Chapter 19 - Economic Development Financing
Chapter 19 - Economic Development Financing
(a) The Legislature finds and declares that:
(1) agriculture, shipping, tourism, fishing, maritime, economic development and related business industries, among others, are vital to the economy of the Territory and the welfare of the people, and need to be enhanced and expanded to improve the economic and fiscal position of the Territory;
(2) there is a need to enhance other economic activity in the Territory by attracting manufacturing development, business enterprise management, and other activities conducive to economic promotion, in order to provide a stronger, more balanced, and stable economy in the Territory, while providing for the health and safety of the people;
(3) in order to improve the prosperity and welfare of the Territory and its inhabitants, to improve and expand living and working conditions, to promote the energy independence of the Territory, and to increase purchasing power and opportunities for gainful employment, it is necessary and in the public interest to facilitate the financing of capital projects provided for in this chapter.
(4) the economic stability and well-being of the people of American Samoa will be enhanced by providing affordable health care facilities for the benefit of its citizens, by providing educational facilities of every nature and kind by providing capital improvements of every kind and nature for the people of American Samoa and by providing financial assistance and capital facilities to agencies of the government;
(5) there exists severe economic instability and distress in traditional national and international markets for goods and services produced by the people of American Samoa: this instability and distress has caused serious economic distress to and among the people of American Samoa and is manifest in the extraordinarily high levels of unemployment and in the unavailability and rapidly rising costs of housing for elderly persons, disabled persons, existence of these conditions is inimical to the public health, general welfare, safety, morals and economic security of the people of American Samoa;
(6) the housing inventory in American Samoa needs immediate improvement, for there exists in American Samoa unsanitary, unsafe and overcrowded housing, blighted commercial and residential areas, as well as an acute shortage of safe, sanitary dwellings for person of low and moderate income which cannot be relieved by private enterprise alone, and the provision and financing of decent, safe and sanitary dwelling accommodations for person of low and moderate income are public purposes and a central objective of the government; the American Samoa Economic Development Authority should be vested with the necessary powers and responsibilities to facilitate the housing goals specifically stated for American Samoa in Public Law 98-454, 5 October 1984, to initiate a housing program for American Samoa and to include the Territory in existing federal housing programs.
(b) For the above reasons the Legislature further finds and declares that there exists in American Samoa urgent and severe need to provide the means and methods to provide financing and other programs to:
(1) complement the services of American Samoa’s private financial institutions in a manner which will contribute to a strengthened and diversified economy of American Samoa;
(2) restore and revitalize existing apiculture, shipping, tourism, fishing, maritime, economic development and related businesses and industries for the purposes of retaining and expanding employment within American Samoa;
(3) promote and target resources of American Samoa to increase the export of its products to strengthen economic development of the Territory and to generate additional employment;
(4) eliminate the shortage of decent, safe, sanitary and affordable residential housing for elderly and disabled persons and families of low and moderate income in American Samoa;
(5) remedy unsafe and unsanitary housing conditions that are injurious to the public health, safety and welfare;
(6) remove blighted areas;
(7) obtain all pertinent housing and urban development assistance and financing for American Samoa;
(8) assure the development of reliable, affordable, efficient and environmentally compatible sources of energy for all types of public and private consumption;
(9) provide health care facilities for the benefit of the people of American Samoa;
(10) provide capital facilities for the benefit of the people of American Samoa;
(11) provide educational facilities for educational institutions within American Samoa;
(12) provide for financing of facilities for agencies of the government; and
(13) assist private enterprise to obtain loans or other financial assistance in the privatization of governmental operations.
(c) It is hereby declared to be the public policy and responsibility of American Samoa to promote the health, general welfare, safety and economic security of its people through the provision and financing of decent, safe, sanitary and affordable housing for elderly and disabled persons and persons of low and moderate income, to enlarge existing employment and alleviate unemployment in all phases of agriculture, shipping, tourism, fishing, maritime, economic development and related businesses and industries, to develop reliable, affordable, efficient and environmentally compatible sources of energy for public and private consumption, to provide health care and other capital facilities for the benefit of its people, to provide educational facilities for the benefit of education within American Samoa, to provide facilities for agencies of the government, and to assist private enterprise in financing privatization of governmental operations.
(d) The Legislature finds that the public policies and responsibilities of American Samoa as set forth in this section cannot be fully achieved or attained without the use of public financing and that such public financing can best be provided by establishing the American Samoa Economic Development Authority, vesting it with comprehensive and extensive powers herein described, and enabling said authority to issue revenue bonds and enter into other obligations to provide financing for housing projects, agricultural businesses, industrial enterprises, commercial enterprises, utilities, health care facilities, educational facilities, governmental facilities and other facilities, and to acquire real property wherever situated to promote and develop the expansion of existing employment and the establishment of new agricultural business, industrial enterprises, commercial enterprises, residential housing, health care facilities, educational facilities, facilities for agencies of the government, and any other facilities, and that all of the foregoing are public purposes and uses for which public moneys may be borrowed, expended, advanced, loaned and granted.
As used in this chapter, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
(1) “Agricultural business” means farms, ranches and other enterprises engaged in, or facilities directly or indirectly related to, the production of agricultural commodities and forest products or businesses related thereto, including, but not limited to, distribution, storage, production, transportation, treatment, packaging, canning, or marketing facilities.
