Substitute House Bill No. 5178

Public Act No. 00-146

An Act Concerning Real Estate Filings And The Preservation Of Historic Documents.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 7-34a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) Town clerks shall receive, for recording any document, ten dollars for the first page and five dollars for each subsequent page or fractional part thereof, a page being not more than eight and one-half by fourteen inches. Town clerks shall receive, for recording the information contained in a certificate of registration for the practice of any of the healing arts, five dollars. Town clerks shall receive for recording documents conforming to, or substantially similar to, section 47-36c, which are clearly entitled "statutory form" in the heading of such documents, as follows: For the first page of a warranty deed, a quitclaim deed, a mortgage deed, or an assignment of mortgage, ten dollars; for each additional page of such documents, five dollars; and for each marginal notation of an assignment of mortgage, subsequent to the first two assignments, one dollar. Town clerks shall receive, for recording any document with respect to which certain data must be submitted by each town clerk to the Commissioner of Revenue Services in accordance with section 10-261b, the sum of two dollars in addition to the recording fee. Any person who offers any written document for recording in the office of any town clerk, which document fails to have legibly typed, printed or stamped directly beneath the signatures the names of the persons who executed such document, the names of any witnesses thereto and the name of the officer before whom the same was acknowledged, shall pay one dollar in addition to the regular fee. Town clerks shall receive for recording any deed, except a mortgage deed, conveying title to real estate, which deed does not contain the current mailing address of the grantee, the sum of five dollars in addition to the regular recording fee. Town clerks shall receive, for filing any document, five dollars, for receiving and keeping a survey or map, legally filed in the town clerk's office, five dollars and for indexing such survey or map, in accordance with section 7-32, five dollars, except with respect to indexing any such survey or map pertaining to a subdivision of land as defined in section 8-18, in which event town clerks shall receive fifteen dollars for each such indexing. Town clerks shall receive, for making a copy of any document either recorded or filed in their offices, one dollar for each page or fractional part thereof, as the case may be; for certifying any copy of the same, one dollar, for making a copy of any survey or map, the actual cost thereof; and for certifying such copy of a survey or map, one dollar. Town clerks shall receive, for recording the commission and oath of a notary public, ten dollars; for certifying under seal to the official character of a notary, two dollars.

(b) The fees set forth in subsection (a) of this section received by town clerks for recording documents include therein payment for the return of each document which shall be made by the town clerk to the designated addressee.

(c) Compensation for all services other than those enumerated in subsection (a) of this section which town clerks are required by the general statutes to perform and for which compensation is not fixed by statute shall be fixed and paid by the selectmen or other governing body of the town or city in which such services are performed.

(d) In addition to the fees for recording a document under subsection (a) of this section, town clerks shall receive a fee of three dollars for each document recorded in the land records of the municipality. Not later than the fifteenth day of each month, town clerks shall remit two-thirds of the fees paid pursuant to this subsection during the previous calendar month to the State Treasurer for deposit in the historic documents preservation account established under section 2 of this act. One-third of the amount paid for fees pursuant to this subsection shall be retained by town clerks and used for the preservation and management of historic documents.

Sec. 2. (NEW) There is established, within the General Fund, a separate and nonlapsing account to be known as the "historic documents preservation account". The account shall contain any moneys required by law to be deposited in the account. Investment earnings credited to the assets of the account shall become part of the assets of the account. Any balance remaining in the account at the end of any fiscal year shall be carried forward for the fiscal year next succeeding. The moneys in said account shall be used for the purposes of sections 3 to 5, inclusive, of this act.

Sec. 3. (NEW) As used in sections 2 to 5, inclusive, of this act, "preservation and management of historic documents" means activities that include, but are not limited to, the following: (1) The restoration and conservation of land records, land record indexes, maps or other records; (2) the microfilming of land records, land record indexes, maps or other records; (3) the use of information technology to facilitate the performance of duties integral to the maintenance and tracking of historic documents; (4) the assessment or upgrading of records retention facilities; (5) disaster recovery; and (6) the training of personnel to perform duties integral to the maintenance and tracking of historic documents.

Sec. 4. (NEW) (a) The Public Records Administrator shall make grants to municipalities from the historic documents preservation account, established under section 2 of this act, for the preservation and management of historic documents.

(b) If the Public Records Administrator finds that any grant awarded pursuant to this section is being used for other purposes or to supplant a previous source of funds, the Public Records Administrator may require repayment.

(c) The Public Records Administrator shall allocate moneys in the historic documents preservation account, established under section 2 of this act, for (1) the preservation and management of historic documents maintained by the State Library, and (2) the expenses of administering the historic documents preservation grant program, established under section 5 of this act. The total amount of such allocated moneys in any fiscal year shall be thirty per cent of the moneys deposited in such historic documents preservation account in such year. On or before September 1, 2001, and annually thereafter, the State Library shall submit a report describing the activities performed with the allocated moneys for the preceding fiscal year to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to government administration.

Sec. 5. (NEW) (a) The Public Records Administrator shall establish and administer an historic documents preservation grant program to help municipalities to enhance or improve the preservation and management of historic documents. Each application shall include a description of the purpose, objective and budget of the activities to be funded by the grant. The chief executive officer of a municipality applying for a grant under this section may designate the town clerk of that municipality as the agent to make such application.

(b) The Public Records Administrator shall establish, by regulations adopted in accordance with chapter 54 of the general statutes, relative priorities for the approval of grants under this section. Such priorities may take into account the differing needs of municipalities, the need for consistency and equity in the distribution of grant awards and the extent to which particular projects may advance the purposes of this section. The Public Records Administrator may establish further criteria for the approval of grants under this section. Not later than February 1, 2001, the Public Records Administrator shall develop and disseminate a pamphlet that describes the evaluation process for grant applications under this section. In awarding grants under this section, the Public Records Administrator shall consult with the State Archivist and any other person the Public Records Administrator deems necessary.

(c) The Public Records Administrator shall authorize grant awards under this section on or before July thirty-first and December thirty-first of each fiscal year in which payment of a grant is to be made.

(d) The Public Records Administrator shall allocate seventy per cent of the moneys in the historic documents preservation account in any fiscal year to fund applications submitted under this section.

Sec. 6. (NEW) (a) Each municipality that receives a grant from the historic documents preservation account established under section 2 of this act shall submit a report to the Public Records Administrator, in such form as the Public Records Administrator prescribes, not later than September first of the fiscal year following the year such grant was received. Such report shall contain a description of activities paid for with financial assistance under the grant. The chief executive officer of a municipality that receives a grant from the historic documents preservation account may designate the town clerk of that municipality as the agent to make such report.

(b) On or before January 1, 2002, and annually thereafter, the Public Records Administrator shall submit a report on grants made under sections 3 to 5, inclusive, of this act, for the preceding fiscal year to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to government administration. Each such report shall include: (1) A description of the grants made under sections 3 to 5, inclusive, of this act, including the amount, purposes and the municipalities to which they were made; (2) a summary of the activities for which the State Library used the moneys allocated to it under section 4 of this act; and (3) any findings or recommendations concerning the operation and effectiveness of the grant program.

Sec. 7. (NEW) (a) The State Librarian shall adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 of the general statutes, to implement the provisions of sections 3 to 6, inclusive, of this act.

(b) The State Librarian shall establish a committee to advise such State Librarian on the development and implementation of regulations under this section. The State Librarian shall designate the members of the committee who shall include representatives of small, medium and large municipalities and municipalities in all geographic regions of the state.

Sec. 8. This act shall take effect July 1, 2000.

Approved May 26, 2000