Location:
MUNICIPALITIES; STATE AID;
Scope:
Connecticut laws/regulations;

OLR Research Report


January 30, 2012

 

2012-R-0059

STATE GRANTS FOR MUNICIPALITIES

By: Joseph Holstead, Principal Analyst

You asked about state grants available to municipalities.

SUMMARY

The Office of Fiscal Analysis' (OFA) 2010 Summaries of Connecticut State Grants, the latest available edition, provides information on 45 different grants to municipalities. Table 1 below, courtesy of OFA, provides further information on these grants. We also provide information on Small Town Economic Assistance Program (STEAP) and Urban Action grants, which is not included in OFA's Summaries.

STEAP grants are available for economic development, community conservation, and quality of life projects for municipalities that are ineligible to receive Urban Action funds (STEAP targets relatively small towns with no major urban center while the Urban Action Grant Program typically targets large, fiscally distressed towns with urban centers).

A 2011 law also makes groups of municipalities eligible for STEAP grants, as long as each municipality that is a member of the group is otherwise eligible for the grants (PA 11-123). A municipality can receive up to $500,000 each fiscal year in total STEAP grants, including any grants it receives as part of a group (CGS 4-66g).

The Office of Policy and Management (OPM) administers STEAP. OPM's list of FY 11 grant awards is available here: http://www.ct.gov/opm/lib/opm/budget/steap/fy2011_steap_awards.pdf.

An OFA report containing information on STEAP, including projects awarded for each town since 2002, is available here:

http://cga.ct.gov/ofa/Documents/year/STEAP/2011STEAP-20101007_STEAP%20Town-by-Town.pdf.

Urban Action Grants are discretionary grants to municipalities meeting certain statutory criteria. The program is open to towns designated as (1) economically distressed as defined by CGS 32-9p(b), (2) public investment communities, or (3) urban centers under the state's Plan of Conservation and Development. Eligible projects include economic development, transit, recreation, solid waste disposal, housing, day care, elderly centers, emergency shelters, historic preservation, and various urban development (CGS 4-66c). A copy of the Department of Ecnomic and Community Development's Urban Action application for municipal Development is available here: http://www.ct.gov/ecd/lib/ecd/Microsoft_Word_-_Urban_Act_Application-Mun_Dev.pdf.

To view additional state grant information, including those not for towns and historical expenditure levels for all the grants since FY 99, visit the following link to OFA's 2010 Summaries of Connecticut State Grants: http://cga.ct.gov/ofa/Documents/year/GS/2010GS-20100301_2010%20Summaries%20of%20Connecticut%20State%20Grants.pdf.

Finally, OFA's website also features a webpage that includes information on other federal and state grants: http://cga.ct.gov/ofa/Grants.asp.

TABLE OF GRANTS TO TOWNS

Table 1 below describes state grants to towns, organized by their implementing agency. For each grant, it includes the statutory citation, whether it is mandatory or discretionary, the grant's description, and any factors or formulas used for the grant. The table indicates whether a grant is a mandated state grant (M/S), discretionary state grant (D/S), or federal grant through the state that is mandatory (M/F) or discretionary (D/F).

Table 1: State Grants to Towns

Agency

Grant Title

Statutory Citation

Mandatory or Discretionary

Description

Factors or Formulas

State Comptroller

State Grant Payment-in-Lieu-of-Taxes (PILOT) on State-Owned Property

CGS 12-19a and 12-19c

M/S

Provides a 45% reimbursement of the municipal tax loss resulting from the tax exempt status of state-owned real property and a 100% reimbursement on prisons or jails.

45% x municipal tax loss, prorated to available appropriations.

State Comptroller

State Grant PILOT on Property of Private Colleges and General Hospitals

CGS 12-20a and 12-20b

M/S

Provides a 77% reimbursement to municipalities for revenue loss on private tax exempt property.

77% x municipal tax loss, prorated to available appropriations.

Office of Policy and Management

Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan Fund Grants

CGS 3-55j

D/S

Provides additional funds for municipalities.

