[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 231 (Friday, November 30, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 71447-71448]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-29010]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

National Park Service

[NPS-WASO-TPS-11136; 2200-686]


Notice of Fee Schedule for Reviewing Historic Preservation 
Certification Applications and Instructions

AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of Fee Schedule and Instructions.

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SUMMARY: The National Park Service (NPS) is revising the fees it 
charges for reviewing Historic Preservation Certification Applications.

DATES: Effective Date: December 31, 2012.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brian Goeken, Chief, Technical 
Preservation Services, National Park Service, 1849 C St., NW., Org Code 
2255, Washington, DC 20240; telephone 202-354-2033; email: brian_goeken@nps.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
I. Background
II. Response to Comments
III. Final Action

I. Background

    The NPS charges fees for reviewing certification applications for 
Federal tax incentives contained in Section 47 of the Internal Revenue 
Code (referred to herein as ``Historic Preservation Certification 
Applications''). The fees have not been changed since 1984. Current 
fees do not cover the full costs of administering the program.
    The fee schedule established in 1984 expressed the fees in fixed 
dollar amounts and did not contain provisions for adjusting the fees 
over time. This method contrasts with the now-standard Government 
practice of establishing and revising fees in periodic Federal Register 
notices, pursuant to the Independent Offices Appropriations Act (IOAA) 
and OMB Circular A-25. Accordingly, the NPS published a final 
rulemaking, effective June 27, 2011, which stated that ``Fees are 
charged for reviewing certification requests according to the schedule 
and instructions provided in public notices in the Federal Register by 
NPS.'' 36 CFR 67.11(a) (2011). This rule authorizes the NPS to make the 
changes it is now implementing. The NPS will be retaining the collected 
fees in accordance with Public Law. 106-113-Appendix C, 113 Stat. 
1501A-142 (Nov. 29, 1999), which provides that notwithstanding any 
other provision of law, the NPS may hereafter recover all fees derived 
from providing necessary review services associated with historic 
preservation tax certification, and such funds shall be available until 
expended without further appropriation for the costs of such review 
services.

II. Response to Comments

    On June 22, 2012, the NPS published the proposed revised fee 
schedule (77 FR 37708) to solicit public comment. A notice published 
July 6, 2012, corrected the addresses for submitting comments and 
extended the comment period (77 FR 40080). The NPS received four 
comments by the close of the comment period (August 6, 2012).
    The proposed fee schedule was:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
          Cost of rehabilitation                         Fee
------------------------------------------------------------------------
$0-$49,999................................  $-0-.
$50,000-$3,849,999........................  $800 + 0.15% (0.0015) of
                                             rehabilitation costs over
                                             $50,000.
$3,850,000 or more........................  $6,500.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Two of the four comments expressed support for the new fee 
schedule.
    The third comment expressed general support for the new fee 
schedule, but suggested that additional fee revenues realized through 
the change in fees be used to expand services provided to applicants. 
The NPS notes that the current level of fees collected does not cover 
the costs of administering the program. The increase in fees collected 
as a result of the revised fee schedule is necessary to maintain the 
existing level of services. To the extent that the revised fee schedule 
may accommodate some expanded services as part of the program, such 
additions may be considered in the future.
    The final comment suggested that the minimum rehabilitation costs 
for which fees apply should be raised to projects of $100,000, or even 
higher, rather than $50,000 as proposed. The commenter stated that this 
would make the rehabilitation tax credit more attractive for small 
projects. In setting the revised fee schedule as initially proposed, 
the NPS proposed to raise the minimum project level at which fees are 
charged from $20,000 (the level in effect since 1984) to $50,000 in 
rehabilitation costs. This change was roughly proportional to inflation 
since 1984. However, upon consideration of this comment, the NPS 
considered the amount of the fee

