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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

SF 60

as introduced - 84th Legislature, 2005 1st Special Session (2005 - 2005) Posted on 12/15/2009 12:00am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.

Current Version - as introduced

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A bill for an act
relating to natural resources; creating a farmland and
natural areas fund; establishing a cigarette fee;
creating a council; appropriating money; proposing
coding for new law as Minnesota Statutes, chapter 116V.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

new text begin [116V.01] DEFINITIONS.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Applicability. new text end

new text begin The definitions in this
section apply to this chapter.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Board. new text end

new text begin "Board" means the State Board of
Investment.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Council. new text end

new text begin "Council" means the Council on
Farmland and Natural Areas.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Fund. new text end

new text begin "Fund" means the farmland and natural
areas fund established in section 116V.05.
new text end

Sec. 2.

new text begin [116V.05] FARMLAND AND NATURAL AREAS FUND.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Establishment of fund and investment. new text end

new text begin A
farmland and natural areas fund is established as an account in
the state treasury. Its purpose is to acquire, preserve, and
protect farmland and natural areas as described in section
116V.25. The commissioner of finance shall credit to the fund
the amounts authorized under this section and section 116V.10.
The State Board of Investment shall ensure that fund money is
invested under section 11A.24. All money earned by the fund
must be credited to the fund. The principal of the fund and any
unexpended earnings must be invested and reinvested by the State
Board of Investment.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Revenue. new text end

new text begin Nothing in this chapter limits the
source of contributions to the fund.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Gifts and donations. new text end

new text begin Gifts and donations,
including land or interests in land, may be made to the fund.
Noncash gifts and donations must be disposed of for cash as soon
as the board prudently can maximize the value of the gift or
donation. Gifts and donations of marketable securities may be
held or disposed of for cash at the option of the board. The
cash receipts of gifts and donations of cash or capital assets
and marketable securities disposed of for cash must be credited
immediately to the principal of the fund. The value of
marketable securities at the time the gift or donation is made
must be credited to the principal of the fund and any earnings
from the marketable securities are earnings of the fund.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Audits required. new text end

new text begin The legislative auditor shall
audit fund expenditures to ensure that the money is spent for
the purposes provided in the council's budget plan.
new text end

Sec. 3.

new text begin [116V.10] CIGARETTE FEE.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Imposition of fee. new text end

new text begin A cigarette fee is
imposed on and collected from cigarette distributors.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Definitions. new text end

new text begin The definitions under section
297F.01 apply to this section.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Computation of fee. new text end

new text begin (a) The fee for fiscal year
2006 and for each succeeding fiscal year is two cents per pack.
new text end

new text begin (b) For each fiscal year, the commissioner shall determine
each cigarette distributor's fee and notify the distributor by
the first day of May preceding the beginning of the fiscal
year. A distributor's fee is determined by multiplying the
total fee under paragraph (a) by a fraction, the numerator of
which is the number of tax stamps purchased by the distributor
under chapter 297F in the calendar year ending during the
previous fiscal year and the denominator of which is the total
number of tax stamps purchased under chapter 297F in that period
by all distributors.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Successors in interest; new entrants. new text end

new text begin (a) A
"distributor" includes any individual or entity that is the
successor in interest to a distributor, including any entity
that has substantially acquired the business assets of a
distributor. The successor in interest is liable for the fee
under this section. The commissioner shall calculate and impose
the fee on a successor in interest on a basis that includes the
purchases of tax stamps by its predecessor, as well as any
purchases made by the successor entity or person itself, during
the relevant period.
new text end

new text begin (b) If a distributor did not purchase tax stamps for at
least 500,000 cigarettes in each month of the calendar year
ending during the previous fiscal year, the fee under this
section must be applied at the rate under subdivision 6 for the
fiscal year. The commissioner shall notify the distributor that
its fee will be calculated and imposed under this paragraph by
the first day of May preceding the fiscal year and the
distributor shall pay the fee with each of its monthly tax
returns filed under section 297F.09 for the fiscal year.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin Payment. new text end

new text begin A distributor must pay the fee in
equal monthly installments in the same time and manner as
provided for payment of tax under chapter 297F. The
commissioner shall bill distributors for the fee. This may be
done at the time the commissioner notifies the distributor of
its annual liability for the fee or at another time or in a
manner the commissioner determines to be adequate and
appropriate.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 6. new text end

