7 CFR 4279.116 - New Markets Tax Credit program.

§ 4279.116 New Markets Tax Credit program.

This section identifies the provisions specific to guaranteed loans involving projects that include new markets tax credits available under the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program. Such applicants and applications must comply with the provisions in subparts A and B of this part, except as modified in this section.

(a)Loan guarantees for Qualified Active Low Income Community Businesses (QALICB).

(1) To be an eligible lender for a loan guarantee that involves NMTCs, the organization must meet the applicable eligibility criteria in § 4279.29 as otherwise modified by paragraphs (a)(1)(i) and (ii) of this section.

(i) Sub-entities under the control of a non-regulated lender approved as a lender for this program do not need to separately meet the requirements of § 4279.29(b). An eligible non-regulated lender may modify its list of eligible sub-entities under its control at any time by notifying the Agency in writing.

(ii) In order to take advantage of the requirement exemption in paragraph (a)(1)(i) of this section, the non-regulated lender must include in its application to be a lender each sub-entity under its control and must clearly define the multiple-entity organizational and control structure. In addition, the lender must include each such sub-entity in the audited financial statements, commercial loan portfolio, and commercial loan performance statistics.

(2) The provisions of § 4279.117(q) notwithstanding, a lender that is a Department of Treasury certified Community Development Entity (CDE) or subsidiary of a CDE (sub-CDE) may have an ownership interest in the borrower provided that each of the conditions specified in paragraphs (a)(2)(i) through (iv) of this section is met.

(i) The lender does not have an ownership interest in the borrower prior to the guaranteed loan application.

(ii) The lender does not take a controlling interest in the borrower.

(iii) The lender cannot provide equity or take an ownership interest in a borrower at a level that would result in the lender owning 20 percent or more interest in the borrower.

(iv) In its guaranteed loan application, the lender provides an Agency-approved exit strategy when the NMTCs expire after the seventh year. The CDE's (or sub-CDE's) exit strategy must include a general plan to address the lender's equity in the project, and, if the lender will divest its equity interest, how this will be accomplished and the impact on the borrower.

(3) Notwithstanding § 4279.117(p), a CDE's (or sub-CDE's) ownership interest in the borrower does not constitute a conflict of interest. The Agency will mitigate the potential for or appearance of a conflict of interest by requiring appropriate loan covenants regarding limitations on dividends and distributions of earnings be established, as well as other covenants in accordance with § 4279.161(b)(11). The Agency will also ensure that the lender limits waivers of loan covenants and future modifications of loan documents.

(4) For purposes of calculating tangible balance sheet equity, the CDE's or sub-CDE's loan that is subordinated to the guaranteed loan will be considered equity when calculating tangible balance sheet equity. The QALICB's financial statements must be prepared in accordance with GAAP.

(b)Loan guarantees for the leveraged lender. The provisions of § 4279.117(s) notwithstanding, an investor fund entity, such as an investor partnership or investor LLC, may be an eligible borrower as specified in paragraph (b)(1) of this section. Paragraphs (b)(2) through (13) of this section identify modifications to subpart B of this part that apply when the eligible borrower is an investor fund entity.

(1) To be an eligible borrower for a NMTC loan, each of the following conditions must be met:

(i) The investor fund entity must be established for a single specific NMTC investment;

(ii) The lender is not an affiliate of the investor fund entity;

(iii) One hundred percent of the guaranteed loan funds are or will be invested in one or more sub-CDEs that will then be loaned directly to a Qualified Active Low Income Community Business (QALICB), as defined by applicable regulations of the Internal Revenue Service and are or will be used by the QALICB in accordance with §§ 4279.113 and 4279.117. All of the B&I guaranteed loan funds must be “passed through” the sub-CDE to the QALICB through a direct tracing method. The QALICB's project must be the ultimate use of the B&I guaranteed loan funds; and

(iv) The QALICB meets the requirements of § 4279.108.

(2) The provisions of § 4279.119 apply except that the loan guarantee limits apply to the QALICB and not to the investor fund entity, who would otherwise be understood to be the “borrower.”

(3) Section 4279.126 applies to both the borrower (investor fund entity) and the QALICB. The terms and payment schedule of the lender's loan to the investor fund entity must be at least equal to the terms and payment schedule of the sub-CDE's loan to the QALICB. An Agency approved unequal or escalating schedule of principal and interest payments may be used for a NMTC loan. The lender may require additional principal repayment by a co-borrower, such as an owner or principal of the QALICB. The lender or sub-CDE may require a debt repayment reserve fund or sinking fund; however, such fund is not in lieu of a principal repayment schedule in accordance with § 4279.126 as amended by this paragraph.

(4) Except for § 4279.131(b), § 4279.131 applies to both the lender's loan to the investor fund entity and the sub-CDE's loan to the QALICB. Section 4279.131(b) applies only to the sub-CDE's loan to the QALICB. Section 4279.116(a)(4) also applies when calculating tangible balance sheet equity.

(5) The personal and corporate guarantee provisions of § 4279.132 and the insurance provisions of § 4279.136 apply only to the QALICB and the sub-CDE's loan to the QALICB.

(6) Section 4279.137 applies to both the borrower (investor fund entity) and the QALICB.

(7) Sections 4279.144 and 4279.150 apply to both the QALICB and the sub-CDE's loan to the QALICB.

(8) Section 4279.161 applies to both the borrower (investor fund entity) and the QALICB. As part of the application completed by the lender in accordance with § 4279.161, the application documentation must include comparable information for the loan (using the B&I guaranteed loan funds) between the sub-CDE and QALICB. The requirements of § 4279.161 apply to the loan application, application analysis and underwriting, and loan documents between the sub-CDE and QALICB. The lender must include these materials in its guaranteed loan application to the Agency.

(9) The environmental requirements specified in § 4279.165(b) apply to both the loan between the sub-CDE and QALICB and the QALICB's project.

(10) When assigning the priority score to a NMTC loan application under § 4279.166, the Agency will score the project based on the sub-CDE's loan to the QALICB, the QALICB, and the QALICB's project as the ultimate use of B&I guaranteed loan funds.

(11) When complying with the planning and performing development provisions in § 4279.167, the lender is responsible for ensuring that both the sub-CDE's loan to the QALICB and the QALICB's project comply with the provisions in § 4279.167.

(12) Section 4279.180 applies to both the borrower (investor fund entity) and the QALICB.

(13) Section 4279.181 applies to both the borrower (investor fund entity) and the QALICB.

[ 81 FR 36005, June 3, 2016, as amended at 82 FR 26335, June 7, 2017]

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