Statutory distribution formula. Additional aid is provided to certain towns in southeastern Connecticut.

Office of Policy and Management

Reimbursement of Property Tax Disability

CGS 12-94a

M/S

Provides a $1,000 property tax exemption to disabled persons who receive total disability benefits under Social Security or any federal, state, or local retirement or disability plan.

Number of recipients multiplied by exemption.

Office of Policy and Management

State Aid to Distressed Municipalities

CGS 12-81(59)

M/S

Provides an exemption of 80% of the assessed values of manufacturing facilities acquired, constructed, substantially renovated, or expanded on or after July 1, 1978 in a distressed municipality.

50% of the revenue loss resulting from the 80% exemption.

Office of Policy and Management

Tax Relief for Elderly and Disabled Homeowners

CGS 12-170aa(b)

M/S

Provides a taxes due credit against the property tax; the amount of the credit varies inversely with income. An applicant must (1) be 65 years of age or over, (2) have a spouse living with him or her who is 65 or older, or (3) be a surviving spouse over fifty.

Number of recipients multiplied by tax exemption, prorated to available appropriations.

Office of Policy and Management

Elderly Tax Relief-Freeze Program

CGS 12-129(d)

M/S

Freezes a qualified homeowners property tax at the level of those taxes in the year in which the person first filed for benefits under this program. This program was closed to new applicants in 1980.

Payment to town for lost tax revenue as of 1980 or earlier.

Office of Policy and Management

Local Property Tax Relief for Veterans - Additional State Exemption

CGS 12-81(19)

M/S

Veterans property tax exemption plus an additional exemption equal to 1/2 of that exemption, if the veteran meet certain income requirements.

Number of recipients multiplied by additional exemption.

Office of Policy and Management

Manufacturing Transition Grants (PILOT - New Manufacturing Machinery and Equipment)

CGS 12-94b (modified by PA 11-6)

D/S

Manufacturing transition grants to municipalities (see PA 11-6). This replaces PILOT payments that reimbursed municipalities for 100% of tax revenue loss sustained by municipalities as a result of granting exemptions for new machinery and equipment acquired after 10/1/90.

See PA 11-6.

Office of Policy and Management

Property Tax Exemption for Hybrid Vehicles

 CGS 12-129s

D/S

Reimburses towns for a local option property tax exemption for hybrid motor vehicles and those with fuel efficiencies of at least 40 miles per gallon.

 None.

Commission on Culture and Tourism

Basic Cultural Resources Grant

CGS 10-370

D/S

Provides operating support for professional arts institutions.

Not formula based.

Commission on Culture and Tourism

Grants to Local Governments

CGS 10-398 and 10-400.

M/S

Provides funding for various entities such as the Greater Hartford Arts Council, Stamford Center for the Arts, Stepping Stone Child Museum, Maritime Center Authority, and Tourism Districts.

Tourism activities are funded by state appropriations supplemented by federal funding, private contributions, and proceeds from sales of tourism-related advertising and products.

Department of Economic and Community Development

Tax Abatement

CGS 8-216 and 8-216a

D/S

Assists privately owned, non-profit, low and moderate rental housing projects to keep rents as low as possible.

Reimburse towns for taxes abated up to $450 per dwelling unit per year for up to 40 years. Payment per dwelling unit pro-rated based on availability of funds.

Department of Economic and Community Development

Payment In Lieu Of Taxes

CGS 8-216

D/S

Annually pays municipalities in which state-assisted moderate rental housing projects are operated by housing authorities an amount "equal to the taxes that would be paid on such property were the property not exempt from taxation."

Assessed value of exempt property times the mill rate. The contracts with municipalities specifically cap the state's PILOT liability to a particular municipality's pro-rata share of the appropriation available.

Department of Public Health

Local and District Departments of Health

CGS 19a-202, -202a, -245,

M/S

Subsidize the operating costs of (1) health districts and (2) municipal health departments that have a full-time director of health and meet certain criteria.

