(a) There is hereby created a Neighborhood Investment Program Advisory Board, which shall consist of twelve voting members and the chairperson.
(b) Chairperson. —
(1) The Director of the West Virginia Development Office, or the designee of the Director of the West Virginia Development Office, shall be the ex officio chairperson of the Neighborhood Investment Program Advisory Board.
(2) The chairperson shall vote on actions of the board only in the event of a tie vote, in which case the chairperson's vote shall be the deciding vote.
(c) Board members. —
(1) Four members shall be officers or members of the boards of directors of unrelated corporations which are not affiliated with one another and which are currently licensed to do business in West Virginia.
(2) Four members shall be executive directors, officers or members of the boards of directors of unrelated not-for-profit organizations which are not affiliated with one another which currently hold charitable organization status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and which are currently licensed to do business in West Virginia.
(3) Four members shall be economically disadvantaged citizens of the state that, for the taxable year immediately preceding the year of appointment to the board, had an annual gross personal income that was not more than one hundred twenty-five percent of the federal designated poverty level for personal incomes, and who has been a domiciliary and resident of this state for at least one year at the time of appointment.
A member appointed under this subdivision is not disqualified from completion of his or her term if his or her income in the year of appointment or in any year subsequent to the year of appointment exceeds one hundred twenty-five percent of the federal designated poverty level. A member shall not be eligible for reappointment under this subdivision unless he or she meets the original qualifications for appointment: Provided, That such member may be reappointed pursuant to qualification under subdivision (1) or (2) of this subsection if the member meets the requirements of subdivision (1) or (2), respectively.
(d) Limitations; terms of members; appointments. —
(1) Not more than four members, exclusive of the chairperson, shall be appointed from any one congressional district. Not more than seven of the members, exclusive of the chairperson, may belong to the same political party. Members shall be eligible for reappointment. However, no member may serve for more than three consecutive terms.
(2) Appointment terms. —
(A) Except for initial appointments described under subdivision (3) of this subsection, and except for midterm special appointments made to fill irregular vacancies on the board, members shall be appointed for terms of three years each.
(B) Except for midterm special appointments made to fill irregular vacancies on the board, appointment terms shall begin on July 1 of the beginning year. All appointment terms, special and regular, shall end on June 30 of the ending year.
(3) Selection of members. —
(A) For the initial appointment of members under this subdivision, members shall be selected by the Director of the West Virginia Development Office.
(B) At the end of a member's term, the chairperson shall solicit new member nominations from the board and appoint the most appropriate person to serve, in compliance with the requirements set forth in this section.
(C) Vacancies on the board shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointments for the duration of the unexpired term.
(e) Quorum; meetings; funding. —
(1) The presence of a majority of the members of the board constitutes a quorum for the transaction of business. The board shall elect from among its members a vice chairperson and such other officers as are necessary.
(2) The board shall meet not less than two times during the fiscal year, and additional meetings may be held upon a call of the chairperson or of a majority of the members: Provided, That no meeting of the board shall be required if the total amount of tax credits available for the fiscal year have been allotted.
(3) Board members shall be reimbursed by the West Virginia Development Office for sums necessary to carry out responsibilities of the board and for reasonable travel expenses to attend board meetings.
(f) Annual report. — The board shall make a report to the Governor and the Legislature within thirty days of the close of each fiscal year. The report shall include summaries of all meetings of the board, an analysis of the overall progress of the program, fiscal concerns, the relative impact the program is having on the state and any suggestions and policy recommendations that the board may have. The report shall be public information made available to the general public for examination and copying. The board is authorized to publish the annual report, should the board elect to do so.
(g) Duties of the board. —
(1) Administrative duties. — The board shall be responsible for advising the West Virginia Development Office concerning the administrative obligations of the program.
(2) Project evaluation and approval; prohibition on project promotion. —
(A) The board shall select and approve projects, which may then be certified by the Director of the West Virginia Development Office pursuant to section four of this article.
(B) Only projects sponsored by qualified charitable organizations, as defined in section three of this article, may be approved by the board or certified by the Director of the West Virginia Development Office. An applicant that does not hold current status as a charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code may not receive project approval from the board, or project certification from the Director of the West Virginia Development Office, for any proposed project. Failure of any applicant to provide convincing documentation proving such status as a charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code shall result in automatic denial of project approval and denial of project certification under this article.
(3) Criteria for evaluation. — In evaluating projects for approval, the board shall give priority to projects based upon the following criteria. A proposed project shall be favored if:
(A) The project is community based. (B) The proposed project will primarily serve low income persons.
(C) The proposed project will serve highly distressed neighborhoods or communities.
(D) The project plan incorporates collaborative partnerships among nonprofit groups, businesses, government organizations and other community organizations.
(E) The applicant or sponsor of the project has demonstrated a proven capacity to deliver the proposed services.
(F) The applicant or sponsor of the project historically maintains reasonable administrative costs.
(G) The applicant produces a strong showing of need for the services which the proposed project would provide, and produces convincing documentation of that need.
(H) The proposed project is innovative, novel, creative or unique in program approach.
(I) The proposed project is a direct need program or will provide emergency assistance.
(4) If an applicant is directly or indirectly affiliated with one or more board members, those members shall not discuss the proposals with one or more board members, and shall not have a vote when that project is considered for final approval or disapproval.
(5) Project approval by the board. — Proposed projects shall be approved or denied approval by a majority vote of the board after competitive comparison with proposed projects of other applicants.
(h) Project certification by the Director of the West Virginia Development Office. —
(1) Upon issuance of approval for a project by the board, the approved project shall be certified by the Director of the West Virginia Development Office: Provided, That no certification may issue for any project, even though the project may have been approved by the board, if the issuance of certification for such project will cause the aggregate amount of tax credits certified to exceed the limitation set forth in this article. No certification may be issued by the Director of the West Virginia Development Office for any project which has not been approved by the board.
(2) The West Virginia Development Office shall promptly notify applicants of the issuance of certification for their projects and shall issue tax credit vouchers to certified project applicants in the amount of the tax credit represented by the project.
(3) The West Virginia Development Office may provide incidental technical support and guidance to projects certified under this article and may monitor the progress of the projects. The West Virginia Development Office shall make a biannual report to the board on the progress of certified projects and the program generally.