Louisiana Historic Preservation Tax Credit transfers

Todd Feathers filed this request with the Office of Cultural Development, Division of Historic Preservation of Louisiana.
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Crowdfund Request: Louisiana Historic Preservation Tax Credit transfers

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Communications

From: Todd Feathers

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the the Louisiana Public Records Act, I hereby request the following records:

1) Copies of all tax credit transfer notices submitted to the Division of Historic Preservation since Jan. 1, 2012.

Louisiana Revised Statutes 47:1524 explicitly states that "information regarding any transfer of the tax credit [shall be] released to the public pursuant to a public records request submitted to the state agency administering the tax credit program pursuant to the Public Records Law, R.S. 44:1 et seq."

I ask that all fees be waived for this request as I am a journalist employed by the Lowell Sun and I intend to use the requested records to publish articles in the public interest and not for any commercial purposes. I would be happy to discuss my request if you require clarification. My number is 978-970-4650.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 3 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Todd Feathers

From: Krystal Cox

Dear Mr. Feathers,

We received your public records request dated Saturday, January 14, 2017 on Tuesday, January 17, 2017 when state offices opened following the weekend and legal holiday. You have requested "all tax credit transfer notices submitted to the Division of Historic Preservation since Jan. 1, 2012."

La. R.S. 44:1 (A)(3) defines "custodian" as the public official or head of any public body having custody or control of a public record, or a representative specifically authorized by him to respond to requests to inspect any such public records." The Division of Historic Preservation (Division) is the custodian of a portion of the requested records. In accordance with La. R.S. 43:34, in the absence of these records, the Division provides the following:

1. Prior to June 13, 2013 transferors and transferees were required to submit written notification of any transfer or sale of tax credits to both the Division and the Louisiana Department of Revenue. Effective June 13, 2013, all notices of tax credit transfers were required to be submitted only to the Louisiana Department of Revenue (Act No. 263 of the 2013 Regular Session). Therefore, the custodian of all requested records after June 13, 2013 is the Louisiana Department of Revenue.

2. The Division routinely archives inactive tax credit project files at the Louisiana Secretary of State Archives (Archives). Therefore, the Archives is the custodian of these records. A list of projects that have been archived can be provided to you upon request.

The Division is working to identify and segregate all tax credit transfer notices received between January 1, 2012 to June 12, 2013, that are not in the custody of the Archives. This requires a manual search of all files and the redaction of transferor and transferee taxpayer identification numbers. These documents will be available no later 5:00pm on February 10, 2017.

You have requested a waiver of fees for this request because you are "a journalist employed by the Lowell Sun" and "intend to use the requested records to publish article in the public interest and not for any commercial purposes." Both the statute (La. R.S. 44:32(C)(2)) and the rule (LAC 4.I.301(F)) permit the furnishing of copies without charge or at a reduced charge to indigent citizens of the state or "persons whose use of such copies, as determined by the custodian, will be limited to a public purpose, including but not limited to use in a hearing before any governmental regulatory commission." However, in the exercise of its discretion, the Division does not consider your request as a member of the news media for "all tax credit transfer notices submitted to the Division of Historic Preservation since Jan. 1, 2012" as a use limited to qualify for a fee waiver or reduction under La. R.S. 44:32(C)(2). The Division will provide a cost estimate to obtain copies of the records upon completion of segregating the responsive records. Please note, the schedule of fees adopted, LAC 4.I.301, sets a charge of $0.25 per page for copies up to 8 ½ by 14 inches. Alternately, you are welcome to schedule an appointment to view the records during regular business hours at no charge.

Sincerely,
Krystal

Krystal Cox
Tax Incentives Staff
Division of Historic Preservation
P.O. Box 44247
Baton Rouge, LA 70804
p 225.342.8154/f. 225.342.8173
www.louisianahp.org<http://www.louisianahp.org/>

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From: Todd Feathers

Krystal,

Thank you very much for the acknowledgement. I'll keep an eye out for your fee estimate, and if there's anything you'd like to discuss you can reach me at 978-970-4650.

Best,
Todd Feathers

From: Krystal Cox

To Whom It May Concern:

We have completed a manual search of all files and have determined that the total number of responsive records numbers 498 pages. In accordance with R.S. 44:4, taxpayer identification numbers are not subject to release under public records law. Therefore, most of these pages will need to be redacted, which will result in a total number of 938 copies of 8 ½” x 11” or 8 ½” x 14” pages. The total fee for these copies per LAC 4.I.301, is $234.50. Please submit a check in this amount made payable to the Division of Historic Preservation and mail it to the address in my signature below.

Please let us know if you would prefer electronic or mailed copies and provide us with either the postal or email address for delivery. We will send the records after receipt of the check and the completion of the redaction process.

Alternatively, you may inspect the records in person during regular business hours at no charge. Please call us to set up an appointment if you would like to view the records in person.

Thank you,

Krystal Cox

Krystal Cox
Tax Incentives Staff
Division of Historic Preservation
P.O. Box 44247
Baton Rouge, LA 70804
p 225.342.8154/f. 225.342.8173
www.louisianahp.org<http://www.louisianahp.org/>

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From: Todd Feathers

Hello Krystal,

Would reducing the scope of my request help bring down the cost? I am considering narrowing the request to just tax credit transfer notices received by the Division of Historic Preservation between March 1, 2013 and June 13, 2013.

Thank you very much for the help,
Todd

From: Krystal Cox

Hello Todd,
At this point, I don’t know if changing the time frame will reduce the cost significantly. In order to provide you an updated number of pages and a quote for the cost, I would have to do another manual review of the files I’ve pulled to segregate records within the new date range. I estimate I will be able to get that information to you by Friday, March 10 at the earliest since we will be short-staffed during the next few weeks due to previously scheduled vacations, work-related trips, etc.
Thanks,
Krystal

From: Todd Feathers

Thank you, Krystal.

If you don't believe it will significantly reduce the cost, then I won't ask you to go through all the hassle of coming up with another estimate. Is there any deadline i need to make a decision by, as to whether I'll pay the fee or not? I know in some jurisdictions payment is required within a certain time frame or the request is considered closed.

Best,
Todd

From: Krystal Cox

I don’t know if it will significantly reduce the cost or not. I just did a general count of the pages after we had pulled the ones within the specified date range-I didn’t make a note as to the specific date of each notice. Doing another count would be the only way to determine if there’s a significant difference. I will still go ahead and recount them.
I don’t believe there is specific time frame for payment. Just please let us know if you change your mind after I give you the cost for the new date range.
Thanks,
Krystal

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