[[Page 71448]]

relative to the value of the credit and agrees that the minimum level 
at which fees are charged should be raised further. Under the current 
fee schedule, a review fee of $500 is charged for projects less than 
$100,000, equivalent to 12.5% of the value of the incentive (20% of the 
cost of the rehabilitation) for a $20,000 project; and under the 
initially proposed schedule, the review fee would be equal to 8% of the 
value of the incentive for a $50,000 project. After considering the 
costs to the Government of administering the program, the value of the 
service to the recipient, and the public policy of promoting investment 
in our Nation's historic buildings, the NPS considers that raising the 
minimum project level at which fees are assessed to $80,000 (with a 
review fee equivalent to 5.3% of the value of the incentive) 
effectively balances these goals. It would preserve the long-standing 
NPS practice of not charging for the smallest projects, and promote the 
rehabilitation of historic buildings without substantially increasing 
the cost of administering the program or resulting in significant loss 
of fee revenues. Raising the level further, however, would mean more 
substantial loss of such revenues or require that fees be increased.
    In consideration of this change, the fee schedule has been revised 
as set forth below so that no fee is charged for projects with 
rehabilitation costs less than $80,000. There is no change as the 
result of this revision to the fees charged to projects with 
rehabilitation costs of $80,000 and above to that previously proposed.

III. Action

Fee Schedule Information and Instructions

    Fees will be charged for reviewing Historic Preservation 
Certification Applications in accordance with the schedule appearing 
below. The fee schedule and instructions concerning the same may also 
be obtained through the NPS's Web site at http://www.nps.gov/tps/tax-incentives.htm.
    The new fee schedule applies only to new applications received by 
State Historic Preservation Offices after the effective date of this 
fee schedule. Part 3 applications describing completed work in 
previously reviewed Part 2 applications will be charged according to 
the schedule in effect at the time the Part 2 was reviewed.

Fee Schedule

    Applicants should make no payment until requested to do so by the 
NPS. A certification decision will not be issued on an application 
until the appropriate remittance is received. Fees are nonrefundable.
    Application review fees (rounded to the nearest dollar) are based 
on the applicant's estimated rehabilitation costs (defined as 
``Qualified Rehabilitation Expenditures,'' or ``QREs,'' pursuant to 
section 47 of the Internal Revenue Code).

------------------------------------------------------------------------
          Cost of rehabilitation                         Fee
------------------------------------------------------------------------
$0-$79,999................................  $-0-.
$80,000-$3,849,999........................  $845 + 0.15% (0.0015) of
                                             rehabilitation costs over
                                             $80,000.
$3,850,000 or more........................  $6,500.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    1. The application review fee will, upon request by the NPS, be 
payable one-half upon NPS receipt of a Part 2--Description of 
Rehabilitation, and one-half upon NPS receipt of a Part 3--Request for 
Certification of Completed Work.
    2. If the estimated rehabilitation costs reported on the Part 3 
application are lower than those reported on the Part 2 application 
previously submitted, then the Part 3 portion of the application review 
fee will be based on the costs reported on the Part 3. No refund of the 
Part 2 fee difference--if any--will be made.
    3. If the estimated rehabilitation costs reported on the Part 3 
application are higher than those reported on the Part 2 application 
previously submitted, then the Part 3 portion of the fee will be 100% 
of the review fee less the Part 2 portion of the fee previously paid.
    4. If Part 2 and Part 3 applications are received at the same time, 
the application review fee will be assessed on the estimated 
rehabilitation costs reported on the Part 3.
    5. For a project involving multiple buildings that were 
functionally related historically pursuant to 36 CFR part 67, the 
application review fee will be based on the estimated rehabilitation 
costs of the entire project.
    6. For a phased project pursuant to 36 CFR part 67, the application 
review fee will be based on the total estimated rehabilitation costs 
for all phases.
    7. Projects requiring submittal of a new Part 2 application will be 
assessed an application review fee equal to the fee for a new Part 2 
application. No refunds or credits toward the new application will be 
issued for the fees paid for the prior Part 2 application.

    Dated: November 5, 2012.
Jonathan B. Jarvis,
Director, National Park Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-29010 Filed 11-29-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4312-52-P