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HOUSE BILL NO. 586
INTRODUCED BY R. DALE, S. ROSE, D. FUCHS, B. TASH
AN ACT AUTHORIZING CITIES OR TOWNS TO CREATE A PARK MAINTENANCE DISTRICT; AUTHORIZING COUNTIES TO ASSESS A FEE ON EACH HOUSEHOLD FOR OPERATION OF A PARK DISTRICT; AND AMENDING SECTIONS 7-16-2411, 7-16-2412, 7-16-2423, 7-16-2431, AND 7-16-2443, MCA.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
Section 1. Section 7-16-2411, MCA, is amended to read:
"7-16-2411. Creation of county park district. (1) Proceedings for the creation of a county park district may be initiated by:
(a) a petition signed by
not less than 10% or more of the qualified electors of the proposed park district; or
(b) a resolution of intent adopted by the county governing body, calling for the creation of a county park district.
(2) The petition or resolution must contain:
(a) the boundaries of the proposed district;
(b) the proposed maximum property tax mill levy that could be levied on property owners within the district or the proposed maximum fee on each household within the proposed district for the operation of the district; and
(c) the proposed number of members of the county park district commission. The number of members must be an odd number and may not be less than three.
(3) When the territory to be included in the proposed district lies in more than one county, a petition must be presented
to the governing body of each county in which the territory lies. Each petition must be signed by
not less than 10% or more
of the qualified electors of the territory within the county proposed to be included in the district.
(4) Upon receipt of a petition for the creation of a county park district, the county clerk shall examine it and within 15 days either reject the petition if it is insufficient under the provisions of subsection (1), (2), or (3) or certify that the petition is sufficient and present it to the county governing body at its next meeting.
(5) The text of the petition or resolution must be published as provided in 7-1-2121 in each county in which the territory of the proposed district lies.
(6) At the hearing, the county governing body shall hear:
(a) testimony of all interested persons on whether a county park district should be created;
(b) testimony regarding the proposed boundary, the property tax mill levy or proposed fee on each household within the proposed district, and the number of members of the district commission; and
(c) any other matter relating to the proposed district.
(7) After the hearing, if the county governing body determines that the proposed park district should be created, it shall by resolution:
(a) set the boundaries of the proposed park district
(b) set the maximum mill levy or fee on each household for the proposed park district
(c) set the number of members to be on the district commission
. The; and
resolution must also call for an election on the question of whether to create the county park district. The election
must be held in conjunction with a regular or primary election, provided that at least 75 days have elapsed between the
adoption of the resolution and the election."
Section 2. Section 7-16-2412, MCA, is amended to read:
"7-16-2412. Election on creation of district. (1) The election on the question of whether to create a county park district must be conducted as provided in Title 13.
(2) Only qualified electors residing within the proposed park district may vote on the question of whether to create the district.
(3) The question of creating a county park district shall be submitted to the electors in substantially one of the following
(a)  FOR the creation of a county park district
which that may levy not more than .... mills of property tax for the
operation of the district.
 AGAINST the creation of a county park district.
(b)  FOR the creation of a county park district that may assess a fee on each household of .... dollars for the operation of the district.
 AGAINST the creation of a county park district."
Section 3. Section 7-16-2423, MCA, is amended to read:
"7-16-2423. Powers of county park district commission. A county park district commission has all powers necessary for the betterment, operation, maintenance, and administration of park and recreation land within the territory of the district. In the exercise of this general grant of powers, the county park district commission may:
(1) employ or contract with administrative, professional, and other personnel necessary for the operation of the district;
(2) lease, purchase, or contract for the purchase of personal property, including property
which that after purchase
constitutes a fixture on real property;
(3) lease, purchase, or contract for the purchase of buildings and facilities on lands controlled by the district and equip,
operate, and maintain
such the buildings and facilities;
(4) adopt by resolution rules for the operation and administration of all parks and recreational facilities under its control;
(5) impose by resolution and collect charges for
such those services and facilities provided by the district as that the
commission considers necessary for the prudent operation of the district;
(6) establish a property tax mill levy for the operation of the district as provided in 7-16-2431;
(7) establish a fee on each household for the operation of the district as provided in 7-16-2431;
(7)(8) enter into agreements with any public or private entity or person for the operation of parks or recreational areas
either by the district on behalf of the landowner or by another entity on behalf of the district; (8)(9) with the concurrence of the county governing body or bodies, accept donations of land or recreational-type
easements on land within the district for park or recreational purposes on behalf and in the name of the county or counties; (9)(10) accept donations and devises of money or personal property."
Section 4. Section 7-16-2431, MCA, is amended to read:
"7-16-2431. District budget -- property tax levy or fee on household. (1) The county park district commission shall annually prepare a budget for the ensuing fiscal year and present the budget to the governing body of each county with territory included in the district at the regular budget meetings as prescribed in Title 7, chapter 6, part 23, and certify the amount of money necessary for the operation of the district for the ensuing fiscal year.
(2) (a) The county governing body shall, annually at the time of levying county taxes, fix and levy a tax in mills on all taxable property within the district sufficient to raise the amount certified by the county park district commission. The tax levied may not in any year exceed the maximum amount approved by the electorate in 7-16-2411 or 7-16-2432.
(b) The county governing body shall annually assess a fee on each household that is sufficient to raise the amount certified by the county park district commission. The fee assessed may not exceed the maximum amount approved by the electorate. The fee must be assessed at the time of levying county taxes."
Section 5. Section 7-16-2443, MCA, is amended to read:
"7-16-2443. Effect of dissolution. (1) If dissolution of a county park district is authorized by a majority of the electorate of the district, the county governing body shall order the dissolution and file the order with the county clerk. The dissolution is effective upon the earlier of the following:
(a) 6 months after the date of filing of the order; or
(b) certification by the members of the county park commission that all debts and obligations of the district have been paid, discharged, or irrevocably settled.
(2) (a) If debts or obligations of the district remain unsatisfied after the dissolution of the district, the county governing body shall, for as long as necessary, levy a property tax or a fee on each household, in an amount not to exceed the voted maximum authorized by the district, on all taxable property that is in the territory formerly comprising the district, to be used to discharge the debts of the former district.
(b) If the electors of the district lowered the maximum amount to be levied for the operation of the district within 2 calendar years prior to the election authorizing the dissolution, the county governing body is authorized to levy a property tax not to exceed the maximum levy authorized prior to the reduction of the maximum levy for the discharge of the district's obligations if the obligations are bonds.
(3) Any assets of the district remaining after all debts and obligations have been discharged become the property of the county."
Section 6. Park maintenance districts. (1) A city or town may upon petition of 10% or more of the qualified electors of the proposed park maintenance district or upon a resolution of intent adopted by the governing body submit to the electors of the proposed district the creation of a park maintenance district.
(2) The district may be created for the purposes of, but not limited to, mowing, irrigation, turf repair and maintenance, recreation facility and equipment maintenance, tree trimming, tree replacement, tree removal, garbage removal, general cleaning, and leaf debris removal.
(3) The petition or the resolution of intent must state the maximum number of mills or the maximum fee that will be assessed for the district. The fee assessed or the tax levied may not exceed the maximum amount approved by the electorate.
(4) A park maintenance district authorized by this section must be formed and operated in the same manner as a special improvement district.
Section 7. Codification instruction. [Section 6] is intended to be codified as an integral part of Title 7, chapter 12, and the provisions of Title 7, chapter 12, apply to [section 6].
- END -
Latest Version of HB 586 (HB0586.ENR)
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