2017 Arkansas Code
Title 15 - Natural Resources and Economic Development
Subtitle 1 - Development of Economic and Natural Resources Generally
Chapter 4 - Development of Business and Industry Generally
Subchapter 32 - Arkansas Amendment 82 Implementation Act
§ 15-4-3203. Amendment 82 project qualification

Universal Citation: AR Code § 15-4-3203 (2017)
  • (a) (1) (A) In exercising its responsibilities under Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 82, § 1, the General Assembly delegates, authorizes, and directs the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, the Arkansas Development Finance Authority, and the Chief Fiscal Officer of the State to undertake a review of all proposed projects following the procedures described in this section.
    • (B) In order to be considered for qualification, a sponsor must fall within the definition of an "eligible business", as defined in § 15-4-2703.
      • (2) If the Governor refers a proposed project to the General Assembly under subsection (h) of this section, the commission and the authority shall prepare and provide to each member of the General Assembly the reports described in subsection (i) of this section, after which the General Assembly shall make the final and definitive decisions concerning the proposed project as set forth in subsection (j) of this section.
  • (b)
    • (1) As the lead economic development agency for the State of Arkansas, the commission may propose the use of Amendment 82 bonds to finance infrastructure and other needs in any combination in order to attract proposed projects to the State of Arkansas.
    • (2) In addition to powers conferred under other laws, the commission may take any reasonable action necessary to carry out the purposes of Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 82, and this subchapter.
    • (3) The proposed use of Amendment 82 financing by the commission shall not prohibit the commission, the state, or any local entity from using any other available economic incentives in connection with a proposed project.
  • (c) The commission shall initiate the process of selecting a proposed project for referral to the General Assembly by performing an economic impact and cost-benefit analysis to evaluate the capability of a sponsor and the feasibility of a proposed project and to determine if the proposed project has the potential to be a qualified Amendment 82 project. The economic impact and cost-benefit analysis shall include all other economic incentives offered by the state in connection with the proposed project.
  • (d) If the commission determines that a proposed project has the potential to become a qualified Amendment 82 project, the commission shall refer the proposal and the commission's findings to the authority so that the authority may perform an initial assessment of the feasibility and impact of issuing Amendment 82 bonds in connection with the proposed project, including the state's ability to cover projected debt service obligations and the impact on the overall rating of the state's general obligation bonded indebtedness, including without limitation, bonds issued under Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 82, and this subchapter.
  • (e) If the authority's initial assessment is that Amendment 82 bond financing for the proposed project is feasible, the authority shall notify the commission, and the commission shall refer the proposal and the findings of the commission and the authority to the Chief Fiscal Officer of the State for review of the impact of the proposed Amendment 82 bond financing on any agency or program supported from the general revenues under the Revenue Stabilization Law, § 19-5-101 et seq.
  • (f) If the Chief Fiscal Officer of the State's initial assessment is that the proposed Amendment 82 financing will not have a substantially negative impact on any agency or program supported from general revenues, then:
    • (1) The Chief Fiscal Officer of the State shall notify the commission; and
    • (2) The commission shall make a formal proposal to the sponsor detailing the state's proposed offer with respect to Amendment 82 financing and all other economic incentives offered by the state in connection with the proposed project.
  • (g)
    • (1) If the sponsor of a proposed project determines to accept Amendment 82 financing, then the sponsor and the commission, on behalf of the state, shall sign a letter of commitment.
    • (2) The commission shall forward the letter of commitment and the findings and recommendations of the commission, the authority, and the Chief Fiscal Officer of the State to the Governor for review.
    • (3)
      • (A) The commission shall also forward the letter of commitment, the findings and recommendations of the commission, the authority, and the Chief Fiscal Officer of the State, and all supporting documentation to the Office of Economic and Tax Policy of the Bureau of Legislative Research on behalf of the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
      • (B)
        • (i) At the direction of the President Pro Tempore of the Senate or the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the office shall arrange for an independent confirmation of the economic impact and cost-benefit analysis performed by the commission or an independent economic impact and cost-benefit analysis of the proposed project to be completed within twenty (20) working days after the receipt of the letter of commitment.
        • (ii) All information forwarded to the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives by the commission and any resulting information related to the confirmation of the commission's economic impact and cost-benefit analysis or independent economic impact and cost-benefit analysis:
          • (a) Shall be considered working papers of the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives under § 25-19-105(b)(7) and shall not be open to inspection and copying by any citizen of the State of Arkansas; and
          • (b) Is specifically exempt from the requirements of § 25-19-105(a).
  • (h) If the Governor determines that it is in the best interest of the state to pursue Amendment 82 financing for the proposed project, the Governor shall refer the proposed project to the General Assembly in regular session, fiscal session, or extraordinary session in order for the General Assembly to consider whether to approve the issuance of bonds under Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 82, and this subchapter.
  • (i)
    • (1) In order to expedite review by the General Assembly, the commission and the authority shall prepare and provide to each member of the General Assembly the reports described in subdivisions (i)(2) and (3) of this section.
    • (2) The commission's report shall include:
      • (A) A description of the proposed project;
      • (B)
        • (i) An itemization of the proposed infrastructure needs and other needs to be financed with the proceeds derived from the sale of Amendment 82 bonds.
        • (ii) The itemization shall include estimated costs and details to the maximum extent available at the time of the report;
      • (C) A description of all other economic incentives to be provided by the state in connection with the proposed project;
      • (D) A description of the economic impact and cost-benefit analyses of the proposed project for a period of at least ten (10) years that includes:
        • (i) The annual projected benefit to the state from increased sales and use tax and income tax revenue;
        • (ii) The annual projected cost to the state for each economic incentive offered to the sponsor in connection with the proposed project; and
        • (iii) The overall net present value benefit-to-cost ratio for the period of at least ten (10) years;
      • (E) The amount of bonds necessary to be issued to defray project costs and a budget of the project costs;
      • (F) A tentative time schedule setting forth the period of time during which the proceeds of the Amendment 82 bonds are to be expended;
      • (G) A statement by the Executive Director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission based on and outlining the:
        • (i) Terms of the letter of the commitment;
        • (ii) Estimated dollar amount of investment in the state from the proposed project; and
        • (iii) Estimated number of new jobs to be created by the proposed project;
      • (H) A copy of the signed letter of commitment for the proposed project; and
      • (I) A copy of the unexecuted Amendment 82 agreement for the proposed project.
    • (3) The authority's report shall include:
      • (A) A schedule of projected debt service, including all fees, showing the annual principal and interest requirements for any Amendment 82 bonds outstanding, if applicable, and the projected debt service for the Amendment 82 bonds proposed to be issued for the proposed project;
      • (B) A projected schedule of revenues, if any, to be received by the state from the sponsor in connection with its use of the infrastructure needs and other needs associated with the proposed project;
      • (C) An initial plan of marketing for the bonds and a proposed schedule of issuance dates, including without limitation, the number of series to be issued and an estimated timeline for the series based on the commission's proposed spending schedule; and
      • (D) A preliminary and estimated sources and uses table.
  • (j) If the General Assembly determines that the proposed project is of the nature intended by the electors of the state to be financed with Amendment 82 bonds and approves the Amendment 82 agreement, it shall take appropriate legislative action to:
    • (1) Declare the proposed project a qualified Amendment 82 project;
    • (2) Establish any additional parameters deemed necessary by the General Assembly for the general structure of the qualified Amendment 82 project, including without limitation, penalty provisions;
    • (3) Authorize the execution of the Amendment 82 agreement in substantially the same form as presented to the General Assembly; and
    • (4) Authorize the issuance of Amendment 82 bonds.
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