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Searching 2017-2018 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 24 : Municipal and County Government

Chapter 087 : SPECIAL ASSESSMENTS

Subchapter 002 : PROPERTY-ASSESSED CLEAN ENERGY

(Cite as: 24 V.S.A. § 3262)
  • § 3262. Written agreements; consent of property owners; energy savings analysis

    (a) Upon an affirmative vote made pursuant to section 3261 of this title and the performance of an energy savings analysis pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, an owner of a dwelling, as defined in Section 103(v) of the federal Truth in Lending Act, within the boundaries of a district may enter into a written agreement with the municipality that shall constitute the owner's consent to be subject to a special assessment, as set forth in section 3255 of this title. Entry into such an agreement may occur only after January 1, 2012. A participating municipality shall follow underwriting criteria established by the Department of Financial Regulation, and shall establish other qualifying criteria to provide an adequate level of assurance that property owners will have the ability to meet assessment payment obligations. A participating municipality shall refuse to enter into a written agreement with a property owner who fails to meet the underwriting or other qualifying criteria.

    (b) Prior to entering into a written agreement, a property owner shall have an analysis performed to quantify the project costs and energy savings and estimated carbon impacts of the proposed energy improvements, including an annual cash-flow analysis. This analysis shall be conducted by the entities appointed as energy efficiency utilities under 30 V.S.A. § 209(d)(2), or conducted by another entity deemed qualified by the participating municipality. All analyses shall be reviewed and approved by the entities appointed as energy efficiency utilities.

    (c) A written agreement shall provide that:

    (1) The length of time allowed for the property owner to repay the assessment shall not exceed the life expectancy of the project. In instances where multiple projects have been installed, the length of time shall not exceed the average lifetime of all projects, weighted by cost. Lifetimes of projects shall be determined by the entities appointed as energy efficiency utilities under 30 V.S.A. § 209(d)(2) or another qualified technical entity designated by a participating municipality.

    (2) Notwithstanding any other provision of law:

    (A) At the time of a transfer of property ownership including foreclosure, the past due balances of any special assessment under this subchapter shall be due for payment, but future payments shall continue as a lien on the property.

    (B) In the event of a foreclosure action, the past due balances described in subdivision (A) of this subdivision (2) shall include all payments on an assessment under this subchapter that are due and unpaid as of the date the action is filed, and all payments on the assessment that become due after that date and that accrue up to and including the date title to the property is transferred to the mortgage holder, the lien holder, or a third party in the foreclosure action. The person or entity acquiring title to the property in the foreclosure action shall be responsible for payments on the assessment that become due after the date of such acquisition.

    (3) A participating municipality shall disclose to participating property owners each of the following:

    (A) The risks associated with participating in the program, including risks related to the failure of participating property owners to make payments and the risk of foreclosure.

    (B) The provisions of subsection (h) of this section that pertain to prepayment of the assessment.

    (d) A written agreement or notice of such agreement and the analysis performed pursuant to subsection (b) of this section shall be filed with the clerk of the applicable municipality for recording in the land records of that municipality and shall be disclosed to potential buyers prior to transfer of property ownership. Personal financial information provided to a municipality by a participating property owner or potential participating property owner shall not be subject to disclosure as set forth in 1 V.S.A. § 317(c)(7). If a notice of agreement is filed instead of the full written agreement, the notice shall attach the analysis performed pursuant to subsection (b) of this section and shall include at least each of the following:

    (1) the name of the property owner as grantor;

    (2) the name of the municipality as grantee;

    (3) the date of the agreement;

    (4) a legal description of the real property against which the assessment is made pursuant to the agreement;

    (5) the amount of the assessment and the period during which the assessment will be made on the property;

    (6) a statement that the assessment will remain a lien on the property until paid in full or released; and

    (7) the location at which the original or a true, legible copy of the agreement may be examined.

    (e) At least 30 days prior to entering into a written agreement, the property owner shall provide to the holders of any existing mortgages on the property notice of his or her intent to enter into the written agreement.

    (f) The total amount of assessments under this subchapter shall not exceed more than 15 percent of the assessed value of the property. The combined amount of the assessment plus any outstanding mortgage obligations for the property shall not exceed 90 percent of the assessed value of that property.

    (g) With respect to an agreement under this section:

    (1) the assessments to be repaid under the agreement, when calculated as if they were the repayment of a loan, shall not violate 9 V.S.A. §§ 41a, 43, 44, and 46-50;

    (2) the maximum length of time for the owner to repay the assessment shall not exceed 20 years; and

    (3) the maximum amount to be repaid for the project, including the participating property owner's contribution to the reserve fund under subsection 3269(c) of this title, shall not exceed $30,000.00 or 15 percent of the assessed value of the property, whichever is less.

    (h) There shall be no penalty or premium for prepayment of the outstanding balance of an assessment under this subchapter if the balance is prepaid in full. (Added 2009, No. 45, § 15j, eff. May 27, 2009; amended 2011, No. 47, § 18d, eff. May 25, 2011 and Jan. 1, 2012; 2011, No. 78 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. April 2, 2012.)