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1991 Minnesota Session Laws

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

  

                         Laws of Minnesota 1991 

                        CHAPTER 315-S.F.No. 1112 
           An act relating to energy; providing incentives for 
          renewable energy sources of utility power; amending 
          Minnesota Statutes 1990, sections 216B.164, 
          subdivision 4; and 272.02, subdivision 1. 
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
     Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1990, section 216B.164, 
subdivision 4, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 4.  [PURCHASES; WHEELING.] (a) Except as otherwise 
provided in paragraph (c), this subdivision shall apply to all 
qualifying facilities having 40 kilowatt capacity or more as 
well as qualifying facilities as defined in subdivision 3 which 
elect to be governed by its provisions.  
    (b) The utility to which the qualifying facility is 
interconnected shall purchase all energy and capacity made 
available by the qualifying facility.  The qualifying facility 
shall be paid the utility's full avoided capacity and energy 
costs as negotiated by the parties or set by the commission 
including the value of environmental costs avoided by the 
qualifying facility considered appropriate by the commission.  
To the extent possible, the commission shall quantify and value 
all environmental costs associated with each method of 
electricity generation.  
    (c) For all qualifying facilities having 30 kilowatt 
capacity or more, the utility shall, at the qualifying 
facility's or the utility's request, provide wheeling or 
exchange agreements wherever practicable to sell the qualifying 
facility's output to any other Minnesota utility having 
generation expansion anticipated or planned for the ensuing ten 
years.  The commission shall establish the methods and 
procedures to insure that except for reasonable wheeling charges 
and line losses, the qualifying facility receives the full 
avoided energy and capacity costs of the utility ultimately 
receiving the output.  
     (d) The commission shall set rates for electricity 
generated by renewable energy.  
    Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1990, section 272.02, 
subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
    Subdivision 1.  All property described in this section to 
the extent herein limited shall be exempt from taxation: 
     (1) all public burying grounds; 
     (2) all public schoolhouses; 
     (3) all public hospitals; 
     (4) all academies, colleges, and universities, and all 
seminaries of learning; 
     (5) all churches, church property, and houses of worship; 
     (6) institutions of purely public charity except parcels of 
property containing structures and the structures described in 
section 273.13, subdivision 25, paragraph (c), clauses (1), (2), 
and (3), or paragraph (d); 
     (7) all public property exclusively used for any public 
purpose; 
     (8) except for the taxable personal property enumerated 
below, all personal property and the property described in 
section 272.03, subdivision 1, paragraphs (c) and (d), shall be 
exempt.  
     The following personal property shall be taxable:  
     (a) personal property which is part of an electric 
generating, transmission, or distribution system or a pipeline 
system transporting or distributing water, gas, crude oil, or 
petroleum products or mains and pipes used in the distribution 
of steam or hot or chilled water for heating or cooling 
buildings and structures; 
      (b) railroad docks and wharves which are part of the 
operating property of a railroad company as defined in section 
270.80; 
      (c) personal property defined in section 272.03, 
subdivision 2, clause (3); 
      (d) leasehold or other personal property interests which 
are taxed pursuant to section 272.01, subdivision 2; 273.124, 
subdivision 7; or 273.19, subdivision 1; or any other law 
providing the property is taxable as if the lessee or user were 
the fee owner; 
      (e) manufactured homes and sectional structures; and 
      (f) flight property as defined in section 270.071.  
      (9) Personal property used primarily for the abatement and 
control of air, water, or land pollution to the extent that it 
is so used, and real property which is used primarily for 
abatement and control of air, water, or land pollution as part 
of an agricultural operation or as part of an electric 
generation system.  For purposes of this clause, personal 
property includes ponderous machinery and equipment used in a 
business or production activity that at common law is considered 
real property. 
      Any taxpayer requesting exemption of all or a portion of 
any equipment or device, or part thereof, operated primarily for 
the control or abatement of air or water pollution shall file an 
application with the commissioner of revenue.  The equipment or 
device shall meet standards, rules, or criteria prescribed by 
the Minnesota pollution control agency, and must be installed or 
operated in accordance with a permit or order issued by that 
agency.  The Minnesota pollution control agency shall upon 
request of the commissioner furnish information or advice to the 
commissioner.  On determining that property qualifies for 
exemption, the commissioner shall issue an order exempting the 
property from taxation.  The equipment or device shall continue 
to be exempt from taxation as long as the permit issued by the 
Minnesota pollution control agency remains in effect. 
     (10) Wetlands.  For purposes of this subdivision, 
"wetlands" means (1) land described in section 103G.005, 
subdivision 18, or (2) land which is mostly under water, 
produces little if any income, and has no use except for 
wildlife or water conservation purposes, provided it is 
preserved in its natural condition and drainage of it would be 
legal, feasible, and economically practical for the production 
of livestock, dairy animals, poultry, fruit, vegetables, forage 
and grains, except wild rice.  "Wetlands" shall include adjacent 
land which is not suitable for agricultural purposes due to the 
presence of the wetlands.  "Wetlands" shall not include woody 
swamps containing shrubs or trees, wet meadows, meandered water, 
streams, rivers, and floodplains or river bottoms.  Exemption of 
wetlands from taxation pursuant to this section shall not grant 
the public any additional or greater right of access to the 
wetlands or diminish any right of ownership to the wetlands. 
        (11) Native prairie.  The commissioner of the department of 
natural resources shall determine lands in the state which are 
native prairie and shall notify the county assessor of each 
county in which the lands are located.  Pasture land used for 
livestock grazing purposes shall not be considered native 