new text begin Administration. new text end

new text begin The audit, assessment,
interest, appeal, refund, and collection provisions applicable
to the taxes imposed under chapter 297F apply to the fee imposed
under this section.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 7. new text end

new text begin License revocation. new text end

new text begin (a) The commissioner may
revoke or suspend the license of a distributor for failure to
pay the fee or otherwise comply with the requirements under this
section. The provisions and procedures under section 297F.04
apply to a suspension or revocation under this subdivision.
new text end

new text begin (b) The commissioner may revoke a retailer's sales or use
tax permit under section 297F.185 if:
new text end

new text begin (1) the retailer, directly or indirectly, purchases for
resale 20,000 cigarettes or more from a distributor that has not
paid the fee under this section; and
new text end

new text begin (2) the commissioner has notified the person that the
distributor has not paid the fee before the purchase was made or
the commissioner has posted notice that the distributor is in
violation of the fee law on the department's Web site at least
15 days before the sale was made.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 8.new text end

new text beginDeposit of revenues.new text end

new text beginThe commissioner shall
deposit the revenues from the fee under this section in the
farmland and natural areas fund.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective July 1, 2005.
The fee for fiscal year 2006 applies at five-sixths the amount
under subdivision 3, and payments are due in ten equal monthly
installments beginning in September 2005. The commissioner of
revenue shall notify distributors of their liability for the fee
and monthly payment schedule by no later than August 15, 2005.
new text end

Sec. 4.

new text begin [116V.15] FARMLAND AND NATURAL AREAS COUNCIL.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Council. new text end

new text begin (a) A Farmland and Natural Areas
Council of ten members is created, consisting of:
new text end

new text begin (1) one member of the senate appointed by the president of
the senate;
new text end

new text begin (2) one member of the house of representatives appointed by
the speaker of the house; and
new text end

new text begin (3) eight public members, one from each congressional
district, appointed by the governor.
new text end

new text begin (b) Legislative members are entitled to reimbursement for
per diem expenses plus travel expenses incurred in the services
of the council. The removal and, beginning July 1, 2006, the
compensation of, public members are as provided in section
15.0575.
new text end

new text begin (c) Members shall elect a chair, vice-chair, secretary, and
other officers as determined by the council. The chair may
convene meetings as necessary to conduct the duties prescribed
by this section.
new text end

new text begin (d) Public membership terms are four years, except that the
terms for four of the first members appointed are two years and
members shall serve on the council until their successors are
appointed. Legislative membership terms are two years.
new text end

new text begin (e) Vacancies occurring on the council do not affect the
authority of the remaining members of the council to carry out
their duties. Vacancies must be filled in the same manner as
under paragraph (a).
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Duties of the council. new text end

new text begin (a) The council, in
consultation with statewide and local farmland, natural areas,
fishing, forestry, hunting, and wildlife groups, shall develop a
biennial budget plan for expenditures from the farmland and
natural areas fund.
new text end

new text begin (b) In the biennial budget submitted to the legislature,
the governor shall submit separate budget details for planned
expenditures from the fund as recommended by the council.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Council administration. new text end

new text begin (a) The council may
employ personnel and contract with consultants as necessary to
carry out functions and duties of the council. Permanent
employees are in the unclassified service. The council may
request staff assistance, legal opinion, and data from agencies
of state government as needed for the execution of the
responsibilities of the council.
new text end

new text begin (b) Beginning July 1, 2006, the administrative expenses of
the council must be paid from the fund.
new text end

new text begin (c) A council member or an employee of the council may not
participate in or vote on a decision of the council relating to
a property in which the member or employee has either a direct
or indirect personal financial interest. While serving on or
employed by the council, a person shall avoid any potential
conflict of interest.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Council meetings. new text end

new text begin Meetings of the council and
other groups the council may establish must be conducted in
accordance with chapter 13D. Except where prohibited by law,
the council shall establish additional processes to broaden
public involvement in all aspects of its deliberations.
new text end

Sec. 5.

