Introduced Version






HOUSE BILL No. 1332

_____


DIGEST OF INTRODUCED BILL



Citations Affected: IC 36-9-42.

Synopsis: Property assessed clean energy. Authorizes the legislative body of a political subdivision to establish and administer a voluntary property assessed clean energy program to finance the installation of clean energy improvements by levying special assessments. Provides that a legislative body may authorize owner arranged financing or issue bonds in anticipation of collecting the special assessments to pay for the clean energy improvements.

Effective: July 1, 2012.





Culver, Sullivan




    January 11, 2012, read first time and referred to Committee on Local Government.







Introduced

Second Regular Session 117th General Assembly (2012)


PRINTING CODE. Amendments: Whenever an existing statute (or a section of the Indiana Constitution) is being amended, the text of the existing provision will appear in this style type, additions will appear in this style type, and deletions will appear in this style type.
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HOUSE BILL No. 1332



    A BILL FOR AN ACT to amend the Indiana Code concerning local government.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Indiana:

SOURCE: IC 36-9-42; (12)IN1332.1.1. -->     SECTION 1. IC 36-9-42 IS ADDED TO THE INDIANA CODE AS A NEW CHAPTER TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2012]:
     Chapter 42. Property Assessed Clean Energy Program
    Sec. 1. As used in this chapter, "board" refers to a legislative body that administers this chapter with respect to a district. The term includes a legislative body designated under section 8(c) of this chapter.
    Sec. 2. As used in this chapter, "clean energy improvement" means a fixture, product, system, device, or interacting group of devices that is permanently installed behind the meter of any building to:
        (1) produce energy from one (1) or more clean energy resources; or
        (2) reduce energy consumption.
The term includes a conservation measure.
    Sec. 3. As used in this chapter, "clean energy resources" means

the following sources and programs for the production or conservation of electricity:
        (1) Energy from wind.
        (2) Solar energy.
        (3) Photovoltaic cells and panels.
        (4) Energy from:
            (A) landfill gas to electric systems; and
            (B) manure to gas systems.
        (5) Geothermal heating and cooling systems.
        (6) Energy from waste heat recovery systems.
        (7) Conservation measures that reduce electricity consumption.
    Sec. 4. (a) As used in this chapter, "conservation measure" means:
        (1) a facility alteration;
        (2) an alteration of a structure (as defined in IC 36-1-10-2); or
        (3) a technology upgrade;
designed to reduce energy or other operating costs.
    (b) The term includes the following:
        (1) Providing insulation of the facility or structure and systems in the facility or structure.
        (2) Installing or providing for window and door systems, including:
            (A) storm windows and storm doors;
            (B) caulking or weatherstripping;
            (C) multiglazed windows and doors;
            (D) heat absorbing or heat reflective glazed and coated windows and doors;
            (E) additional glazing;
            (F) a reduction in glass area; and
            (G) other modifications that reduce energy consumption.
        (3) Installing automatic energy control systems.
        (4) Modifying or replacing heating, ventilating, or air conditioning systems.
        (5) Lighting.
    Sec. 5. As used in this chapter, "district" refers to a clean energy improvement financing district designated under section 8 of this chapter.
    Sec. 6. As used in this chapter, "program" refers to a voluntary property assessed clean energy program established under section 8 of this chapter.
    Sec. 7. This chapter applies to all political subdivisions except

townships.
    Sec. 8. (a) The legislative body of a political subdivision, or the legislative bodies of two (2) or more political subdivisions, may adopt a preliminary resolution or ordinance to:
        (1) establish a voluntary property assessed clean energy program;
        (2) designate a clean energy improvement financing district; and
        (3) authorize within the district the financing of clean energy improvements under this chapter.
    (b) A preliminary resolution or ordinance adopted under subsection (a) must do the following:
        (1) Establish the geographic boundaries of the proposed district.
        (2) Describe the proposed method of financing of clean energy improvements installed in the district. Permissible methods include:
            (A) soliciting owner arranged financing from a commercial lender;
            (B) obtaining federal grants, loans, or both; and
            (C) issuing bonds.
        (3) Limit participation in the program to owners of the following types of property:
            (A) Commercial.
            (B) Industrial.
            (C) Agricultural (excluding homesteads).
            (D) Property owned by an approved postsecondary educational institution (as defined in IC 21-7-13-6(a)).
    (c) If the legislative bodies of two (2) or more political subdivisions adopt a preliminary resolution or ordinance, the preliminary resolutions or ordinances must:
        (1) comply with subsection (b);
        (2) be identical; and
        (3) designate one (1) legislative body to serve as the board to administer the requirements of this chapter with respect to the district established in the preliminary resolution or ordinance.
A legislative body designated as the board under subdivision (3) must have authority to issue bonds.
    (d) The boundaries of a district need not coincide with those of other political subdivisions.
    Sec. 9. In addition to other powers exercised by a legislative

