Tag Archives: Brad A. Molotsky

IRS extends “substantial rehab” test for Historic Tax Credits to March 31, 2021

The IRS published Notice 2020-58 on 7-30-20 to provide additional COVID-19 relief to taxpayers in satisfying the “substantial rehabilitation” test for the historic tax credit (HTC).

Taxpayers with a 24- or 60-month measuring period under the substantial rehabilitation test ending on or after April 1, 2020, and before March 31, 2021, now have until March 31, 2021, to satisfy the test for claiming the HTC or qualifying under the transition rule provided in tax reform legislation at the end of 2017.

Duane Morris has an active deal structuring team who focuses on Historic Tax Credits, New Markets Tax Credits, Opportunity Zone fund creation and equity deployment and Renewables credits.  Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Brad A. Molotsky or Art Momjian or the attorney at the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Be well and stay safe!

COVID-19: Philadelphia Extends Residential Eviction Moratorium through March 15, 2021

As of 7-31-20, Philadelphia City officials have extended the City’s residential eviction moratorium in Philadelphia until March 15, 2021.

According to reporting from CBS 3, the Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) said it wants the city’s 80,000 low-income residents who have been “disproportionately impacted” by the pandemic to be assured their housing will not be a concern for the rest of the uncertainty.

“The federal eviction moratorium expires this week. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has extended it to the end of August, while the Congress and the Trump Administration debate another extension. I wanted to take bold action in this regard, to maintain housing stability for our residents,” PHA President Kelvin Jeremiah said.

According to Jeremiah, the moratorium applies only to “matters involving the nonpayment of rent and related fees,” but doesn’t apply to evictions related to health and safety.

The moratorium does not forgive nonpayment of rent and fees during the period, the PHA said, and tenants remain responsible for rent under the terms of their lease agreement.

Philadelphians who cannot pay their rent or have a financial hardship are urged to apply for a PHA Hardship Waiver or look into payment plans.

Duane Morris has created a COVID-19 Strategy Team to help organizations plan, respond to and address this fast-moving situation. Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Elizabeth Mincer, David Augustin or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Be well and stay safe!

 

COVID-19: Philadelphia Extends Indoor Dining Ban through 9-1-20

Philadelphia has extended its ban on indoor dining at restaurants to Sept. 1 after the city has seen another week Covid-19 cases on the rise. The previous ban was set to end Aug. 1.

Health officials noted that while they sympathize with restaurant owners, the risk of infection spread is increased with indoor dining.

Mayor Jim Kenney said his administration is working with restaurants to help with permits extending outdoor seating to sidewalks or “streeteries.” According to the Philadelphia Business Journal, Philadelphia is allowed to offer indoor dining while limiting capacity under guidance from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, but city officials have prohibited it as Covid-19 case rates still hover around more than 100 per day.

The Health Commissioner stated that he does NOT believe the city is near a point where it would shut down again, but that officials would regulate or educate in settings where the virus is spreading.For Further Information:

Duane Morris has created a COVID-19 Strategy Team to help organizations plan, respond to and address this fast-moving situation. Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Eve Klein, Jon Segal, Elizabeth Mincer or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Be well and stay safe!

COVID-19: NJ Governor Murphy Announces Small Tenant Relief Program – $6M available on 8-10-20

Earlier today, on 7-23-20, Governor Murphy announced a new relief program for small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Small Business Lease – Emergency Assistance Grant Program (SBL-EAGP) will allow businesses in 64 eligible municipalities to apply for grants of up to $10,000 for lease costs. The program will assist small business owners impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which also assists landlords, many of whom are also small businesses.

“We are committed to helping small businesses across our state survive this unprecedented crisis,” said Governor Murphy. “A stronger and fairer New Jersey starts from the bottom up. The Small Business Lease – Emergency Assistance Grant Program will infuse much needed funding into local economies by assisting both small businesses and the landlords that they rent from.”

“The Small Business Lease Emergency Grant Assistance Program is directly geared toward keeping the mom-and-pop shops on main streets and business centers afloat in this time of need, specifically in our most vulnerable communities in New Jersey,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves as Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs and Board Chair of the New Jersey Redevelopment Authority. “Governor Murphy and I remain as committed as ever to supporting New Jersey’s small businesses and this new lease program will work hand-in-hand with other state assistance programs to help them emerge from this crisis stronger.”

