Carryover of State Bond Cap Passed / for Housing Finance Agency

Article excerpt

Conditional approval of approximately $145 million in a carryover of the state's federally tax exempt bond cap was granted to the Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) Monday in a joint meeting of the Executive and Legislative Bond Oversight Commissions.

However, Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency officials are concerned whether they actually will receive a carryover allocation if some other entity steps forth with a request for federal tax exempt bonds.

Some recommendations to improve the present "first come, first serve" rule regarding the bond allocation, said Rep. Don McCorkell, D-Tulsa, who chairs the Legislative Bond Oversight Commission and co-chairs the joint commissions, will be made to the Oklahoma Legislature at the start of the 1988 session.

Under the provisions of the federal Tax Reform Act of 1986, caps were placed on the amount of tax exempt bonds which could be issued within each state. Oklahoma's bond cap from August 1986, - when the act went into place - until December 1986 was $250 million.

According to Ronnie Williams, Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency deputy director, the agency applied this October for $202 million in the carryover cap for use in a single-family program in the calendar year 1988.

In December 1986, there was $208 million of the bond cap which had not been used, so the agency applied with the Oklahoma Department of Commerce for a carryover and received the allocation for a single-family housing program which began in May.

The agency single-family housing program allows first-time home buyers who meet family income requirements to afford a new home through lower than average interest rates.

This October, Williams said, the agency applied for $202 million for use in a similar program next year.

But Brenda Vincent, administrative officer for both commissions, said there was only about $145 million left of this calendar year's $250 million cap.

In addition, she said the Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency application for an actual allocation of any actual carryover funds was not complete.

Information such as the interest rate for the program needs to be included before the application is complete, she said. …