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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

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, qualified indoor ice arena, 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 or a recreation or sports facility building (such as, but not limited to, a gymnasium, ice arena, racquet sports facility, swimming pool, exercise room or health spa), unless the building is part of an outdoor park facility and is incidental to the primary purpose of outdoor recreation.

(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 4A.02.

(f) "Qualified indoor ice arena" means a facility that meets the requirements of section 373.43.

(g) "Tax capacity" means total taxable market value, but does not include captured market 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 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 Ramsey, 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 0.05367 percent of taxable market value of property in the county. Ramsey 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 (including the bonds to be issued) will equal or exceed 0.06455 percent of taxable market value of property in the county. Calculation of the limit must be made using the taxable market 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. Repealed, 1994 c 505 art 2 s 7

Subd. 7. Repealer. This section is repealed effective for bonds issued after July 1, 2003, but continues to apply to bonds issued before that date.

HIST: 1988 c 519 s 2; 1988 c 719 art 5 s 84; art 19 s 20; 1989 c 277 art 4 s 30,31; 1989 c 329 art 13 s 20; 1Sp1989 c 1 art 5 s 27; art 17 s 6,7; 1990 c 480 art 9 s 13; 1990 c 592 s 1,2; 1991 c 345 art 2 s 55; 1992 c 511 art 9 s 11; 1995 c 256 s 1; 1997 c 231 art 2 s 31

* NOTE: Subdivision 7 was also amended by Laws 1997, chapter *219, section 3, to read as follows:

* "Subd. 7. Repealer. This section is repealed *effective for bonds issued after July 1, 2002, but continues to *apply to bonds issued before that date."