications of the property for said credit.
(4) 
Incorporated municipalities shall serve as the conduits for receiving applications, on a form developed or approved by the Director of Fiscal Services, and shall provide the initial review process for qualifying for the credit. Once the applications have been reviewed and approved by the respective municipality, they will be forwarded to the Director of Fiscal Services for further consideration of a County tax credit.
(5) 
In accordance with standards approved by the County Commissioners, the Director of Fiscal Services shall recommend the approval or denial of the tax credit to the County Commissioners, who shall approve or deny the credit. The Director of Fiscal Services shall so notify the municipality and the property owner(s) of the Commissioners' decision.
C. 
Calculation of the credit.
(1) 
The credit shall be for five full years of taxes and shall be calculated as follows:
(a) 
One-hundred-percent credit in year one of the net difference between the last known full year assessed value of the improved property, as evidenced by the last official assessment notice issued prior to the renovation or rehabilitation of the improved property, and the value of the new full year assessment of the improved property as evidenced by the new official assessment notice.
(b) 
Eighty-percent credit in year two of the net difference described above.
(c) 
Sixty-percent credit in year three of the net difference described above.
(d) 
Forty-percent credit in year four of the net difference described above.
(e) 
Twenty-percent credit in year five of the net difference described above.
(2) 
Any property tax credit granted pursuant to this section shall not include any increase in taxes levied as a result of a tax rate increase by the County or the municipality.
D. 
Limitation.
(1) 
For business real property damaged or destroyed by the April 2002 tornado and located within the incorporated municipality of La Plata, the credit shall be applicable only to those properties which have substantially completed renovation or rehabilitation on or before December 31, 2005.
(2) 
The granting of a business improvement incentive tax credit by the respective municipality in an amount which is not less than the credit described in Subsection C(1) shall be a prerequisite to the County tax credit.
[1]
Editor's Note: Sections 2 and 3 of this bill provided that the provisions shall apply to taxes levied beginning on July 1, 2003, and shall be applicable to the subsequent tax years on or after July 1, 2003, and that the bill shall expire by its own terms at midnight on June 30, 2010, and shall become null and void and of no further effect on that date and time without further action being required.