new text begin [116V.20] FUND EXPENDITURES.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Authorized expenditures. new text end

new text begin Money in the
fund may be spent only:
new text end

new text begin (1) to acquire natural areas and to obtain permanent
agricultural and conservation easements from willing landowners;
new text end

new text begin (2) to pay costs of conveying lands to local units of
government;
new text end

new text begin (3) for maintaining lands and easements retained by the
state;
new text end

new text begin (4) for administrative and investment expenses incurred by
the State Board of Investment in investing deposits to the fund;
and
new text end

new text begin (5) for administrative expenses.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Strategic plan required. new text end

new text begin The council shall
adopt a strategic plan for making expenditures from the fund,
including identifying the priority areas for funding for the
next ten years. The strategic plan must be updated every two
years. The plan is advisory only. The council shall submit the
plan, as a recommendation, to the house of representatives Ways
and Means and senate Finance Committees by January 1 of each
odd-numbered year.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Budget plan. new text end

new text begin (a) Funding may be provided only
for those projects that meet the categories established in
subdivision 1.
new text end

new text begin (b) The council must adopt a budget plan to make
expenditures from the fund for the purposes provided in
subdivision 1. The budget plan must be submitted to the
governor for inclusion in the biennial budget and supplemental
budget submitted to the legislature.
new text end

new text begin (c) Money in the fund may not be spent except under an
appropriation by law.
new text end

Sec. 6.

new text begin [116V.25] PROPERTY ACQUISITION.
new text end

new text begin (a) All property interests under this chapter must be
acquired by the commissioner of natural resources by fee title
or easement and by purchase or donation. The council shall make
a recommendation to the legislature as to which lands should be
retained and maintained by the state and which lands should be
conveyed to local units of government.
new text end

new text begin (b) Acquisitions must be divided equally between farmlands
and natural areas.
new text end

new text begin (c) For their applications to be considered, owners of
farmland or natural areas in the state must apply to the council
each year by a deadline to be determined by the council.
new text end

new text begin (d) Criteria for acquisition are as described in sections
116V.30 and 116V.35.
new text end

Sec. 7.

new text begin [116V.30] FARMLAND ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin General. new text end

new text begin The goal of farmland protection
is to preserve high-quality farmland within one-half mile of
identified waterways and adjacent to natural areas. A farmland
project must meet eligibility criteria in this section to be
considered by the program.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Locally zoned and planned for agriculture. new text end

new text begin The
property must be located in an area currently zoned for a
maximum of one residential unit per 40 acres. The agricultural
use must also be consistent with town or city comprehensive land
use plan policies.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Regionally planned for agriculture. new text end

new text begin The
property must be located outside the Metropolitan Council's 2040
municipal urban services area.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Agricultural use of parcel. new text end

new text begin A majority of the
property must be classified as agricultural by the county
assessor.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin Landowner commitment to farming. new text end

new text begin The property
must be currently enrolled in the metropolitan agricultural
preserve program, or the landowner must agree to enrollment
before selling an easement under this section.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 6. new text end

new text begin Quality of farmland. new text end

new text begin The quality of the
farmland must be evaluated only for those areas of the property
that have a history of agricultural use. At least 75 percent of
the area with a history of agricultural use must be classified
as category 1, 2, or 3 soils by the Natural Resource
Conservation Service soil survey.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 7. new text end

new text begin Minimum size. new text end

new text begin The property must contain at
least 40 acres, or a quarter-quarter section, with at least half
of the property in active agricultural use. Smaller properties
may be considered if they are shown to contribute to a
contiguous greenway or farming area.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 8. new text end

new text begin Water quality benefits. new text end

new text begin Some portion of the
property must be within one-half mile from streams and rivers on
the Department of Natural Resources protected water inventory as
identified on the farmland and natural area map. Preference
must be given to farms with natural areas that include the
natural area acreage as part of the property in the
application. Farmland that is not located within one-half mile
of any identified streams and rivers is still eligible if the
property is adjacent to already protected land.
new text end

Sec. 8.

new text begin [116V.35] NATURAL AREA ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA.
new text end

new text begin Natural areas are lands with significant natural features
or land with the potential for restoration of significant
natural characteristics and ecological functions. The natural
areas must:
new text end

new text begin (1) contain and protect features of ecological
significance;
new text end

new text begin (2) improve or expand wildlife habitat;
new text end

new text begin (3) be adjacent to a stream, river, or lake; or
new text end

new text begin (4) provide additional environmental benefits such as
protecting or improving surface or ground water quality.
new text end

Sec. 9.

new text begin [116V.40] EXPIRATION.
new text end

new text begin Sections 116V.01 to 116V.35 expire July 1, 2020.
new text end

Sec. 10. new text beginEFFECTIVE DATE.
new text end

new text begin Sections 1 to 9 are effective July 1, 2005.
new text end