Montana Administrative Register Notice 8-111-100 No. 1   01/12/2012    
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In the matter of the amendment of ARM 8.111.602 pertaining to the low income housing tax credit program and ARM 8.111.603 pertaining to tax credit allocation procedure










TO:  All Concerned Persons


1.  On February 11, 2012, the Board of Housing proposes to amend the above-stated rules.


2.  The board will make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities who wish to participate in this rulemaking process or need an alternative accessible format of this notice.  If you require an accommodation, contact Department of Commerce no later than 5:00 p.m. on January 23, 2012, to advise us of the nature of the accommodation that you need.  Please contact Paula Loving, Board of Housing, Department of Commerce, 301 South Park Avenue, P.O. Box 200528, Helena, Montana, 59620-0528; telephone (406) 841-2840; fax (406) 841-2841; TDD (406) 841-2702; or e-mail ploving@mt.gov.


3.  The rules as proposed to be amended provide as follows, new matter underlined, deleted matter interlined:


            8.111.602  DEFINITIONS

            (1) and (2) remain the same.

            (3)  "QAP" means the board's "Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program 2012 Qualified Allocation Plan–2011", as amended November 15, 2010, which sets forth the selection criteria used by the board for determining housing priorities and the allocation of tax credits for calendar year 2011 2012, copies of which may be obtained by contacting the Board of Housing by mail at P.O. Box 200528, Helena, MT 59620-0528, by telephone at (406) 841-2845 or (406) 841-2838, or at the board's web site www.housing.mt.gov.

            (4) remains the same.


AUTH:  90-6-106, MCA

IMP:  90-6-104, MCA


REASON:  The proposed amendments to ARM 8.111.602 are necessary to update the Qualified Allocation Plan ("QAP") definition to reference the 2012 Qualified Allocation Plan for the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program.  Low income housing tax credits are allocated by the federal government to the states, according to their population, for allocation to particular buildings by each state's housing credit agency.  The Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program ("Program") is administered and tax credits are allocated by a state's housing credit agency.  The Montana Board of Housing is Montana's housing credit agency for purposes of the Program.  Federal law requires that the tax credits allocated to the state by the federal government must be allocated by the state pursuant to a "qualified allocation plan" or "QAP".  The 2012 QAP was approved by the board on October 17, 2011 and approved by the Governor on November 2, 2011.  The 2012 QAP will govern the tax credit application and award process for the 2012 tax credit application cycle and eligible competition periods.  The proposed amendment is necessary to allow for the tax credit application and allocation process in 2012.


A copy of the 2012 QAP is available on the internet at http://housing.mt.gov/content/About/MF/docs/LIHTCAllocation/2012QAP.pdf or by requesting a copy from: Mary Bair, Board of Housing, Department of Commerce, 301 South Park Avenue, P.O. Box 200528, Helena, Montana, 59620-0528; telephone (406) 841-2845; fax (406) 841-2841; or e-mail mbair@mt.gov.



      (1) and (2) remain the same.

            (3) Following submittal of all applications for allocation of tax credits for each calendar year and prior to scoring and formulation of recommendations by board staff, the board will provide an opportunity for applicants to present their respective projects and applications to the board and for public comment on proposed projects and applications.  Following such opportunity for presentation and comment, board staff will evaluate each project for conformance with the criteria in the QAP, using the point system provided for therein. The points awarded to each project are for the purpose of establishing that the projects meet the criteria set forth in the QAP, and not for purposes of ranking projects for allocation of tax credits. Following their evaluation, board staff will provide recommendations to the board for allocation of tax credits to qualifying projects.

      (4) and (5) remain the same.

      (6) All applicants for projects meeting the minimum criteria in the QAP will be given the opportunity at the hearing to further explain the benefits of and the need for their respective project.  After scoring and formulation of recommendations by board staff, applicants will not be permitted to make additional presentations to the board but should be available to the board to answer questions regarding their respective applications.

      (7) remains the same.


AUTH:  90-6-106, MCA

IMP:  90-6-104, MCA


REASON: The proposed amendments to ARM 8.111.603 are necessary to revise the application and allocation process to provide opportunity for applicant presentation and public comment prior to staff scoring of applications and staff recommendations regarding award of allocations.  Under prior year QAPs and the current rule, applications were evaluated and scored by staff, and staff presented recommendations to the board at the tax credit allocation hearing in April or May of each year.  There was no opportunity for applicant presentation or public comment prior to the allocation hearing.  The 2012 QAP approved by the board provides for such application presentation and public comment after submission of applications, but before staff scoring and recommendations.  See 2012 QAP, Section 4.  The board determined that allowing presentation and comment at an earlier stage would provide a better opportunity for applicants and the public to provide relevant information to the board and would also provide a better opportunity for the board, staff, and interested parties to address questions or concerns that may arise regarding particular applications before the award determinations are made at the allocation hearing.


4.  Concerned persons may submit their data, views, or arguments concerning the proposed action in writing to:  Mary Bair, Board of Housing, Department of Commerce, 301 South Park Avenue, P.O. Box 200528, Helena, Montana, 59620-0528; telephone (406) 841-2845; fax (406) 841-2841; or e-mail mbair@mt.gov, and must be received no later than 5:00 p.m., February 9, 2012.


5.  If persons who are directly affected by the proposed action wish to express their data, views, or arguments orally or in writing at a public hearing, they must make written request for a hearing and submit this request along with any written comments to Mary Bair at the above address no later than 5:00 p.m., February 9, 2012.


6.  If the agency receives requests for a public hearing on the proposed action from either 10% or 25, whichever is less, of the persons directly affected by the proposed action; from the appropriate administrative rule review committee of the Legislature; from a governmental subdivision or agency; or from an association having not less than 25 members who will be directly affected, a hearing will be held at a later date.  Notice of the hearing will be published in the Montana Administrative Register.  Ten percent of those directly affected has been determined to be 25 persons based on the number of individuals who are interested in low income housing tax credits.


7.  The board maintains a list of interested persons who wish to receive notices of rulemaking actions proposed by this agency.  Persons who wish to have their name added to the list shall make a written request that includes the name, e-mail, and mailing address of the person to receive notices and specifies for which program the person wishes to receive notices.  Notices will be sent by e-mail unless a mailing preference is noted in the request.  Such written request may be mailed or delivered to the contact person in 4 above or may be made by completing a request form at any rules hearing held by the department.


8.  An electronic copy of this Proposal Notice is available through the Secretary of State's web site at http://sos.mt.gov/ARM/Register.  The Secretary of State strives to make the electronic copy of this notice conform to the official version of the notice, as printed in the Montana Administrative Register, but advises all concerned persons that in the event of a discrepancy between the official printed text of the notice and the electronic version of the notice, only the official printed text will be considered.  In addition, although the Secretary of State works to keep its web site accessible at all times, concerned persons should be aware that the web site may be unavailable during some periods, due to system maintenance or technical problems.


9.  The bill sponsor contact requirements of 2-4-302, MCA, do not apply.


/s/  KELLY A. CASILLAS                            /s/  DORE SCHWINDEN               

KELLY A. CASILLAS                                  DORE SCHWINDEN

Rule Reviewer                                             Director

                                                                        Department of Commerce


Certified to the Secretary of State January 3, 2012.


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