Bill S780-2011

Establishes the AgJobs NY program to provide low interest loans to finance certain costs of agribusinesses; appropriates $50,000,000

Establishes the AgJobs NY program to provide low interest loans to finance certain costs of agribusinesses; appropriates $50,000,000.

Details

Actions

  • Jan 4, 2012: REFERRED TO FINANCE
  • Jan 5, 2011: REFERRED TO FINANCE

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S780

TITLE OF BILL:

An act to amend the agriculture and markets law and the state finance law, in relation to establishing the AgJobs NY program; and making an appropriation therefor

PURPOSE:

To establish the AgJobs program to promote the creation and retention of jobs in New York via low interest loan financing for:

* the purchase of land, building, machinery and equipment which is directly related to business operations, and/or

* the purchase of services or consumable goods necessary to produce an agricultural commodity.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Agriculture and Markets Law and the State Finance Law is amended to create a low-interest revolving loan program of $50 million for agribusinesses and agricultural producers to:

* upgrade and/or acquire new or used machinery and equipment directly related to business operations, including associated engineering and installation expenses;

* renovate and/or acquire a facility directly related to business operations;

* diversify farm operations through crop diversification, such as: -~ transitioning from Concord or other native grapes to vinifera and other hybrid grapes; -- adding cellulosic feedstock for ethanol production, (i.e. willow and grasses) into crop rotation.

* convert or expand farm operations from "traditional" to more profitable niche markets;

* purchase other services or consumable goods needed to produce an agricultural commodity including, but not limited to, land rent, equipment rental, wages for labor, plant material, pesticides/herbicides, etc.

All applicants and its principals must be current in payment of all applicable state and local taxes unless they have entered into a agreement satisfactory to the respective taxing authority and are fully in compliance with the terms of that agreement.

LOAN AMOUNT

The maximum loan amount for land, buildings, machinery and equipment is $300,000 or 50% of the total eligible project cost, whichever is less.

For capital purposes, an application may not receive more than $300,000 in new financing in any 12 month period.

For purchase of services or consumable goods necessary to produce an agricultural commodity, an application may not receive more than $50,000 in any 12 month period.

PRIVATE INVESTMENT REQUIREMENT

For capital purposes, loans must be made with another source or sources of financing for the eligible costs incurred, such as another lender or equity from the owners or investors.

Funds from other sources must equal at least SO% of eligible project costs and must have either equivalent or longer terms than the awarded loan.

Land and building and machinery and equipment purchases made within a 12 month period prior to the filing of an application may be eligible as a private match towards a loan project.

ELIGIBLE USE OF FUNDS

Machinery and equipment costs may include, but are not limited to, costs of acquisition, delivery, and installation. Such costs are eligible if associated with acquisition of machinery and equipment that the applicant has newly purchased, even if such machinery had previously been in service with another user. Costs of mobile equipment are eligible if, and only if, such equipment is not titled or registered for highway use. Land and building/construction costs directly associated with:

* the purchase, renovation, or installation of equipment/machinery or

* building/construction directly related to business operations may include, but are not limited to, acquisition, site preparation and testing, utilities, site mapping, rehabilitation, architectural, landscaping, legal, and other related costs, costs associated with crop transition or diversification. Also, costs associated with transitioning from a traditional to organic operation, land rent, equipment rental, wages for labor, plant material, pesticides/ herbicides and other services or consumable goods needed to produce an agricultural commodity.

REPAYMENT TERMS

Loans used for real estate may have a repayment period of up to 15 years. Loans used for machinery and equipment may have a repayment period of up to 10 years, depending upon the useful life of the machinery being financed. Loans used for purchase of services and consumable goods may have a repayment period of up to one year with the exception of transition expenses which will reflect the term needed for crop maturation in order to have a marketable commodity, such as:

* for transition from Concord or other native grapes to vinifera or hybrid grapes, the repayment period may be up to six years.

* for transition to cellulois feedstock for ethanol production, such as willow and grasses, the repayment period may be up to three years.

* for transition from a traditional to organic operation the repayment period may be up to three years. Loans may be prepaid anytime without financial penalty.

INTEREST RATES

For capital purposes, interest rates shall be at a fixed rate of 3%. For purchase of services or consumable goods necessary to produce am agricultural commodity, interest rates shall be at a fixed rate of 5%. The commissioner may reduce the annual interest rate if the area where the project is located has been included within a natural disaster declaration.

