§ 1.141-2 Private activity bond tests.
Federal Code of Regulations
(a) Overview. Interest on a private activity bond is not excludable from gross income under section 103(a) unless the bond is a qualified bond. The purpose of the private activity bond tests of section 141 is to limit the volume of tax-exempt bonds that finance the activities of nongovernmental persons, without regard to whether a financing actually transfers benefits of tax-exempt financing to a nongovernmental person. The private activity bond tests serve to identify arrangements that have the potential to transfer the benefits of tax-exempt financing, as well as arrangements that actually transfer these benefits. The regulations under section 141 may not be applied in a manner that is inconsistent with these purposes.
(c) General definition of private activity bond. Under section 141, bonds are private activity bonds if they meet either the private business use test and private security or payment test of section 141(b) or the private loan financing test of section 141(c). The private business use and private security or payment tests are described in §§ 1.141-3 and 1.141-4. The private loan financing test is described in § 1.141-5.
(d) Reasonable expectations and deliberate actions -
(1) In general. An issue is an issue of private activity bonds if the issuer reasonably expects, as of the issue date, that the issue will meet either the private business tests or the private loan financing test. An issue is also an issue of private activity bonds if the issuer takes a deliberate action, subsequent to the issue date, that causes the conditions of either the private business tests or the private loan financing test to be met.
(2) Reasonable expectations test -
(i) In general. In general, the reasonable expectations test must take into account reasonable expectations about events and actions over the entire stated term of an issue.
(ii) Special rule for issues with mandatory redemption provisions. An action that is reasonably expected, as of the issue date, to occur after the issue date and to cause either the private business tests or the private loan financing test to be met may be disregarded for purposes of those tests if -
(A) The issuer reasonably expects, as of the issue date, that the financed property will be used for a governmental purpose for a substantial period before the action;
(B) The issuer is required to redeem all nonqualifying bonds (regardless of the amount of disposition proceeds actually received) within 6 months of the date of the action;
(C) The issuer does not enter into any arrangement with a nongovernmental person, as of the issue date, with respect to that specific action; and
(D) The mandatory redemption of bonds meets all of the conditions for remedial action under § 1.141-12(a).
(3) Deliberate action defined -
(i) In general. Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph (d)(3), a deliberate action is any action taken by the issuer that is within its control. An intent to violate the requirements of section 141 is not necessary for an action to be deliberate.
(ii) Safe harbor exceptions. An action is not treated as a deliberate action if -
(A) It would be treated as an involuntary or compulsory conversion under section 1033; or
(B) It is taken in response to a regulatory directive made by the federal government. See § 1.141-7(g)(4).
(4) Special rule for dispositions of personal property in the ordinary course of an established governmental program -
(i) In general. Dispositions of personal property in the ordinary course of an established governmental program are not treated as deliberate actions if -
(A) The weighted average maturity of the bonds financing that personal property is not greater than 120 percent of the reasonably expected actual use of that property for governmental purposes;
(B) The issuer reasonably expects on the issue date that the fair market value of that property on the date of disposition will be not greater than 25 percent of its cost; and
(C) The property is no longer suitable for its governmental purposes on the date of disposition.
(ii) Reasonable expectations test. The reasonable expectation that a disposition described in paragraph (d)(4)(i) of this section may occur in the ordinary course while the bonds are outstanding will not cause the issue to meet the private activity bond tests if the issuer is required to deposit amounts received from the disposition in a commingled fund with substantial tax or other governmental revenues and the issuer reasonably expects to spend the amounts on governmental programs within 6 months from the date of commingling.
(iii) Separate issue treatment. An issuer may treat the bonds properly allocable to the personal property eligible for this exception as a separate issue under § 1.150-1(c)(3).
(5) Special rule for general obligation bond programs that finance a large number of separate purposes. The determination of whether bonds of an issue are private activity bonds may be based solely on the issuer's reasonable expectations as of the issue date if all of the requirements of paragraphs (d)(5)(i) through (vii) of this section are met.
(i) The issue is an issue of general obligation bonds of a general purpose governmental unit that finances at least 25 separate purposes (as defined in § 1.150-1(c)(3)) and does not predominantly finance fewer than 4 separate purposes.