Municipalities with a full-time health department receive $1.18 per capita.

Department of Public Health

Venereal Disease Control

CGS 19a-2a

D/S

Helps defray operating costs of certain local health departments.

Not formula based. Actual contract amounts are subject to available appropriation.

Department of Public Health

School Based Health Clinics

CGS 19a-2a

D/S

Funding for School Based Health Centers

Not formula based. The actual contract amounts are subject to available appropriation.

Department of Public Health

Town Aid Road Grants

CGS 13a-175a175e and 13a-175i and 13a-175j

M/S

Assists municipalities to construct, reconstruct, improve, or maintain their local roads, highways, and bridges, including snow plowing, and removal of trees.

$12,500,000 in funding with $1,500 per mile for first 32 miles of improved roads; the remainder is distributed pro rata based on population. Any town that would be allocated less than the FY 67 allocation must be paid an amount equal to the FY 97 allocation.

Department of Social Services

Child Day Care

CGS 8-210

D/S

Grant-in-aid funds for contracts with municipalities to develop and operate child day care centers for children disadvantaged by reason of economic, social, and environmental conditions.

Funds are granted equivalent to two-thirds of the net cost of the project or, where the project is assisted by Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, one-half the amount by which the net cost of the project exceeds the federal grant.

Department of Social Services

Human Resources Development

CGS 8-221 and 8-222

D/S

Grant-in-aid funding for contracts with municipalities to develop anti-poverty programs.

Not formula based. The requested appropriation represents the Department's estimate of costs. The actual contract amounts are subject to the available appropriation.

Department of Social Services

Human Resource Development - Hispanic Programs

CGS 8-221 and -222

D/S

Provides funds to contract with municipalities for services to Hispanic youth to improve their job skills and employability through job training and educational opportunities.

Not formula based. The requested appropriation represents the department's estimate of costs. The actual contract amounts are subject to available appropriations.

Department of Social Services

Teenage Pregnancy Prevention Block Grant

CGS 17b-851a

D/S

Provides grants to municipalities to develop and implement programs for the prevention of teenage pregnancies.

Not formula based. The requested appropriation represents the department's estimate of costs. The actual contract amounts are subject to the available appropriations.

Department of Social Services

Services to the Elderly

CGS 17b-425

D/S

Provides for elderly health screening in Bridgeport, New Haven, Hartford, and Waterbury, as well as other elderly services.

Not formula based.

Department of Social Services

Housing/Homeless Services

 CGS 17b-800

D/S

Supports programs operated by municipalities that provide emergency, transitional, and permanent housing services and support for low-income families and individuals.

Not formula based.

Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services

Community Services

 CGS 17a-676

D/S

The Community Based Services to Families account provides alcohol and drug prevention, intervention, and treatment services to individuals and families. Supportive activities, which include homemaking services, child care, and emergency foster placement are provided by private agencies.

 Not formula based.

Department of Education

Vocational Agriculture

CGS 10-65

M/S

Assists 18 local boards of education in the operation of regional vocational agriculture centers in conjunction with their regular public school systems.

School systems that operate vocational agriculture centers receive a state grant for their full cost of operation, less one-third of the average per pupil cost for the prior year, times the average daily membership of the regular all-day students.

Department of Education

Transportation of School Children

CGS 10-54, 10-97, 10-266m, 10-273a, and 10-277

M/S

Assists school districts in providing school transportation services.

The reimbursement of pupil transportation costs for public school children is based on paying 0% to 60% of eligible costs in accordance with a district's relative wealth. Poorer towns receive higher percentages.

Department of Education

Adult Education

CGS 10-71

M/S

Partial reimbursement of the eligible costs of state-mandated adult education programs.

Towns are reimbursed for their current costs associated with adult education programs based upon a sliding scale from 0% to 65%. The sliding scale is based on a district's relative property wealth rank.