JUSTIFICATION:

AgJobs NY is a progressive, self-sustaining, low interest revolving loan program which is exclusive to the agriculture community. This $50 million program is uniquely suited to help producers and agribusinesses gain access to the capital needed to begin, continue or expand their business. AgJobs NY also answers the critical need for accessible, low cost financing which the agriculture community lacks in the traditional finance industry. Farming is the pillar of New York's rural communities, generating hundreds of thousands of jobs both on and off farms, and productively employing millions of acres of farmland. Any investment in New York agriculture is multiplied through its impact on the many businesses in our rural communities that support the farm industry. For this reason, New York's 36,000 farms, which occupy seven million acres of farmland, generate over one million farm and farm-related jobs in New York State (NASS 2002).

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

2009-2010: S.2423 Referred to Agriculture 2007-2008: S.5956 Referred to Finance

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

Undetermined at this time.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

Effective immediately.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 780 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 5, 2011 ___________
Introduced by Sen. YOUNG -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Finance AN ACT to amend the agriculture and markets law and the state finance law, in relation to establishing the AgJobs NY program; and making an appropriation therefor THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The agriculture and markets law is amended by adding a new section 298 to read as follows: S 298. AGJOBS NY PROGRAM. 1. THERE IS HEREBY ESTABLISHED, IN THE DEPARTMENT, THE AGJOBS NY PROGRAM WHICH SHALL BE AN AGRICULTURE REVOLV- ING LOAN PROGRAM. THE PURPOSE OF THE PROGRAM SHALL BE TO STIMULATE THE EXPANSION AND ASSIST IN THE RETENTION OF AGRIBUSINESS IN THE STATE IN ORDER TO CREATE NEW JOBS AND RETAIN EXISTING JOBS THROUGH THE PROVISION OF LOW INTEREST FINANCING COSTS DIRECTLY RELATED TO AGRIBUSINESS OPER- ATIONS. THE PROGRAM SHALL PROVIDE LOW INTEREST LOANS FROM THE MONIES IN THE AGJOBS NY REVOLVING LOAN FUND, ESTABLISHED PURSUANT TO SECTION NINE- TY-NINE-U OF THE STATE FINANCE LAW, TO AGRICULTURAL PRODUCERS AND AGRI- CULTURAL ENTERPRISES: A. TO ACQUIRE AND INSTALL NEW OR USED MACHINERY AND EQUIPMENT, OR UPGRADE EXISTING MACHINERY AND EQUIPMENT, AND PAY RELATED ENGINEERING AND INSTALLATION COSTS DIRECTLY RELATED TO BUSINESS OPERATIONS; B. TO ACQUIRE A NEW OR EXISTING FACILITY DIRECTLY RELATED TO BUSINESS OPERATIONS; OR C. FOR OPERATIONAL COSTS, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, SERVICES OR CONSUMABLE GOODS, NECESSARY TO PRODUCE AN AGRICULTURAL COMMODITY. 2. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION: A. "AGRICULTURAL COMMODITY" SHALL HAVE THE SAME MEANING AS IS ASCRIBED TO SUCH TERM PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION ONE OF SECTION TWO HUNDRED NINETY- THREE OF THIS CHAPTER.