body designated as a board, the board may do the following with respect to a program:
        (1) Make and enter into contracts and other instruments with public and private entities.
        (2) Accept grants, guarantees, and donations of property, labor, services, and other things of value from any public or private source.
        (3) Employ or contract for managerial, legal, technical, clerical, accounting, or other assistance.
        (4) Levy and collect special assessments.
        (5) Borrow money from any public or private source.
        (6) Issue bonds and provide security for the repayment of borrowed money.
        (7) Collect reasonable fees and charges in connection with issuing bonds and with related technical, consultative, or project assistance services.
        (8) Provide for the investment of any funds not required for immediate disbursement in the same manner as other municipal funds are invested.
        (9) Record a special assessment as a lien on an assessed property only if the special assessment becomes delinquent.
        (10) Develop appropriate underwriting guidelines for the program, including:
            (A) assurances that the term of a special assessment does not exceed the life of a clean energy improvement;
            (B) appropriate ratios of assessment to assessed value; and
            (C) verification that a property owner does not owe delinquent taxes, special assessments, or water or sewer charges.
        (11) Exercise other powers necessary to carry out the board's responsibilities under this chapter.
    Sec. 10. (a) A property owner that desires to participate in the program shall submit an application to the board in the form and according to a schedule determined by the board. The application must contain the following:
        (1) The address and legal description of the property on which the clean energy improvement for which the property owner desires financing will be installed.
        (2) A description and the cost of all clean energy improvements proposed to be installed on the property.
        (3) A statement of intent to participate in the financing of the clean energy improvement through the imposition of a special

assessment on the property.
        (4) A statement showing no delinquent property taxes or special assessments on the property for the shorter of the following:
            (A) The two (2) immediately preceding taxable years.
            (B) The period during which the property owner has owned the property.
        (5) A statement of intent to conduct a baseline energy audit to establish future energy savings and to verify to the board that the clean energy improvement is installed properly and is operating as intended.
        (6) For a clean energy improvement financed with more than two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) in assessments:
            (A) A statement of intent to provide the board with ongoing measurements that establish the energy savings realized from the installation of the clean energy improvement.
            (B) A written guarantee by the contractor that installed the clean energy improvement that:
                (i) the clean energy improvement will achieve a prorated savings to investment ratio greater than one (1); and
                (ii) the contractor will pay the property owner, on an annual basis, any shortfall in savings below the guaranteed level.
    (b) The board shall:
        (1) review; and
        (2) approve or deny;
an application submitted under subsection (a) according to a schedule determined by the board. The board shall use the costs reported under subsection (a)(2) to determine a total assessment for each property for which an application is approved.
    (c) A property owner may withdraw or amend an application at any time before a special assessment is levied on the owner's property under section 11 of this chapter.
    (d) The board shall establish a procedure by which the board may adjust the amounts of assessments determined under subsection (b) to ensure that collections from the assessments are adequate to make all payments on the bonds as described in section 12 of this chapter.
    (e) The board shall communicate with all parties having an interest in a property for which an application is approved in a

