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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

Key: (1) language to be deleted (2) new language

  

                         Laws of Minnesota 1988 

                        CHAPTER 519-H.F.No. 1796 
           An act relating to counties; exempting the issuance of 
          certain county bonds from the election requirement; 
          authorizing county building fund levies; amending 
          Minnesota Statutes 1986, sections 373.25, subdivision 
          1; 475.52, subdivision 3; and 475.58, subdivision 1; 
          proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, 
          chapter 373. 
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
    Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 373.25, 
subdivision 1, is amended to read:  
    Subdivision 1.  The county board of any county except 
Hennepin and St. Louis counties may provide a county building 
fund.  In addition to all other kinds and amounts of taxes 
permitted by law to be levied for county purposes, the county 
board may include in its annual tax levy an amount for the 
county building fund.  Its proceeds shall be credited to the 
county building fund.  A county building fund established 
pursuant to this section to which a tax is credited may be used 
by the county solely to acquire, construct, reconstruct, 
maintain and repair buildings used in the administration of 
county affairs and to acquire lands necessary for those purposes.
    Sec. 2.  [373.40] [CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT BONDS.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [DEFINITIONS.] For purposes of this 
section, the following terms have the meanings given. 
    (a) "Bonds" means an obligation as defined under section 
475.51. 
     (b) "Capital improvement" means acquisition or betterment 
of public lands, buildings, or other improvements within the 
county for the purpose of a county courthouse, administrative 
building, health or social service facility, correctional 
facility, jail, law enforcement center, hospital, morgue, 
library, park, and roads and bridges.  An improvement must have 
an expected useful life of five years or more to qualify. 
"Capital improvement" does not include light rail transit or any 
activity related to it. 
    (c) "Commissioner" means the commissioner of trade and 
economic development. 
     (d) "Metropolitan county" means a county located in the 
seven county metropolitan area as defined in section 473.121 or 
a county with a population of 90,000 or more. 
    (e) "Population" means the population established by the 
most recent of the following (determined as of the date the 
resolution authorizing the bonds was adopted): 
    (1) the federal decennial census, 
    (2) a special census conducted under contract by the United 
States Bureau of the Census, or 
     (3) a population estimate made either by the metropolitan 
council or by the state demographer under section 116K.04, 
subdivision 4, clause (10). 
    (f) "Taxable assessed value" means total taxable assessed 
value, but does not include captured assessed value. 
    Subd. 2.  [APPLICATION OF ELECTION REQUIREMENT.] (a) Bonds 
issued by a county to finance capital improvements under an 
approved capital improvement plan are not subject to the 
election requirements of section 375.18 or 475.58.  The bonds 
must be approved by vote of at least three-fifths of the members 
of the county board.  In the case of a metropolitan county, the 
bonds must be approved by vote of at least two-thirds of the 
members of the county board. 
    (b) Before each issuance of bonds qualifying under this 
section, the county must publish a notice of its intention to 
issue the bonds and the date and time of a hearing to obtain 
public comment on the matter.  The notice must be published in 
the official newspaper of the county or in a newspaper of 
general circulation in the county.  The notice must be published 
at least 14, but not more than 28, days before the date of the 
hearing. 
    (c) A county may issue the bonds only upon obtaining the 
approval of a majority of the voters voting on the question of 
issuing the obligations, if a petition requesting a vote on the 
issuance is signed by voters equal to five percent of the votes 
cast in the county in the last general election and is filed 
with the county auditor within 30 days after the public 
hearing.  The commissioner of revenue shall prepare a suggested 
form of the question to be presented at the election.  
    Subd. 3.  [CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PLAN.] (a) A county may 
adopt a capital improvement plan.  The plan must cover at least 
the five-year period beginning with the date of its adoption.  
The plan must set forth the estimated schedule, timing, and 
details of specific capital improvements by year, together with 
the estimated cost, the need for the improvement, and sources of 
revenues to pay for the improvement.  In preparing the capital 
improvement plan, the county board must consider for each 
project and for the overall plan: 
     (1) the condition of the county's existing infrastructure, 
including the projected need for repair or replacement; 
     (2) the likely demand for the improvement; 
     (3) the estimated cost of the improvement; 
    (4) the available public resources; 
    (5) the level of overlapping debt in the county; 
    (6) the relative benefits and costs of alternative uses of 
the funds; 
     (7) operating costs of the proposed improvements; and 
    (8) alternatives for providing services more efficiently 
through shared facilities with other counties or local 
government units. 
    (b) The capital improvement plan and annual amendments to 
it must be approved by the county board after public hearing.  
The county must submit the capital improvement plan to the 
community development division of the department of trade and 
economic development.  The plan is not effective if the 
commissioner disapproves the plan within 90 days after it was 
submitted.  If the commissioner has not disapproved the plan 
within 90 days after its submission, the plan is deemed approved 
and effective.  The commissioner shall disapprove a capital 
improvement plan only if the commissioner determines (1) that 
the planned improvements cannot be financed within the limits 
specified in subdivision 4, or (2) the county in preparing the 