B. "AGRICULTURAL ENTERPRISE" MEANS A BUSINESS ENTITY ENGAGED IN: (I) THE MANUFACTURE, DEVELOPMENT OR PREPARATION FOR SALE OF ONE OR MORE AGRICULTURAL COMMODITIES, WHICH ADDS VALUE TO SUCH COMMODITIES; OR (II) THE CONVERSION OF AN AGRICULTURAL COMMODITY INTO A MARKETABLE FORM, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO LIVESTOCK BY SLAUGHTERING, AND FRUITS AND VEGETABLES BY PACKAGING, FREEZING AND/OR ANY OTHER PROCESSING. C. "AGRICULTURAL PRODUCER" MEANS A BUSINESS ENTITY ENGAGED IN THE MANAGEMENT AND USE OF A NORMAL AGRICULTURAL OPERATION FOR THE PRODUCTION OF AN AGRICULTURAL COMMODITY. AN AGRICULTURAL PRODUCER MAY BE INVOLVED IN THE PRODUCTION, HARVESTING OR PREPARATION OF AGRICULTURAL COMMODITIES FOR MARKET. EVERY AGRICULTURAL PRODUCER SHALL: (I) OPERATE ITS BUSINESS ON TEN OR MORE CONTIGUOUS ACRES OF LAND; OR (II) HAVE AN ANTICIPATED ANNUAL GROSS INCOME OF NOT LESS THAN TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS. D. "PROGRAM" MEANS THE AGJOBS NY PROGRAM ESTABLISHED IN THIS SECTION. 3. ANY MONIES OF THE FUND SHALL BE DIVIDED AS FOLLOWS: A. FIFTY PERCENT OF SUCH MONIES SHALL BE GRANTED TO LOANS FOR CAPITAL PURPOSES; AND B. FIFTY PERCENT OF SUCH MONIES SHALL BE GRANTED TO LOANS FOR OPERA- TIONAL PURPOSES. 4. NO AGRICULTURAL ENTERPRISE OR AGRICULTURAL PRODUCER SHALL BE ELIGI- BLE FOR A LOW INTEREST LOAN PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION UNLESS SUCH ENTER- PRISE OR PRODUCER PROVIDES EVIDENCE SATISFACTORY TO THE COMMISSIONER THAT IT AND ITS PRINCIPALS ARE NOT IN ARREARS IN THE PAYMENT OF ALL FEDERAL, STATE AND LOCAL TAXES; PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT, IF SUCH AN ARREARS EXISTS, AN AGRICULTURAL ENTERPRISE OR AGRICULTURAL PRODUCER SHALL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A LOAN PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION IF IT HAS ENTERED INTO AND IS IN FULL COMPLIANCE WITH AN AGREEMENT WITH THE APPROPRIATE TAXING AUTHORITY PROVIDING FOR THE PAYMENT OF SUCH ARREARS. 5. AN AGRICULTURAL ENTERPRISE OR AGRICULTURAL PRODUCER MAY APPLY FOR A LOAN PURSUANT TO THE PROGRAM BY FILING AN APPLICATION WITH THE DEPART- MENT, IN SUCH MANNER AND FORM AS SHALL BE DETERMINED BY THE COMMISSION- ER. 6. NO LOAN FOR CAPITAL PURPOSES GRANTED BY THE DEPARTMENT PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION SHALL EXCEED THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS OR ONE-HALF OF THE TOTAL ELIGIBLE PROJECT COST, WHICHEVER SHALL BE LESS. PROVIDED, FURTHER, NO APPLICANT SHALL RECEIVE MORE THAN THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS IN FINANCING PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION DURING ANY PERIOD OF TWELVE MONTHS FOR THE AGGREGATE OF ALL ELIGIBLE PROJECTS UNDERTAKEN BY SUCH APPLICANT. A. NO LOAN FOR CAPITAL PURPOSES SHALL BE GRANTED UNLESS ONE-HALF OR MORE OF THE COSTS OF THE ELIGIBLE PROJECT ARE PAID BY A PRIVATE SOURCE AND/OR PRIVATE FINANCING; PROVIDED THAT ALL SUCH PRIVATE FINANCING SHALL HAVE A TERM EQUAL TO OR GREATER THAN THE TERM OF THE FINANCING GRANTED PURSUANT TO THE PROGRAM. B. ELIGIBLE MACHINERY AND EQUIPMENT PROJECT CAPITAL COSTS SHALL INCLUDE, BUT NOT BE LIMITED TO, THE COSTS OF ACQUISITION, DELIVERY AND INSTALLATION THEREOF. PROVIDED, THAT, WITH REGARD TO THE ACQUISITION OF MACHINERY AND EQUIPMENT, SUCH COSTS SHALL BE DEEMED TO BE ELIGIBLE EVEN IF THE MACHINERY OR EQUIPMENT IS USED. THE COSTS OF MOBILE EQUIPMENT SHALL BE ELIGIBLE ONLY IF IT IS NOT TITLED OR REGISTERED FOR HIGHWAY USE. C. ELIGIBLE LAND AND BUILDING PROJECT COSTS SHALL BE DIRECTLY RELATED TO: (I) THE PURCHASE OR RENOVATION OF REAL PROPERTY, OR THE INSTALLATION OF MACHINERY AND/OR EQUIPMENT UPON REAL PROPERTY; OR