manner consistent with existing procedures and practices for other special assessments.
    (f) A board that levies a special assessment may:
        (1) allow a third party that has provided financing for a clean energy improvement to collect special assessments with respect to the clean energy improvement; and
        (2) require the third party to inform the board if a special assessment is delinquent.
A delinquent special assessment becomes a lien on the property on which the clean energy improvement is installed.
    Sec. 11. (a) Based on the assessments determined under section 10(b) of this chapter, and subject to any withdrawal or amendment of an application under section 10(c) of this chapter, a board shall have an assessment roll prepared and levy a special assessment on each property in the district for which one (1) or more clean energy improvements will be financed under this chapter. The assessment roll must include the following for each property subject to an assessment under this chapter:
        (1) The name of the owner.
        (2) A description of the property.
        (3) The total special assessment.
        (4) The annual installment of the assessment determined under section 12 of this chapter.
An assessment indicated against a property on the assessment roll is presumed to be of special benefit to the property.
    (b) Immediately after the assessment roll is prepared and filed, the board shall publish a notice according to IC 5-3-1. The assessment roll is not considered to be completed for purposes of this section until any adjustments under section 10(d) of this chapter are made. The notice must do the following:
        (1) Describe the purpose of the special assessment.
        (2) State that the assessment roll, with the names of owners and descriptions of property subject to assessment and the amounts of any assessments, is on file and may be inspected in the board's office.
    (c) Following any adjustments under section 10(d) of this chapter, the board shall complete and confirm the assessment roll. The assessment roll must show the total assessment opposite each name and a description of the property on the roll. The board shall:
        (1) deliver the completed assessment roll to:


            (A) the auditor and treasurer of each county in which a property listed on the roll is located; and
            (B) the municipal fiscal officer if the financing under this chapter is initiated by a municipality; and
        (2) publish a notice of the completed assessment roll under IC 5-3-1.
    (d) Except as provided in subsection (e), the decision of the board as to all assessments is final and conclusive on all parties.
    (e) An owner of an assessed property may appeal a special assessment to the circuit or superior court for the county in which the assessed property is located. The clerk of the court shall certify the judgment to the board. The board shall immediately notify the property owner of the amount of the assessment fixed by the court.
    Sec. 12. (a) Except as provided in sections 10(f) and 15 of this chapter, all assessments under this chapter are payable to the treasurer of the county in which the property that is subject to the assessment is located. The county treasurer shall:
        (1) annually, over the twenty (20) year bond payment period under section 14 of this chapter, bill to the property an amount equal to the quotient of the total assessment determined for the property under this chapter divided by twenty (20); and
        (2) bill the amount under subdivision (1) annually to a property regardless of any changes in ownership of the property. A change in ownership of the property does not accelerate or otherwise alter the twenty (20) year payment period described in subdivision (1).
    (b) Subject to subsection (d), a county treasurer shall bill, collect, and enforce the assessments in the same manner that property taxes are billed, collected, and enforced.
    (c) Except as provided in section 15 of this chapter, a county treasurer shall distribute assessments collected under subsection (b) to the county auditor for deposit in a separate special fund under section 13 of this chapter.
    (d) The county treasurer shall specify on each property tax statement that the assessment under this chapter is separate and distinct from the property tax.
    Sec. 13. If a board issues bonds under section 14 of this chapter, the proceeds from assessments levied by a board under this chapter constitute a separate special fund for the security and payment of any bonds issued by the board under section 14 of this

chapter, including debt service reserves to secure the payment of the bonds.
    Sec. 14. (a) The board may issue bonds in anticipation of the collection of the assessments to finance the installation of clean energy improvements in the district. The board may structure the bond placement for individual or pooled clean energy improvements. If the board issues bonds, the board shall:
        (1) issue and sell the bonds in the manner prescribed for other bonds of the municipality; and
        (2) make the bond payments described in section 12 of this chapter over a term of twenty (20) years.
The board may issue the bonds at any time after a district is designated.
    (b) The board shall use the proceeds of the bonds issued under subsection (a) to pay the costs of the clean energy improvements for the properties for which applications were approved under section 10(b) of this chapter, subject to any adjustments under section 10(d) of this chapter or any appeals under section 11 of this chapter.
    (c) Bonds issued under this section:
        (1) are not an obligation of the political subdivision that issued bonds but are an indebtedness of the board; and
        (2) are payable solely from proceeds of special assessments levied by the board under section 11 of this chapter.

    Sec. 15. A board may authorize the financing of clean energy improvements with owner arranged financing from a commercial lender. Under this arrangement, the board may levy a special assessment under section 11 of this chapter and either:
        (1) collect special assessment payments and forward the payments to the commercial lender; or
        (2) authorize a property owner to pay the special assessments directly to the commercial lender.