Department of Education

Health Services for Pupils Attending Private Schools

CGS 10-217a

M/S

Reimbursement to local districts for providing health services to private school students on a 10% to 90% sliding scale.

Sliding scale reimbursement of towns' prior year costs to provide these services, provided that a majority of the children attending such schools are from Connecticut.

Department of Education

Education Equalization Grants to Towns

CGS 10-262c

M/S

Provides funds for education to towns in order to achieve a number of goals, including helping equalize the ability of towns to finance public elementary and secondary education programs or reducing disparities in per pupil expenditures and tax rates.

The equalization formula (ECS grant) calculates grants for towns.

Department of Education

Bilingual Education

CGS 10-17b-g

D/S

Provides supplementary funding to local education agencies that are required to implement bilingual education programs.

Each eligible district receives a portion of the total amount appropriated for this program according to the ratio which the number of eligible students in its schools bears to the total number of eligible students in the state.

Department of Education

Priority School Districts

CGS 10-266p

M/S

Provides funding to the states' neediest school districts in amounts of $1 million and $500,000. Additionally, the grant includes aid formerly provided separately for school readiness, early reading success, and school accountability.

Formula based on town population, mastery exam results, and aid to families with dependent children counts.

Department of Education

Young Parents Program

CGS 10-74c

D/S

Funding for programs to ensure that young fathers and mothers have access to suitable educational programs while also fulfilling a parental role.

None.

Department of Education

Interdistrict Cooperative Program

CGS 10-74d

D/S

Provides an incentive to inter-district cooperative activities in those districts most affected by declining enrollments, particularly in high schools.

None.

Department of Education

School Breakfast

CGS 10-266w

D/S

Supports local school breakfast programs in "severe needs" schools. Federal matching funds are received locally to support this funding.

Various.

Department of Education

Excess Cost-Student Based

CGS 10-76d

M/S

Provides funding for special education students whose overall cost per pupil exceeds statutory levels and for state agency placements.

Formula based on number exceeding.

Department of Education

Excess Cost - Equity

CGS 10-76g

M/S

Provides funding to school districts with higher than average special education costs.

Formula based on number exceeding.

Department of Education

Non-Public School Transportation

CGS 10-54, 10-97, 10-266m, 10-273a, and 10-277

M/S

Grant assists school districts in providing school transportation services.

The reimbursement of pupil transportation costs for non-public school children is based on paying 0% to 60% of eligible costs in accordance with relative wealth.

Department of Education

School to Work Opportunities

CGS 10-20a-f

D/S

To aid school to work transition programs.

 Based on need within available appropriations.

Department of Education

Youth Service Bureaus

CGS 10-19m

M/S

Funding for a youth service bureau.

Formula is the same as that used to allocate funds under the Public Investment Community Act.

Department of Education

Open Choice Schools Program

Annual appropriation act provides authority for payment

M/S

Provides aid to towns participating in th OPEN program.

Aid based on participating students and appropriation level.

Department of Education

Early Reading Success

CGS 10-265f

D/S

Provides funds for enriching reading experience, offering full day kindergarten and offering summer school programs.

Formula based on the Number of three and four year olds in a town and free and reduced price lunch percentages.

Department of Education

Magnet Schools

CGS 10-264l

M/S

Provides funds for the operation of magnet schools.

Percentage of children attending from outside district and the ECS foundation rate.

State Library

Grants to Public Libraries

CGS 11-24b

D/S

Funds to assist in providing adequate local public library service to state residents.

Each principal public library receives $1,200. Sixty percent (60%) of remaining funds are allocated to equalization grants.

State Library

Connecticard Payments to Local Libraries

CGS 11-31b

D/S

Provides support for local libraries which exceed their normal function of providing for town residents only and offer services to any Connecticut resident who holds a valid library card.

One-half of the total funds appropriated is used to reimburse participating libraries for all reported Connecticut loans. The other half is used to make an additional payment to those libraries that loaned more items to non-residents.

SOURCE: OFA 2010 Summaries of Connecticut State Grants.

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