The SBL-EAGP, managed by the New Jersey Redevelopment Authority (NJRA), is the first component of a broader Main Street Commercial Corridors Relief Package to be paid for with federal CARES Act funding. Through the SBL-EAGP, small businesses located in NJRA’s 64 eligible municipalities that have been adversely impacted by COVID-19 will be able to apply for up to $10,000 to assist with lease payments. It will provide grants to:

-Tenants leasing commercial space in mixed-use buildings;
-Tenants leasing space in commercial buildings; and
-Tenants leasing space to operate a storefront business.

The program will be targeted to businesses with 5,000 square feet of leased space or less, and is requiring standard debarment and legal qualifications from applying businesses.

Attached is a list of the 64 municipalities that qualify for the program http://www.njra.com/maps

Applications will open August 10, 2020, online, and funds will be distributed on a first come first served basis. $6 million in federal CARES Act funding will be allocated for this program.

The application Portal opens August 10, 2020 at 9am.

Duane Morris has created a COVID-19 Strategy Team to help organizations plan, respond to and address this fast-moving situation. Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

For Further Information:

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Elizabeth Mincer or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Be well and stay safe!

COVID-19: PA makes $50M available for Hazard Pay Grants to Life Sustaining Occupations

Governor Tom Wolf announced the availability of $50 million in grant funding to help employers provide hazard pay to employees in life-sustaining occupations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hazard pay is intended to keep front-line employees working in vital industry sectors across Pennsylvania.

“In the fight against COVID-19, our front-line workers have put themselves at risk every day in order to continue to provide life-sustaining services to their fellow Pennsylvanians, and this funding will increase their pay in recognition of those sacrifices,” said Gov. Wolf. “These grants will help businesses retain employees, ensure that Pennsylvanians keep working and avoid disruption of critical goods and services.”

Created through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, this reimbursement-based grant is available to employers offering hazard pay during the eligible program period and will be administered by the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED).

Businesses may apply for grants up to a maximum of $3 million.

The following applicants are eligible to apply:

• Businesses
• Healthcare Non-profits
• Public Transportation Agencies
• Certified Economic Development Organizations (CEDO)

Eligible Pennsylvania-based industries include:

• Healthcare and Social Assistance
• Ambulatory Health Care Services
• Hospitals
• Nursing and Residential Care Facilities
• Transit and Ground Passenger Transportation
• Food Manufacturing
• Food Retail Facilities
• Security Services for eligible industries listed above and commercial industries that were not closed as a result of the Governor’s Business Closure Order
• Janitorial Services to Buildings and Dwellings

Grant funds may be used for hazard pay for direct, full-time and part-time employees earning less than $20/hour, excluding fringe benefits and overtime for the 10-week period from August 16, 2020, to October 24, 2020. Applicants may apply for up to $1,200 per eligible full-time equivalent (FTE) employee. Employers may apply for a grant to provide hazard pay for up to 500 eligible full-time equivalent employees per location.

Eligible applicants may apply for grants using the online DCED Electronic Single Application for Assistance located at www.esa.dced.state.pa.us from July 16, 2020, to July 31, 2020. Program inquiries may be directed to (717) 787-6245 or ra-dcedcbf@pa.gov.

For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, Pennsylvanians should follow https://www.pa.gov/guides/responding-to-covid-19/.

Duane Morris has created a COVID-19 Strategy Team to help organizations plan, respond to and address this fast-moving situation. Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

For Further Information:

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Eve Klein, Jon Segal, Elizabeth Mincer or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Be well and stay safe!

COVID-19: PA issues Executive Order extending Residential Evictions and Foreclosures Moratorium until August 31, 2020

Governor Tom Wolf signed a new executive order earlier today, July 15, 2020, extending the moratorium on residential evictions and foreclosures until Aug. 31.

This Order follows a previous moratorium extension, but now only applies if the renters or homeowners have not already received assistance from a new program administered by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) or are not already receiving relief through one of several federal foreclosure moratorium programs or judicial orders.

Lenders and property owners that receive funds through the PHFA program must agree not pursue foreclosure or eviction actions as a condition of participation in the program. The governor signed legislation in May providing $150 million for rental assistance and $25 million for mortgage assistance through PHFA with CARES Act funds. PHFA began accepting applications July 6.

At the federal level, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Federal Housing Finance Agency, including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have each extended eviction and foreclosure protections for housing under their authority to Aug. 31.

In terms of the applying of the Order, it states:

The provisions of this Order and the suspension of the Acts under this Order apply only to matters involving the nonpayment of monies as well as to those proceedings related to removal of any tenant solely because the tenant has held over or exceeded the term of a lease. The Order does not apply to suspend notice requirements relating to evictions for breaches of any other covenants.

