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HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 3
INTRODUCED BY K. OHS, L. GROSFIELD
BY REQUEST OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY COUNCIL
A JOINT RESOLUTION OF THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MONTANA REQUESTING THE ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY COUNCIL TO COORDINATE WITH OTHER APPROPRIATE AGENCIES TO STUDY THE NEED FOR AND UTILITY OF TAX AND OTHER TYPES OF FINANCIAL INCENTIVES TO ENCOURAGE VOLUNTARY CLEANUP AND REDEVELOPMENT OF CONTAMINATED PROPERTIES WITHIN MONTANA.
WHEREAS, there are properties in Montana where use is limited because of environmental contamination of soil, air, surface water, or ground water; and
WHEREAS, the expense of cleanup and the uncertainty over potential liability for contamination are common barriers to redevelopment and reuse of these properties, especially for small businesses; and
WHEREAS, although a federal tax incentive program exists to encourage redevelopment of contaminated properties, only certain types of properties, with certain characteristics, convey eligibility for tax credits under the federal program; and
WHEREAS, there appears to be increased interest in Montana in potentially redeveloping contaminated properties; and
WHEREAS, as in other states, additional state tax credits or other financial incentives might increase the likelihood that contaminated properties in Montana could be cleaned up and redeveloped into income-supporting community amenities, rather than lying idle and unaddressed; and
WHEREAS, Montana needs policy mechanisms that simultaneously improve and contribute to the long-term integrity of the environment, the economy, and the communities in which we all live.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
That the Legislature request the Environmental Quality Council to make a priority of coordinating with the Departments of Environmental Quality, Commerce, and Revenue to conduct a study to determine the need for and potential utility of tax and other types of financial incentives to encourage voluntary cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated properties within Montana. Incentives should be structured in a way to ensure that only persons with no prior connection to a property, and who did not contribute to its contamination, are eligible to benefit from the incentives. Potential study components may include:
(1) the number, type, and distribution of contaminated properties in Montana and the severity of their contamination in relation to public health, safety, or welfare or environmental risks;
(2) how existing state policies and programs contribute to or restrict redevelopment of contaminated properties in Montana;
(3) what gaps or disincentives there may be in current environmental or financial policies that limit the ability of Montanans to simultaneously improve their environment, economy, and communities through the redevelopment of contaminated properties;
(4) the scope, applicability, use, and benefits or drawbacks of the federal tax incentive program in Montana, including any potential conflicts with state policy or inherent limitations on applicability to property types in Montana;
(5) what can be learned from the experiences of other states attempting to resolve similar issues;
(6) what level of public investment is justified to encourage redevelopment; and
(7) what administrative or legislative options should be suggested to the Legislature and others to enhance the availability of tax or other financial incentives to encourage voluntary cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated properties in Montana.
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Latest Version of HJ 3 (HJ0003.ENR)
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