plan did not consider the factors listed in this subdivision or 
failed to gather the information necessary to evaluate the plan 
under the factors, or (3) the proposed improvements will result 
in unnecessary duplication of public facilities provided by 
other units of government in the region or there is insufficient 
demand for the facility.  If the plan is disapproved by the 
commissioner and the county board does not withdraw the plan, 
the capital improvement plan must be submitted to the voters for 
approval.  If a majority of the voters approve, the plan is 
approved and effective. 
    Subd. 4.  [LIMITATIONS ON AMOUNT.] A county, other than 
Hennepin, may not issue bonds under this section if the maximum 
amount of principal and interest to become due in any year on 
all the outstanding bonds issued pursuant to this section 
(including the bonds to be issued) will equal or exceed one mill 
multiplied by the taxable assessed value of property in the 
county.  Hennepin county may not issue bonds under this section 
if the maximum amount of principal and interest to become due in 
any year on all the outstanding bonds issued pursuant to this 
section together with the bonds proposed to be issued, will 
equal or exceed one-half mill multiplied by the taxable assessed 
value of the property in the county.  Calculation of the limit 
must be made using the taxable assessed value for the taxes 
payable year in which the obligations are issued and sold.  This 
section does not limit the authority to issue bonds under any 
other special or general law. 
    Subd. 5.  [APPLICATION OF BOND CODE.] Bonds to finance 
capital improvements qualifying under this section must be 
issued under the issuance authority in chapter 475 and the 
provisions of chapter 475 apply, except as otherwise 
specifically provided in this section. 
    Subd. 6.  [BUILDING FUND LEVY.] (a) If a county other than 
Hennepin has an approved capital improvement plan, the county 
board may annually levy an amount equal to one mill, less the 
amount levied to pay principal and interest on bonds issued 
under this section.  If the Hennepin county board has an 
approved capital improvement plan, the county board may annually 
levy an amount equal to one-half mill, less the amount levied to 
pay principal and interest on bonds issued under this section. 
The proceeds of this levy must be deposited in the county 
building fund under section 373.25 and may only be expended for 
capital improvements as provided in the approved capital 
improvement plan. 
    (b) The maximum amount of the levy, when added to the 
unexpended balance in the building fund, must not exceed the 
projected cost of the remaining improvements in the capital 
improvement plan.  A levy made under this section is not subject 
to any other levy limitation, nor may the levy be included in 
the computation of any other levy limitation. 
     (c) This subdivision and the exercise of levy authority 
under it does not supersede or preempt the authority to levy 
under section 373.25 or any other law. 
    Subd. 7.  [REPEALER.] This section is repealed effective 
for bonds issued after July 1, 1993, but continues to apply to 
bonds issued before that date. 
    Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 475.52, 
subdivision 3, is amended to read:  
    Subd. 3.  [COUNTIES.] Any county may issue bonds for the 
acquisition or betterment of courthouses, county administrative 
buildings, health or social service facilities, correctional 
facilities, law enforcement centers, jails, morgues, 
libraries, parks, and hospitals, for roads and bridges within 
the county or bordering thereon and for road equipment and 
machinery and for ambulances and related equipment, and for 
capital equipment for the administration and conduct of 
elections providing the equipment is uniform countywide, except 
that the power of counties to issue bonds in connection with a 
library shall not exist in Hennepin county. 
    Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 475.58, 
subdivision 1, is amended to read:  
    Subdivision 1.  [APPROVAL BY MAJORITY OF ELECTORS; 
EXCEPTIONS.] Obligations authorized by law or charter may be 
issued by any municipality upon obtaining the approval of a 
majority of the electors voting on the question of issuing the 
obligations, but an election shall not be required to authorize 
obligations issued: 
    (1) to pay any unpaid judgment against the municipality; 
    (2) for refunding obligations; 
    (3) for an improvement, which obligation is payable wholly 
or partly from the proceeds of special assessments levied upon 
property specially benefited by the improvement, or of taxes 
levied upon the increased value of property within a district 
for the development of which the improvement is undertaken, 
including obligations which are the general obligations of the 
municipality, if the municipality is entitled to reimbursement 
in whole or in part from the proceeds of such special 
assessments or taxes and not less than 20 percent of the cost of 
the improvement is to be assessed against benefited property or 
is estimated to be received from such taxes within the district; 
    (4) payable wholly from the income of revenue producing 
conveniences; 
    (5) under the provisions of a home rule charter which 
permits the issuance of obligations of the municipality without 
election;  
    (6) under the provisions of a law which permits the 
issuance of obligations of a municipality without an election; 
and 
    (7) to fund pension or retirement fund liabilities pursuant 
to section 475.52, subdivision 6; and 
     (8) under a capital improvement plan under section 2. 
    Sec. 5.  [383B.218] [BONDING AUTHORITY; HENNEPIN COUNTY MEDICAL 
BUILDING.] 
    Hennepin county may issue and sell not more than 
$16,000,000 of general obligation bonds to finance or refinance 
the construction and purchase of the Hennepin county health 
services building.  Issuance of the obligations is not subject 
to the election requirements of Minnesota Statutes, section 
475.58.  The obligations issued under this section and the 
property taxes levied to pay the obligations must be included in 
calculation of Hennepin county's bond and building fund levy 
limitations under section 2. 
    Sec. 6.  [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 
    Section 5 is effective upon compliance by the Hennepin 
county board with Minnesota Statutes, section 645.021. 
    Approved April 14, 1988