Title 44

SECTION 206.376

206.376 Loan cancellation.

§ 206.376 Loan cancellation.

(a) FEMA shall cancel repayment of all or part of a Special Community Disaster Loan to the extent that the Director of the Public Assistance Division determines that revenues of the local government during the three-full-fiscal-year period following the disaster are insufficient, as a result of the disaster, to meet the operating budget for the local government, including additional unreimbursed disaster-related expenses of a municipal operating character.

(b) Definitions. For loan cancellation purposes,

(1) “Operating budget” means actual revenues and expenditures of the local government as published in the official financial statements of the local government.

(2) “Revenue” means any source of income from taxes, fees, fines, and other sources of income, and will be recognized only as they become susceptible to accrual (measurable and available).

(3) “Three-full-fiscal-year period following the disaster” means either a 36-month period beginning on September 1, 2005, or the 36 months of the applicant's fiscal year as established before the disaster, at the applicant's discretion.

(4) “Operating expenses” means those expenses and expenditures incurred as a result of performing services, including salaries and benefits, contractual services, and commodities. Capital expenditures and debt service payments and capital leases are not considered operating expenses. Under accrual accounting, expenses are recognized as soon as a liability is incurred, regardless of the timing of related cash flows.

(c) Revenue Calculation procedures. (1) If the tax rates and other revenues or the tax assessment valuation of property which was not damaged or destroyed by the disaster are reduced during the three full fiscal years subsequent to the major disaster, the tax rates and other revenues and tax assessment valuation factors applicable to such property in effect at the time of the major disaster shall be used without reduction for purposes of computing revenues received.

(2) At the applicant's discretion, the three-full-fiscal-year period following the disaster is either a 36-month period beginning on September 1, 2005 or the 36 months of the applicant's fiscal year as established before the disaster. If the applicant's fiscal year is changed within the 36 months immediately following the disaster, the actual period will be modified so that the required financial data submitted covers an inclusive 36-month period. Should the applicant elect the 36-month period beginning September 1, 2005, FEMA will prorate the revenues and expenses for the partial years based on the applicant's annual financial statements.

(3) If the local government transfers funds from its operating funds accounts to its capital funds account, utilizes operating funds for other than routine maintenance purposes, or significantly increases expenditures which are not disaster related, except increases due to inflation, the annual operating budget or operating statement expenditures will be reduced accordingly for purposes of evaluating any request for loan cancellation.

(4) Notwithstanding paragraph (c)(3) of this section, the amount of property taxes that are transferred to other funds for Debt Service or Pension Obligations funding will not be excluded from the calculation of the operating budget or from expenditures in calculation of the operating deficit, to the extent that the property tax revenues in the General Fund are less than they were pre-disaster. FEMA will consider the impact of the loss of property tax revenue in Debt Service or Pension Funds (non-operating funds) if all of the following conditions are met:

(i) The entity experienced a loss of property tax revenue as a result of the disaster and the assessed value during the three years following the disaster, in the aggregate, is less than the pre-disaster assessed value;

(ii) the entity has a property tax cap limitation on the ability to raise property taxes post-disaster; and

(iii) the property taxes are levied through the General Operating Fund and transfers for obligations mandated by law are made to fund Debt Service or Pension Obligations which result in the entity experiencing a reduction of property tax revenues in the General Fund.

(5) It is not the purpose of this loan program to underwrite pre-disaster budget or actual deficits of the local government. Consequently, such deficits carried forward will reduce any amounts otherwise eligible for loan cancellation.

(6) The provisions of this section apply to all Special Community Disaster loans issued from the dates of enactment of Public Law 109-88 and Public Law 109-234.

(d) Disaster-related expenses of a municipal operation character. (1) For purposes of this loan, unreimbursed expenses of a municipal operating character are those incurred for general government purposes, including but not limited to police and fire protection, trash collection, collection of revenues, maintenance of public facilities, flood and other hazard insurance.

(2) Disaster-related expenses do not include expenditures associated with debt service, any major repairs, rebuilding, replacement or reconstruction of public facilities or other capital projects, intragovernmental services, special assessments, and trust and agency fund operations. Disaster expenses which are eligible for reimbursement under project applications or other Federal programs are not eligible for loan cancellation.

