Independent Journalist Grant Smith – Ellis shared the following information on Linked In today
Grant can be contacted at https://www.linkedin.com/in/grant-smith-ellis-6762aa208/
Uxbridge, Massachusetts Retailer Caroline’s Cannabis Is Suing The Town For $1.4 Million In Host Community Agreement (HCA) ‘Impact Fees’ That The Company Alleges Were Not Documented By Local Authorities.
This complaint, a motion for summary judgement, is about a contract between the company and the Town of Uxbridge related to fees that the Town collected from the Plaintiff that amounted to $1.4 million. Per the statue which allows the Town to contract to collect such fees there must be an “identifiable impact” of the fees. The attached complaint alleges that the Town did not document those impacts and should return the money.
Under MGL 94G (3) (D), municipalities in Massachusetts may asses “impact fees” on certain companies via a contract called a “Host Community Agreement”, however that law was recently updated by S. 3096 to give the CCC more oversight over the way those agreements are written and, specifically, the way in which cities and towns must document such fees.
While the HCA contract between Uxbridge and the retailer here was signed under the old law, changes in circumstance can and will be taken into consideration by the court (in particular if the CCC issues some kind of sub regulatory guidance, or regulatory change, as is expected in the coming months).
My thoughts; if cities and towns are not held accountable as to how such HCA contracts are written, and corruption ensues, we could we well start to lose this Republic to a conflagration of municipal malfeasance (and that is why this case reminds me so strongly of the public policy rationale for Courts enforcing breaches of contracts).
*Nothing in this post is legal advice. I am just some person on the internet sharing information.