This Order does not treat nonpayment of monies during this period as forgiven and individuals are still responsible for any rent or monies owed under the terms of the mortgage or lease agreement.

Therefore, in almost all circumstances, renters and homeowners are still required to make monthly payments if they can. Also, importantly, the governor’s Order does not apply to proceedings regarding property damage or illegal activity.

Duane Morris has created a COVID-19 Strategy Team to help organizations plan, respond to and address this fast-moving situation. Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

For Further Information:

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, David Augustin, Elizabeth Mincer or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Be well and stay safe!

COVID-19: PA Announces New Gathering Limitations – Effective July 16th

Earlier this afternoon, around 3:30 pm, on 7-15-20, PA Governor Wolf announced new gathering restrictions that will go into effect at 12:01AM on Thursday, July 16, 2020.

For a copy of the Governor’s order – 

Bars:

1. All bars are prohibited from conducting operations unless they offer sit-down, dine-in meals.

2. Alcohol only can be served for on-premises consumption when in the same transaction as a meal.

3. All service must be at a table or booth; bar service is prohibited.

4. Take-out sales of alcohol for the purposes of off-site consumption are permitted subject to any limitations or restrictions imposed by Pennsylvania law.

For purposes of the order, occupancy requirements are:

1. Limited to 25% of stated fire-code maximum occupancy for indoor dining.

2. A discrete indoor event or gathering in a business in the retail food services industry is limited to 25 persons.

Restaurants and private catered events:

For purposes of the order, occupancy requirements are:

1. Limited to 25% of stated fire-code maximum occupancy for indoor dining.

2. A discrete indoor event or gathering in a business in the retail food services industry is limited to 25 persons.

All businesses in the retail food services industry, including restaurants, wineries, and bars, are permitted to provide take-out and delivery sales of food, as well as dine-in service in both indoor and outdoor seating areas so long as they strictly adhere to the requirements of the guidance, as required by the order, including:

1. Non-bar seating in outdoor areas (i.e., tables or counter seats that do not line up to a bar or food service area) may be used for customer seating.

2. Customers being served must be seated at a table.

3. The maximum occupancy limit includes staff.

4. Social distancing, masking, and other mitigation measures must be employed to protect workers and patrons.

5. Alcohol only can be served for on-premises consumption when in the same transaction as a meal. Take-out sales of alcohol for the purposes of off-site consumption are permitted subject to any limitations or restrictions imposed by Pennsylvania law.

Nightclubs:

1. All nightclubs, as defined by the Clean Indoor Air Act, 35 P.S. § 637.2, are prohibited from conducting operations.

Other events and gatherings:

Events and gatherings other than those in businesses in the retail food services industry must adhere to these gathering limitations:

2. Indoor events and gatherings of more than 25 persons are prohibited.

3. Outdoor events and gatherings of more than 250 persons are prohibited.

4. The maximum occupancy limit includes staff.

Teleworking:

1. Unless not possible, all businesses are required to conduct their operations in whole or in part remotely through individual teleworking of their employees in the jurisdiction or jurisdictions in which they do business.

2. Where telework is not possible, employees may conduct in-person business operations, provided that the businesses fully comply with all substantive aspects of the business safety order, the worker safety order, and the masking order.

Gyms and fitness facilities:

All gyms and fitness facilities, while permitted to continue indoor operations, are directed to prioritize outdoor physical fitness activities. All activities must follow masking requirements as provided by the July 1 order, and must provide for social distancing requirements of persons being at least 6 feet apart, as well as being limited by any limitations related to.

Duane Morris has created a COVID-19 Strategy Team to help organizations plan, respond to and address this fast-moving situation. Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

For Further Information:

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Elizabeth Mincer, Jonathan Segal, Eve Klein or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Be well and stay safe!

COVID-19: Philadelphia Limits Public Gatherings of 50 or more on public property through February 28, 2021

As of late yesterday, July 14, 2020, Philadelphia issued a public gathering, large event moratorium notice. Per Mayor Kenney’s office, due to the ongoing public health crisis, the City’s Office of Special Events will not accept, review, process, or approve applications, issue permits, or enter into agreements for special events or public gatherings of 50 or more people on public property through February 28, 2021.

The City may further extend this timeline based on feedback from public health experts. Any pending applications will not be further reviewed, processed or approved.

The moratorium will apply to special events and public gatherings including, but not limited to:

•Festivals
•Parades
•Concerts
•Carnivals
•Fairs
•Flea markets

In addition, permit applications for residential block party permits will not be accepted until further notice. Any pending applications will not be further reviewed, processed or approved at this time. Further guidance regarding block party permits, including a timeline for when such activities may resume, will be communicated as soon as possible.

