Focus on New Laws: New Financing Option for Replacement of Freon Systems

A provision in the 2017 tax bill allows cities to finance improvements for up to 20 years.
(Published Nov 20, 2017)

Although the 2017 Legislature did not reauthorize the James Metzen Mighty Ducks Ice Arena Grant program, the 2017 omnibus tax bill (2017 First Special Session, Chapter 1) did include a new option for home rule and statutory cities to finance the replacement of Freon-based refrigerant (R-22) in their hockey ice arenas.

Many cities are looking for ways to replace Freon because chemical producers will no longer be allowed to manufacture R-22 after Jan. 1, 2020. Under the revised law, cities can now issue capital notes or certificates of indebtedness to finance these upgrades. This new authority covers both home rule charter cities and statutory cities.

As of July 1, 2017, cities are authorized to issue capital notes or certificates of indebtedness with up to a 20-year term to finance replacing Freon (typically in indoor ice rinks). These instruments can be issued without voter approval, but are subject to a reverse referendum process if petitioned by the voters. The maximum term for such financing was limited to no longer than 10 years.

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