Sec. QQ-1. BETR Reimbursement Loan Fund. The BETR Reimbursement Loan Fund, referred to in this section as the "fund," is created under the jurisdiction and control of the Finance Authority of Maine, referred to in this Part as the "authority."
1. Sources of money. The fund consists of:
A. All money appropriated or allocated for inclusion in the fund, from whatever source;
B. Subject to any pledge, contract or other obligation, all interest, dividends or other pecuniary gains from investment of money from the fund;
C. Subject to any pledge, contract, fee or other obligation, any money that the authority receives in repayment of advances from the fund; and
D. Any other money available to the authority and directed by the authority to be paid into the fund.
2. Application of fund. Money in the fund may be applied to carry out any power of the authority under or in connection with the BETR Reimbursement Loan Program under this Part or to pay obligations incurred in connection with the fund. Money in the fund not needed currently to meet the obligations of the authority as provided in this section may be invested in a manner permitted by law. Up to 1% of the fund may be used to pay the costs of administration of the BETR Reimbursement Loan Program established in section 2 of this Part.
3. Accounts within fund. The authority may divide the fund into separate accounts it determines necessary or convenient for carrying out this section.
4. Revolving fund. The fund is a nonlapsing, revolving fund. All money in the fund must be continuously applied by the authority to carry out this Part.
Sec. QQ-2. BETR Reimbursement Loan Program. The BETR Reimbursement Loan Program, referred to in this section as the "program," is established to provide loans to businesses that exhibit a substantial hardship resulting from the change in timing of the application for and receipt of BETR Reimbursement in 2003 as set out in Part BB of this Act.
1. Definitions. As used in this section, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.
A. "BETR" means the business equipment tax reimbursement program established under the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 36, chapter 915.
B. "Bureau" means the Department of Administrative and Financial Services, Bureau of Revenue Services.
C. "Eligible borrower" means a business that demonstrates to the authority that:
(1) It has been certified by the bureau as predetermined to be eligible for BETR reimbursement in 2003;
(2) It will suffer a substantial hardship as determined by the authority as a result of the change in timing of the application for and receipt of reimbursement under BETR as set out in Part BB of this Act; and
(3) It is likely to be able to repay the loan authorized by this section.
D. "Predetermined to be eligible" means that the business has filed a complete application for reimbursement with the bureau under BETR, and the bureau has determined that the business meets the criteria for eligibility and the amount of reimbursement to which the business will be entitled.
2. Loan authority. The authority may provide a loan to an eligible borrower who files an application with the authority by April 1, 2003 pursuant to rules adopted under this section.
3. Loan terms and conditions. Loans provided under this section may not exceed 90% of the amount of potential BETR reimbursement certified by the bureau.
The authority may establish prudent terms and conditions for loans, including a pledge of the BETR reimbursement and any other collateral the authority determines to be prudent. Loan terms may not extend beyond November 18, 2003. The interest rate charged on each loan may not exceed the prime rate of interest plus 2%, as determined by the authority. The authority may further assist the borrower by allowing for the accrual of interest until BETR reimbursement is received. The authority may charge a loan origination fee of 1%, payment of which may be deferred until receipt of BETR reimbursement.
4. Bureau assistance. The bureau shall coordinate a process with the authority to provide certification of businesses that are predetermined to be eligible for BETR reimbursement in 2003. The certification by the bureau must specify the amount of reimbursement for which an eligible borrower will be eligible.
5. Repayment of loans. The authority shall provide the bureau with the list of businesses that obtained loans under this section. The bureau shall pay BETR reimbursements for those businesses to the authority and the business as copayees, subject to available appropriations. Any amount received from the bureau in excess of the amount of the loan, the origination fee and accrued interest must be paid to the eligible borrower.
6. Rulemaking. The authority may adopt rules for the implementation of the program, including, but not limited to, the establishment of fees that may be charged for the administration of the program and may do so notwithstanding the omission of any such rules from the authority's regulatory agenda as of the effective date of this Part prepared pursuant to the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 5, section 8060 or provided pursuant to Title 5, section 8053-A, subsection 2 or any limitation imposed by Title 5, section 8064. Rules adopted under this section are routine technical rules pursuant to Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A.
Sec. QQ-3. Transfer to BETR Reimbursement Loan Fund. The Finance Authority of Maine may transfer up to $2,500,000 from the Economic Recovery Program Fund established in the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 10, section 1023-I to the BETR Reimbursement Loan Fund created in this Part.
Sec. QQ-4. Repeal; transfer of funds. This Part is repealed December 31, 2003. Any funds remaining in the BETR Reimbursement Loan Fund created in this Part on that date must be transferred to the Economic Recovery Program Fund established in the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 10, section 1023-I.
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