(II) ANY BUILDING OR CONSTRUCTION RELATED TO THE BUSINESS OPERATIONS OF THE APPLICANT INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, ACQUISITION, SITE PREPA- RATION AND TESTING, UTILITIES, SITE MAPPING, REHABILITATION, ARCHITEC- TURAL, LANDSCAPING, LEGAL AND OTHER RELATED COSTS. D. EVERY LOAN FOR CAPITAL PURPOSES GRANTED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION SHALL BE SECURED BY A FIRST LIEN, HAVING PRIORITY OVER ALL OTHER LIENS, AGAINST THE REAL PROPERTY, STRUCTURES, BUILDINGS, MACHINERY, EQUIPMENT, ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE AND/OR INVENTORY OF THE RECIPIENT OF SUCH LOAN. E. (I) LOANS FOR REAL PROPERTY HAVE A TERM OF FIFTEEN YEARS. (II) LOANS FOR MACHINERY AND EQUIPMENT SHALL HAVE A TERM OF NOT MORE THAN TEN YEARS, BUT NOT LONGER THAN THE USEFUL LIFE OF THE MACHINERY OR EQUIPMENT FINANCED. F. EVERY LOAN GRANTED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION SHALL BE AT A FIXED RATE OF INTEREST OF THREE PERCENT; PROVIDED, THAT THE COMMISSIONER MAY PROVIDE FOR A REDUCED RATE OF INTEREST FOR ELIGIBLE PROJECTS WITHIN AREAS THAT HAVE BEEN INCLUDED IN A NATURAL DISASTER DECLARATION ISSUED NOT MORE THAN TWO YEARS PRIOR TO THE APPLICATION FOR SUCH LOAN. 7. NO LOAN FOR OPERATIONAL PURPOSES GRANTED BY THE DEPARTMENT SHALL EXCEED FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS. A. ELIGIBLE APPLICANTS FOR LOANS FOR OPERATIONAL PURPOSES SHALL HAVE A DEBT TO ASSET RATIO OF FORTY PERCENT OR GREATER. B. LOANS FOR AGRICULTURAL COMMODITIES MUST BE PLANTED AND HARVESTED WITHIN THE TERM OF THE LOAN. C. LIVESTOCK IS ELIGIBLE IF PURCHASED WITHIN THE TERM OF THE LOAN. D. EVERY LOAN FOR OPERATIONAL COSTS PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION SHALL BE AT A FIXED RATE OF FIVE PERCENT; PROVIDED THAT THE COMMISSIONER MAY PROVIDE FOR A REDUCED RATE OF INTEREST FOR ELIGIBLE PROJECTS WITHIN AREAS THAT HAVE BEEN INCLUDED IN A NATURAL DISASTER DECLARATION ISSUED NOT MORE THAN TWO YEARS PRIOR TO THE APPLICATION FOR SUCH LOAN. S 2. The state finance law is amended by adding a new section 99-u to read as follows: S 99-U. AGJOBS NY REVOLVING LOAN FUND. 1. THERE IS HEREBY ESTABLISHED IN THE CUSTODY OF THE STATE COMPTROLLER A SPECIAL FUND TO BE KNOWN AS THE "AGJOBS NY REVOLVING LOAN FUND". 2. THE FUND SHALL CONSIST OF ALL MONEYS APPROPRIATED FOR ITS PURPOSE, ALL MONEYS TRANSFERRED TO SUCH FUND PURSUANT TO LAW, AND ALL MONEYS REQUIRED BY SECTION TWO HUNDRED NINETY-EIGHT OF THE AGRICULTURE AND MARKETS LAW TO BE REPAID ON ANY AGJOBS NY REVOLVING LOAN, INCLUDING ALL MONEYS RECEIVED BY THE FUND OR DONATED TO IT. 3. MONEYS OF THE FUND, WHEN ALLOCATED, SHALL BE MADE AVAILABLE TO THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND MARKETS TO IMPLEMENT THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION TWO HUNDRED NINETY-EIGHT OF THE AGRICULTURE AND MARKETS LAW. UP TO FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS MAY BE USED TO PAY THE EXPENSES, INCLUDING PERSONAL SERVICES, AND MAINTENANCE AND OPERATION, IN CONNECTION WITH THE ADMINISTRATION OF LOANS PURSUANT TO SUCH SECTION. S 3. The sum of fifty million dollars ($50,000,000), or so much there- of as may be necessary, is hereby appropriated to the AgJobs NY revolv- ing loan fund established by section 99-u of the state finance law, as added by section two of this act, out of any moneys in the state treas- ury in the general fund to the credit of the state purposes account, not otherwise appropriated, and made immediately available. Such moneys shall be payable on the audit and warrant of the comptroller on vouchers or approved by the commissioner of agriculture and markets in the manner prescribed by law. S 4. This act shall take effect immediately.

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