prairie for the purposes of this clause.  Upon receipt of an 
application for the exemption provided in this clause for lands 
for which the assessor has no determination from the 
commissioner of natural resources, the assessor shall refer the 
application to the commissioner of natural resources who shall 
determine within 30 days whether the land is native prairie and 
notify the county assessor of the decision.  Exemption of native 
prairie pursuant to this clause shall not grant the public any 
additional or greater right of access to the native prairie or 
diminish any right of ownership to it. 
       (12) Property used in a continuous program to provide 
emergency shelter for victims of domestic abuse, provided the 
organization that owns and sponsors the shelter is exempt from 
federal income taxation pursuant to section 501(c)(3) of the 
Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended through December 31, 
1986, notwithstanding the fact that the sponsoring organization 
receives funding under section 8 of the United States Housing 
Act of 1937, as amended. 
     (13) If approved by the governing body of the municipality 
in which the property is located, property not exceeding one 
acre which is owned and operated by any senior citizen group or 
association of groups that in general limits membership to 
persons age 55 or older and is organized and operated 
exclusively for pleasure, recreation, and other nonprofit 
purposes, no part of the net earnings of which inures to the 
benefit of any private shareholders; provided the property is 
used primarily as a clubhouse, meeting facility, or recreational 
facility by the group or association and the property is not 
used for residential purposes on either a temporary or permanent 
basis. 
     (14) To the extent provided by section 295.44, real and 
personal property used or to be used primarily for the 
production of hydroelectric or hydromechanical power on a site 
owned by the state or a local governmental unit which is 
developed and operated pursuant to the provisions of section 
103G.535. 
     (15) If approved by the governing body of the municipality 
in which the property is located, and if construction is 
commenced after June 30, 1983:  
     (a) a "direct satellite broadcasting facility" operated by 
a corporation licensed by the federal communications commission 
to provide direct satellite broadcasting services using direct 
broadcast satellites operating in the 12-ghz. band; and 
     (b) a "fixed satellite regional or national program service 
facility" operated by a corporation licensed by the federal 
communications commission to provide fixed satellite-transmitted 
regularly scheduled broadcasting services using satellites 
operating in the 6-ghz. band. 
An exemption provided by clause (15) shall apply for a period 
not to exceed five years.  When the facility no longer qualifies 
for exemption, it shall be placed on the assessment rolls as 
provided in subdivision 4.  Before approving a tax exemption 
pursuant to this paragraph, the governing body of the 
municipality shall provide an opportunity to the members of the 
county board of commissioners of the county in which the 
facility is proposed to be located and the members of the school 
board of the school district in which the facility is proposed 
to be located to meet with the governing body.  The governing 
body shall present to the members of those boards its estimate 
of the fiscal impact of the proposed property tax exemption.  
The tax exemption shall not be approved by the governing body 
until the county board of commissioners has presented its 
written comment on the proposal to the governing body or 30 days 
has passed from the date of the transmittal by the governing 
body to the board of the information on the fiscal impact, 
whichever occurs first. 
     (16) Real and personal property owned and operated by a 
private, nonprofit corporation exempt from federal income 
taxation pursuant to United States Code, title 26, section 
501(c)(3), primarily used in the generation and distribution of 
hot water for heating buildings and structures.  
        (17) Notwithstanding section 273.19, state lands that are 
leased from the department of natural resources under section 
92.46. 
        (18) Electric power distribution lines and their 
attachments and appurtenances, that are used primarily for 
supplying electricity to farmers at retail.  
       (19) Transitional housing facilities.  "Transitional 
housing facility" means a facility that meets the following 
requirements.  (i) It provides temporary housing to parents and 
children who are receiving AFDC or parents of children who are 
temporarily in foster care.  (ii) It has the purpose of 
reuniting families and enabling parents to obtain 
self-sufficiency, advance their education, get job training, or 
become employed in jobs that provide a living wage.  (iii) It 
provides support services such as child care, work readiness 
training, and career development counseling; and a 
self-sufficiency program with periodic monitoring of each 
resident's progress in completing the program's goals.  (iv) It 
provides services to a resident of the facility for at least six 
months but no longer than three years, except residents enrolled 
in an educational or vocational institution or job training 
program.  These residents may receive services during the time 
they are enrolled but in no event longer than four years.  (v) 
It is sponsored by an organization that has received a grant 
under either section 256.7365 for the biennium ending June 30, 
1989, or section 462A.07, subdivision 15, for the biennium 
ending June 30, 1991, for the purposes of providing the services 
in items (i) to (iv).  (vi) It is sponsored by an organization 
that is exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) 
of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended through 
December 31, 1987.  This exemption applies notwithstanding the 
fact that the sponsoring organization receives financing by a 
direct federal loan or federally insured loan or a loan made by 
the Minnesota housing finance agency under the provisions of 
either Title II of the National Housing Act or the Minnesota 
housing finance agency law of 1971 or rules promulgated by the 
agency pursuant to it, and notwithstanding the fact that the 
sponsoring organization receives funding under Section 8 of the 
United States Housing Act of 1937, as amended. 
    (20) Wind energy conversion systems, as defined in section 
216C.06, subdivision 12, installed after January 1, 1991, and 
used as an electric power source. 
    Sec. 3.  [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 
    Section 2 is effective for taxes payable in 1992 and 
afterward. 
    Presented to the governor May 30, 1991 
    Signed by the governor June 3, 1991, 4:04 p.m.

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