(ii) The issuer has adopted a fund method of accounting for its general governmental purposes that makes tracing the bond proceeds to specific expenditures unreasonably burdensome.
(iii) The issuer reasonably expects on the issue date to allocate all of the net proceeds of the issue to capital expenditures within 6 months of the issue date and adopts reasonable procedures to verify that net proceeds are in fact so expended. A program to randomly spot check that 10 percent of the net proceeds were so expended generally is a reasonable verification procedure for this purpose.
(iv) The issuer reasonably expects on the issue date to expend all of the net proceeds of the issue before expending proceeds of a subsequent issue of similar general obligation bonds.
(v) The issuer reasonably expects on the issue date that it will not make any loans to nongovernmental persons with the proceeds of the issue.
(vi) The issuer reasonably expects on the issue date that the capital expenditures that it could make during the 6-month period beginning on the issue date with the net proceeds of the issue that would not meet the private business tests are not less than 125 percent of the capital expenditures to be financed with the net proceeds of the issue.
(vii) The issuer reasonably expects on the issue date that the weighted average maturity of the issue is not greater than 120 percent of the weighted average reasonably expected economic life of the capital expenditures financed with the issue. To determine reasonably expected economic life for this purpose an issuer may use reasonable estimates based on the type of expenditures made from a fund.
(e) When a deliberate action occurs. A deliberate action occurs on the date the issuer enters into a binding contract with a nongovernmental person for use of the financed property that is not subject to any material contingencies.
(f) Certain remedial actions. See § 1.141-12 for certain remedial actions that prevent a deliberate action with respect to property financed by an issue from causing that issue to meet the private business use test or the private loan financing test.
(g) Examples. The following examples illustrate the application of this section:
Example 1 Involuntary action.
City B issues bonds to finance the purchase of land. On the issue date, B reasonably expects that it will be the sole user of the land for the entire term of the bonds. Subsequently, the federal government acquires the land in a condemnation action. B sets aside the condemnation proceeds to pay debt service on the bonds but does not redeem them on their first call date. The bonds are not private activity bonds because B has not taken a deliberate action after the issue date. See, however, § 1.141-14(b), Example 2.
Example 2 Reasonable expectations test - involuntary action.
The facts are the same as in Example 1, except that, on the issue date, B reasonably expects that the federal government will acquire the land in a condemnation action during the term of the bonds. On the issue date, the present value of the amount that B reasonably expects to receive from the federal government is greater than 10 percent of the present value of the debt service on the bonds. The terms of the bonds do not require that the bonds be redeemed within 6 months of the acquisition by the federal government. The bonds are private activity bonds because the issuer expects as of the issue date that the private business tests will be met.
Example 3 Reasonable expectations test - mandatory redemption.
City C issues bonds to rehabilitate an existing hospital that it currently owns. On the issue date of the bonds, C reasonably expects that the hospital will be used for a governmental purpose for a substantial period. On the issue date, C also plans to construct a new hospital, but the placed in service date of that new hospital is uncertain. C reasonably expects that, when the new hospital is placed in service, it will sell or lease the rehabilitated hospital to a private hospital corporation. The bond documents require that the bonds must be redeemed within 6 months of the sale or lease of the rehabilitated hospital (regardless of the amount actually received from the sale). The bonds meet the reasonable expectations requirement of the private activity bond tests if the mandatory redemption of bonds meets all of the conditions for a remedial action under § 1.141-12(a).
Example 4 Dispositions in the ordinary course of an established governmental program.
City D issues bonds with a weighted average maturity of 6 years for the acquisition of police cars. D reasonably expects on the issue date that the police cars will be used solely by its police department, except that, in the ordinary course of its police operations, D sells its police cars to a taxicab corporation after 5 years of use because they are no longer suitable for police use. Further, D reasonably expects that the value of the police cars when they are no longer suitable for police use will be no more than 25 percent of cost. D subsequently sells 20 percent of the police cars after only 3 years of actual use. At that time, D deposits the proceeds from the sale of the police cars in a commingled fund with substantial tax revenues and reasonably expects to spend the proceeds on governmental programs within 6 months of the date of deposit. D does not trace the actual use of these commingled amounts. The sale of the police cars does not cause the private activity bond tests to be met because the requirements of paragraph (d)(4) of this section are met.