The moratorium does not apply to:

•Demonstrations and First Amendment-protected activities.
•Outdoor gatherings that are not publicly advertised—such as family picnics and outdoor weddings—with less than 50 pre-registered guests.
•Organized, outdoor group recreational and sports activities for youth and adults with less than 25 participants.
•Events and gatherings taking place on private property, including performance venues and stadiums.

Please note this is different than the rules that have been issued for dining that are still applicable in PA and in Philadelphia.

Duane Morris has created a COVID-19 Strategy Team to help organizations plan, respond to and address this fast-moving situation. Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

For Further Information:

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Elizabeth Mincer, Jonathan Segal, Eve Klein or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Be well and stay safe!

University of Maryland – Energy Public Private Partnership (P-3) RFQ – due July 29th

The University of Maryland (UMD) is proposing a public private partnership (P3) to implement the NextGen Energy Program (NextGen) in order to renew and modernize the University of Maryland, College Park’s aging energy system. Under the proposed P3, UMD will contract with a private sector entity to design, engineer, finance and install energy system improvements. After improvements are completed, the entity will also manage, operate and maintain UMD’s energy systems moving forward.

The University of Maryland has more than 41,000 students, 14,000 faculty and staff, and 377,000 alumni. The main campus is located in College Park, MD.

On April 27, 2020, UMD issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) seeking qualifications for entities to improve, manage, operate and maintain the UMD’s central heating, cooling and electrical generation and distribution systems to ensure the UMD receives long-term reliable, efficient, sustainable and affordable energy services.

According to a Pre-Solicitation Report (PSR) dated January 31, 2020, UMD recommended two primary commercial structures for implementing the NextGen Program, either (i) a 501(c)(3) type Structure, or (ii) a Concession (Availability Payment) Structure. Under the 501(c)(3) type Structure, UMD would finance energy system capital improvements through a tax exempt entity and contract with a private sector entity to design, engineer and install those improvements and manage, operate and maintain the energy systems.

In the past, the Maryland Economic Development Corporation (MEDCO) has been involved in such projects. Under the Concession Structure, a private sector concessionaire would finance capital improvements using a mixture of equity and taxable debt, design and build those improvements and manage, operate and maintain the energy systems.

In the PSR, UMD indicated that it would consider other commercial structures and that it would consider a variety of payment models such as an availability payment for the central energy generation facility and a “base rate” model for the distribution system.

Further, UMD indicated it would also consider an incentive-based compensation model for a continuing program of energy reviews reductions in campus buildings and facilities.

The statement of qualifications are due on July 29, 2020. The PSR identifies the following additional milestone dates – deadline for receipt of proposals in March, 2021, selection of the preferred proposal in June, 2021, the approval by the Maryland Board of Public works in April – May, 2022 and a financial closing in June, 2022.

The NextGen Energy Program would commence in July, 2022, with UMD preliminarily assuming a construction period of 3 years and an operational period of 30 years, although such time frames are subject to the receipt of final proposals.

Duane Morris has a dedicated P-3 Team to help organizations plan, respond to and address RFQs/RFPs and to structure and execute your P-3 transactions. If you have any questions about this post or have interest in responding to the RFQ and would like some assistance, please contact Tom Totten, Brad A. Molotsky, Joel Ephross or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Be well and stay safe!

COVID-19: NJ Continues Moves to Re-Open, increasing Permitted Gathering Numbers

On June 9th, NJ Gov. Phil Murphy lifted New Jersey’s stay-at-home order and will allow for bigger social gatherings.

– Indoor Gatherings – the limit on indoor gatherings was raised to 25% of capacity or 50 people total; people are required to wear face coverings for these indoor gatherings

– Outdoor Gatherings – the limit on outdoor gatherings was raised from 25 to 100; furthermore, the limit on outdoor gatherings will rise to 250 on June 22nd and 500 on July 3rd

The increase to 500 on July 3rd is intended to permit outdoor graduations to resume in July, as long as fewer than 500 people are gathered together outside.

Exceptions will be granted for outdoor religious services and First Amendment activities, such as protests.

All outdoor recreational and entertainment may resume except for amusement parks, water parks and arcades.

Governor Murphy also announced on the 8th that pools will be permitted to reopen per announced schedules.

Duane Morris has created a COVID-19 Strategy Team to help organizations plan, respond to and address this fast-moving situation. Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

For Further Information:

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Paul Josephson, Elizabeth Mincer, Jimmy Greenberg or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Be well and stay safe!