This was passed as part of the state budget, house bill H7123 pages 155 and 156.
My reading of it has your finance director correct that as of the date of this passage, you are capped at the tax rate of the preceding assessment date. So after this, you can lower you tangible rate, but under 44-5-12.2 you are prohibited from increasing your tangible rate.. Even worse, if you have a single rate that includes personal property, my reading of the first sentence would be that you are prohibited from ever raising your primary rate., Certainly not well worded and I doubt that was the intention, but outside of solicitors opinion or any compelling discussion here, that would be my reading.
In CF, this is going to make it difficult for me to establish a new tangible exemption, although I am certainly going to push and advocate for it. That said, I am lucky in that I have 4 separate tax rates and my tangible rate is currently 4x my residential owner-occupied rate. I know the league has said that there opinion is that this is a one year cap, but again based on my reading of this section, I am not seeing anything that does it for one year, it appears to me to be a standing cap prohibiting you from raising your tangible rate above the rate established last year.