Rule-Making Notices
Notice of Hearing
Financial Resources for Businesses and Communities, Chs. Comm 104
NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that pursuant to section 560.03 of the Statutes, the Department of Commerce will hold a public hearing on emergency rules and proposed permanent rules to create Chapter Comm 136, relating to Midwestern disaster area bonds, and affecting small businesses.
Hearing Information
The public hearing will be held as follows:
Date and Time:
January 25, 2010
At 10:00 a.m.
Thompson Commerce Center Third Floor, Room 3B
201 West Washington Avenue
Madison, Wisconsin
This hearing will be held in an accessible facility. If you have special needs or circumstances that may make communication or accessibility difficult at the hearing, please call Sam Rockweiler at (608) 266-0797 or at Contact Through Relay at least 10 days prior to the hearing date. Accommodations such as interpreters, English translators, or materials in audio tape format will, to the fullest extent possible, be made available upon a request from a person with a disability.
Appearances at the Hearing and Submission of Written Comments
Interested persons are invited to appear at the hearing and present comments on the emergency rules and proposed permanent rules. Persons making oral presentations are requested to submit their comments in writing, via e-mail. Persons submitting comments will not receive individual responses. The hearing record on this rulemaking will remain open until January 29, 2010, to permit submittal of written comments from persons who are unable to attend the hearing or who wish to supplement testimony offered at the hearing. E-mail comments should be sent to If e-mail submittal is not possible, written comments may be submitted to Sam Rockweiler, Department of Commerce, Division of Environmental and Regulatory Services, P.O. Box 14427, Madison, WI 53708-0427.
Copies of Emergency Rules and Proposed Rules
The emergency rules and proposed permanent rules and an analysis of the rules are available on the Internet by entering “Comm 136" in the search engine at the following Web site: Paper copies may be obtained without cost from Sam Rockweiler at the Department of Commerce, Division of Environmental and Regulatory Services, P.O. Box 14427, Madison, WI 53707, or at, or at telephone (608) 266-0797, or at Contact Through Relay. Copies will also be available at the public hearing.
Analysis Prepared by Department of Commerce
Statutes interpreted
Section 560.03, Stats.
Statutory authority
Sections 227.11 (2) (a) and 560.03, Stats.
Explanation of agency authority
Section 227.11 (2) (a) of the Statutes authorizes the Department to promulgate rules interpreting the provisions of any Statute administered by the Department. Section 560.03 of the Statutes authorizes and directs the Department to assist in implementing economic and community development programs, and to perform such other functions as the Governor may direct for aiding industrial development.
Related statute or rule
Chapter Comm 113 contains rules relating to allocating a volume cap on tax-exempt private activity bonds for housing, pursuant to 26 USC 146.
Plain language analysis
The rules in this order would establish a procedure by which the Governor can designate tax-exempt Midwestern disaster area bonds that can be issued by, or on behalf of, the State or any political subdivision thereof, under the federal Heartland Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2008. These are private activity bonds that are designed to facilitate the recovery and rebuilding of areas which were declared major disaster areas in 2008.
Comparison with federal regulations
In the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-343), subtitle A of title VII is the Heartland Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2008 (HDTRA). HDTRA modified section 1400N(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to establish tax-exempt Qualified Midwestern Disaster Area (MDA) bonds for areas that in 2008 were declared by the President as being major disaster areas because of severe storms, tornados or flooding. HDTRA limits the aggregate face amount of bonds that may be designated as MDA bonds. HDTRA also delegates to the Governor the power to make certain designations in connection with the issuance of MDA bonds, including designation of the bonds as MDA bonds and designation of a trade or business as replacing another trade or business for these purposes.
Comparison with rules in adjacent states
Although each of the adjacent states are listed in HDTRA as having areas eligible for MDA bonds, an Internet-based search produced corresponding administrative rules only in Iowa. Those rules and related information, by the Iowa Finance Authority, are available at
Highlights of the Iowa rules include the following:
  Through December 2009, $2,000,000,000 of Iowa's allocation of MDA bonds will be apportioned based on the amount of damage suffered by each county, and based on FEMA allocations of housing assistance. The remaining $615,995,000 of Iowa's allocation will be available to all eligible projects. After December 2009, any remaining MDA bonds will be available to all eligible projects. MDA bonds will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Applications are received on a continuous basis.
  An application must be completed and submitted to the Governor's designee by the borrower, or an agent acting on behalf of the borrower. Applications may be submitted at any time after an inducement resolution for the project has been adopted. A fee of two basis points (.02%) of the amount of MDA bonds for which an application is made must be paid by the applicant upon filing the application.
  A Certification of Allocation is sent to the applicant when an allocation is made. Allocations are valid for 150 days. After the bonds are issued, a representative of the borrower must complete and return a Notice of Issuance and Delivery of Bonds within 10 days of the delivery date for the bonds.
Summary of factual data and analytical methodologies
The data and methodology for developing these rules were derived from and included (1) reviewing the criteria in HDTRA and in Executive Order #288 as issued by Governor Jim Doyle; (2) incorporating applicable best practices the Department has developed in administering similar programs for economic development and business development; and (3) reviewing Internet-based sources of related federal, state, and private-sector information.
Analysis and supporting documents used to determine effect on small business
The primary documents that were used to determine the effect of the rules on small business were HDTRA and Executive Order #288.
No economic impact report was prepared.
Small Business Impact
The rules are expected to result in only beneficial effects on small business because the rules only address tax-exempt private activity bonds that are designed to facilitate the recovery and rebuilding of areas which were declared major disaster areas in 2008.
Initial regulatory flexibility analysis
Types of small businesses that will be affected by the rules.
Any business choosing to pursue tax-exempt private activity bonds that are designed to facilitate the recovery and rebuilding of areas which were declared major disaster areas in 2008.
Reporting, bookkeeping and other procedures required for compliance with the rules.
An application form prescribed by the Department must be completed and submitted to the Department.
Types of professional skills necessary for compliance with the rules.
No new professional skills are necessary for compliance with the rules.
Rules have a significant economic impact on small businesses?
Small business regulatory coordinator
Any inquiries for the small business regulatory coordinator for the Department of Commerce can be directed to Sam Rockweiler, as listed above.
Environmental Analysis
The Department has considered the environmental impact of the proposed rules. In accordance with chapter Comm 1, the proposed rules are a Type III action. A Type III action normally does not have the potential to cause significant environmental effects and normally does not involve unresolved conflicts in the use of available resources. The Department has reviewed these rules and finds no reason to believe that any unusual conditions exist. At this time, the Department has issued this notice to serve as a finding of no significant impact.
Fiscal Estimate
Assumptions used in arriving at fiscal estimate
Although the rules will newly result in review of documentation relating to designating applicants as eligible for Midwestern Disaster Area Bonds, the time needed for these reviews is expected to be spent by current employees. Therefore, the proposed rules are not expected to have any significant fiscal effect on the Department.
The proposed rules are not expected to impose any significant costs on the private sector because the rules address submittal of documentation, and other activities, only by applicants that choose to pursue tax-exempt private activity bonds for the recovery and rebuilding of areas which were declared major disaster areas in 2008.
State fiscal effect
Local government fiscal effect
Long-range fiscal implications
None known.
Agency Contact Person
Steven Sabatke, Wisconsin Department of Commerce, Bureau of Business Finance and Compliance, P.O. Box 7970, Madison, WI, 53707-7970; telephone (608) 267-0762; e-mail
Links to Admin. Code and Statutes in this Register are to current versions, which may not be the version that was referred to in the original published document.