Section 11-81-244

Application for funding; administration of program; powers and duties of local governments; installation of improvements; assessments.

(a) A real property owner in a designated region may apply to a local government under a program for funding to finance a qualified project and enter into a written contract with the local government. Costs of the project incurred by the real property owner or the local government for such purposes may be collected as an assessment, as authorized in Section 11-81-242.

(b) A local government may enter into a partnership with one or more other local governments for the purpose of providing and financing qualified projects.

(c) A qualified program may be administered by a for-profit or nonprofit organization on behalf of and at the discretion of the local government.

(d) A local government may incur debt for the purpose of providing the improvements, payable from revenues received from the improved real property, or any other available revenue source authorized by law.

(e) A local government may enter into a contract only with the record owner of the affected real property in a designated region. A contract entered into pursuant to this section or a summary memorandum of the contract must be recorded in the public records of the court of probate in the county in which the real property is located by the sponsoring unit of local government within five days after the execution of the contract. The recorded agreement must provide constructive notice that the assessment to be levied on the real property constitutes a lien as described in Section 11-81-246. The recorded agreement also must provide a legal description of the real property covered by the lien, the amount secured by the lien, the maturity date for payment of all amounts secured by the lien, the names and addresses of the current owners of the real property subject to the assessment, the person or entity owed the assessment, the person or entity filing the notice, and a reference to the statutory assessment lien provided under this article.

(f) Prior to entering into a contract, the local government shall reasonably determine all of the following:

(1) That all property taxes and any other assessments levied on the same bill as property taxes are paid and have not been delinquent for the preceding three years or the real property owner's period of ownership, whichever is less.

(2) That there are no involuntary liens, including, but not limited to, construction liens on the real property.

(3) That no notices of default or other evidence of property-based-debt delinquency have been recorded during the preceding three years or the real property owner's period of ownership, whichever is less.

(4) That the real property owner is current on all mortgage debt on the property.

(5) That the improvements are not in excess of the increased value of the real property by reason of special benefits derived from the qualifying improvements.

(g) A qualifying improvement shall be affixed to an existing building or facility that is part of the real property and shall constitute an improvement to the building or facility or a fixture attached to the building or facility.

(h) An installation of a qualifying improvement requiring a license or certification of work under applicable law or building code must be performed by a contractor or evaluator properly certified, licensed, or registered in this state.

(i)(1) The total amount of any assessment for real property under this section may not exceed 20 percent of the just value of the real property as determined by the county property appraiser.

(2) Notwithstanding subdivision (1), an assessment for a qualifying improvement that is supported by an energy, wind or flood mitigation audit is not subject to the limits in this subsection if the audit demonstrates that the annual energy or insurance savings from the qualified improvement equals or exceeds the annual repayment amount of the non-ad valorem assessment. For residential structures, the energy audit shall be conducted by a professional with one or more of the following qualifications or certifications: Residential Energy Services Network Home Energy Rating Systems (HERS), Building Performance Institute Building Analyst (BPI), AEE Residential Energy Auditor (REA), or Professional Engineer with specific experience in energy efficiency. For commercial and industrial facilities, the energy audit shall be conducted by a professional with one or more of the following qualifications or certifications: AEE Certified Energy Manager (CEM), AEE Certified Energy Auditor (CEA), or Professional Engineer with specific experience in energy efficiency.

(Act 2015-494, §5.)