[Adopted 4-11-2001 (Title 5, Ch. 5.68, of the 1986 Code)]
It is the intent of the City Council of the City of Springfield to offer tax abatements to encourage the continued environmental cleanup and redevelopment of sites zoned for industrial and commercial use for which there has been a release of oil or hazardous materials, as such terms are defined in MGL c. 21E, § 2. The Collector/Treasurer and the Board of Assessors are hereby authorized, pursuant to the provisions of MGL c. 59, § 59A, and this article to negotiate agreements regarding the payment of outstanding real estate taxes, interest and penalties (hereinafter "abatement agreements") with owners of eligible properties contaminated within the meaning of General Laws Chapter 21E, including abatements of those amounts determined by the Collector/Treasurer and the Board of Assessors needed by the property owner to make cleanup and redevelopment projects economically feasible.
The Collector/Treasurer and the Board of Assessors shall each have limited authority to accomplish the purposes of MGL c. 59, § 59A. The Board of Assessors shall have sole and exclusive authority to abate any outstanding real estate taxes. The Collector/Treasurer shall have sole and exclusive authority to abate interest and penalties. The Board of Assessors and the Collector/Treasurer shall have the authority to enter into abatement agreements with eligible owners. These abatement agreements will require the property owner or occupant to demonstrate the need for tax relief to enable redevelopment of the site. The Collector/Treasurer and the Board of Assessors may consult with any City department or agency they deem necessary to accomplish the purposes granted under this article.
Abatement agreements may cover property contaminated with oil or other hazardous materials, and property must be zoned for commercial or industrial use.
Abatement agreements may be entered into only with an eligible person as that term is defined by MGL c. 21E, § 2. An eligible person is a new "innocent" owner or operator who did not own the site at the time the oil or hazardous material was released and did not cause or contribute to its release.
Abatement agreements must specify the details agreed to regarding payment of any outstanding obligations and shall include, without limitation:
The amount of any outstanding real estate taxes;
The rate of interest to accrue if determined applicable by the Treasurer and property owner;
The amount of monthly payments;
The inception date of the final payment;
The date late penalties are to be imposed; and
Any and all other contractual obligations arranged between the parties.
After negotiation by the appropriate parties, any abatement agreement shall be presented to the City Council for review and approval within a thirty-day time period.
Abatement agreements must be signed by the Collector/Treasurer, the Board of Assessors and the property owner and must be notarized and attested to by the City Clerk. Copies of said abatement agreements must be provided to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, the Federal Environmental Protection Agency, the Massachusetts Commissioner of Revenue, the City Council and the property owner.