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ACT NO. 1

(H.130)

Budget Adjustment Act; Fiscal Year 1999

This act is the Budget Adjustment Act for fiscal year 1999, which makes adjustments in the amounts appropriated for state government for fiscal year 1999 by No.147 of the Acts of 1998.

In addition, other significant features of the act include:

Education property taxes and "prebate" provisions for calendar year 1999. Sections 60a through 60j revise provisions of the Equal Educational Opportunity Act (Acts 60 and 71 of the 1997 Session) for billing and collection of 1999-2000 education property taxes and for the determination and payment of income sensitivity payments ("prebates") in that year. In 1999, as in 1998, municipalities - not the state - will bill and collect 1999-2000 education property taxes. Income sensitivity payments ("prebates"), will be paid by check to homestead owners directly from the Tax Department in the fall of 1999, and all homestead owners will continue to pay education property taxes directly to their municipalities on the same due dates set by the municipalities.

Champion land acquisition. Sections 87a through 87d appropriate the amount of $4,500,000 of state general funds for the acquisition of a large tract of woodlands in northeastern Vermont, commonly referred to as the Champion lands, and contain provisions to ensure that the land is maintained as a working forest, maintains wildlife habitat, and allows perpetual public access for traditional recreational uses.

Tobacco litigation settlement fund. Section 102 establishes a tobacco litigation settlement fund in the state treasury for the support of tobacco use mitigation, prevention and other health care purposes, to be funded by monies received from the state in connection with the Master Tobacco Settlement Agreement between the states and the tobacco industry.

Health care cost inflation study. Section 105 appropriates $150,000 to the legislature to enable the legislature's Health Access Oversight Committee to contract for independent health care policy expertise and make recommendations for controlling health care costs and expanding access to quality health care to the General Assembly by January 2000.

Payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) for Agency of Natural Resources land. Sections 106a through 106d create a separate program for the determination of and state payments in lieu of taxes to towns for lands owned by the Agency of Natural Resources.