(3) Each applicant shall maintain records including documentation necessary to identify expenditures for unreimbursed disaster-related expenses. Examples of such expenses include but are not limited to:

(i) Interest paid on money borrowed to pay amounts FEMA does not advance toward completion of approved Project Applications.

(ii) Unreimbursed costs to local governments for providing usable sites with utilities for mobile homes used to meet disaster temporary housing requirements.

(iii) Unreimbursed costs required for police and fire protection and other community services for mobile home parks established as the result of or for use following a disaster.

(iv) The cost to the applicant of flood insurance required under Public Law 93-234, as amended, and other hazard insurance required under section 311, Public Law 93-288, as amended, as a condition of Federal disaster assistance for the disaster under which the loan is authorized.

(4) The following expenses are not considered to be disaster-related for Special Community Disaster Loan purposes:

(i) The local government's share for assistance provided under the Stafford Act including flexible funding under section 406(c)(1) of the Act (42 U.S.C. 5172).

(ii) Improvements related to the repair or restoration of disaster public facilities approved on Project Applications.

(iii) Otherwise eligible costs for which no Federal reimbursement is requested as a part of the applicant's disaster response commitment, or cost sharing as specified in the FEMA-State Agreement for the disaster.

(iv) Expenses incurred by the local government which are reimbursed on the applicant's Project Application.

(e) Cancellation application. A local government which has drawn loan funds from the U.S. Treasury may request cancellation of the principal and related interest by submitting an Application for Loan Cancellation through the Governor's Authorized Representative to the Regional Administrator prior to the expiration date of the loan.

(1) Financial information submitted with the application shall include the following:

(i) Annual Operating Budgets for the fiscal year of the disaster and the three subsequent fiscal years;

(ii) Annual Financial Reports (Revenue and Expense and Balance Sheet) for each of the above fiscal years. Such financial records must include copies of the local government's annual financial reports, including operating statements and balance sheets and related consolidated and individual presentations for each fund account. In addition, the local government must include an explanatory statement when figures in the Application for Loan Cancellation form differ from those in the supporting financial reports.

(iii) The following additional information concerning annual real estate property taxes pertaining to the community for each of the above fiscal years:

(A) The market value of the tax base (dollars);

(B) The assessment ratio (percent);

(C) The assessed valuation (dollars);

(D) The tax levy rate (mils);

(E) Taxes levied and collected (dollars).

(iv) Audit reports for each of the above fiscal years certifying to the validity of the Operating Statements. The financial statements of the local government shall be examined in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards by independent certified public accountants. The report should not include recommendations concerning loan cancellation or repayment.

(v) Other financial information specified in the Application for Loan Cancellation.

(2) Narrative justification. The application may include a narrative presentation to supplement the financial material accompanying the application and to present any extenuating circumstances which the local government wants the Director of the Public Assistance Division to consider in rendering a decision on the cancellation request.

(f) Determination. (1) The Director of the Public Assistance Division will make a cancellation determination within 60 days of the date the applicant submits all required and requested information, including documentation in support of un-reimbursed disaster related expenses.

(2) If, based on a review of the Application for Loan Cancellation and FEMA audit, the Director of the Public Assistance Division determines that all or part of the Special Community Disaster Loan funds should be canceled, the amount of principal canceled and the related interest will be forgiven. The Director of the Public Assistance Division's determination concerning loan cancellation will specify that any uncancelled principal and related interest must be repaid in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Promissory Note, and that, if repayment will constitute a financial hardship, the local government must submit for FEMA review and approval, a repayment schedule for settling the indebtedness on a timely basis. Such repayments must be made to the Treasurer of the United States and be sent to FEMA, Attention: Office of the Chief Financial Officer.

(3) A loan or cancellation of a loan does not reduce or affect other disaster-related grants or other disaster assistance. However, no cancellation may be made that would result in a duplication of benefits to the applicant.

(4) The uncancelled portion of the loan must be repaid in accordance with § 206.377.

(5) Appeals. If an Application for Loan Cancellation is disapproved, in whole or in part, by the Director of the Public Assistance Division, the local government may submit any additional information in support of the application within 60 days of the date of disapproval. The decision by the Assistant Administrator for the Disaster Assistance Directorate on the additional information is final.

[75 FR 2818, Jan. 19, 2010]