(2) “Agricultural processing or storage facility” means an enterprise engaged in, or a facility directly or indirectly related to, the separation, cleaning, processing, converting, packaging, handling, storing, or other activities necessary or appropriate for the preparation and processing of crops, livestock, and other agricultural and forestry products.
(3) “Area of operations” means American Samoa.
(4) “Authority” means the American Samoa Economic Development Authority.
(5) “Blighted area” means an area which, by reason of the presence of a substantial number of deteriorated or deteriorating structures, the predominance of defective or inadequate street or lot layout, faulty lot layout in relation to size, adequacy, accessibility or usefulness, unsanitary and unsafe conditions, deterioration of site or other improvements, diversity of ownership, the existence of conditions which endanger life or property by fire and other causes or any combination of such factors, substantially impairs or arrests the sound growth of a community, retards the provision of adequate housing accommodations or constitutes an economic or social liability and is a threat to the public health, safety, morals or welfare in its present condition and use.
(6) “Board of directors” means the Board of Directors of the Authority.
(7) “Bonds” or “bond documents” means the bonds authorized to be issued and other obligations to be entered into by the authority pursuant to this chapter. The term “bonds” also includes a single bond, a promissory note or notes and any other instrument evidencing an obligation to repay borrowed money including, but not limited to security instruments, trust indentures, loan agreements, collateral pledge agreements, guaranties, mortgages, deeds of trust, debentures, interim certificates, tax anticipation notes, revenue anticipation notes, grant anticipation notes, leases, lease-purchase agreements, certificates of participation in a lease or lease-purchase agreement, or other agreements setting forth the method or source of repayment of borrowed money.
(8) “Commercial enterprise” means an enterprise engaged in, or a facility directly or indirectly related to, the production, distribution or marketing of goods or services, including but not limited to, wholesale, retail and other mercantile activities, office buildings, hotels, motels, shopping centers, department stores, grocery stores, souvenir shops, book stores, stevedores, export or import companies, marine railways, and any other commercial activity.
(9) “Cost” means the amounts expended on or committed for or otherwise related to acquisition, construction reconstruction, improvement, or expansion of a project or facility, including the amounts expended to acquire land, rights-of-way, property rights, easements and other interests in real, personal or mixed property; the amounts expended for machinery and equipment, financing charges, interest prior to and during construction and for one year after completion of construction whether or not capitalized, necessary reserve funds, engineering, architectural, accounting, and legal services, plans and specifications, surveys, cost benefit analyses, feasibility studies, and other expenses necessary, appropriate or incident to determining the feasibility of, and acquiring, constructing, reconstructing, improving, and expanding any project or facility; administrative or management expenses deemed by, the Board of Directors to be necessary or appropriate; fees charged by the authority; charges and expenses necessary or appropriate to the financing or refinancing project, including the refunding of any outstanding obligations, mortgages, or advances issued, made or given by any person for any of these expenditures, and including, but not limited to underwriting fees, financial advisory fees, credit enhancement costs, title insurance premiums, bond insurance premiums, trustee’s fees, printing costs, rating agency fees, travel expenses and any other cost deemed necessary or appropriate by the Board of Directors of the authority to the discharge of the powers, rights, and privileges vested in it by this chapter.
(10) “Education facilities” shall mean real, personal or mixed property of any and every kind intended by an educational institution to be utilized in furtherance of its educational program, including, but not limited to, dormitories, classrooms, laboratories, athletic fields, administrative buildings, recreational building equipment and other property for use therein.
(11) “Facilities” means any interest in real, personal or mixed property, whether tangible or intangible, including but not limited to, land or rights in land, leases, air rights, subsurface rights, water rights, geothermal rights, easements, rights-of-way, permits, licenses, depreciable assets, contract rights, or immovable and any other property, furnishing, machinery, vehicles, apparatus or equipment including, but not limited to, any and all facilities for agencies of the government, courthouses and other administrative, executive or other public offices; office buildings; jails; fire fighting and fire prevention, law enforcement and crime prevention facilities and apparatus; auditoriums, stadiums, convention centers and similar public meeting or entertainment facilities; civil defense facilities; civil defense facilities; hospitals; air and water pollution control facilities; drainage and flood control facilities; storm sewers; arts and crafts centers; museums, libraries, public parks, playgrounds or other public open space; marinas; swimming pools, tennis courts, facilities for other racquet sports, bowling greens, cricket fields, camping facilities, gymnasiums and other recreational facilities; tourist information and assistance centers; historical, cultural, natural, or folklore sites; fair and exhibition facilities; streets and street lighting, alleys, sidewalks, roads, highways, bridges, and via ducts; airports, passenger or freight terminals, ports, harbors, ferries, wharves, docks and similar marine services, slack water harbors, water resource facilities, waterfront development facilities, public water systems and related transmission and distribution facilities, storage facilities, wells, impounding reservoirs, treatment plants, lakes, dams, watercourses; sanitary sewage collection systems and treatment plants; maintenance and storage buildings and facilities; police and sheriff stations; apparatus and training facilities; telecommunications systems; data gathering and transmission systems; computer systems; incinerators; garbage and solid waste disposal, compacting and recycling facilities of every kind; and social and rehabilitative facilities.
(12) “Federal government” means any agency, department, or instrumentality of the Government of the United States of America.
(13) “Fishing industry” means an enterprise engaged in, or a facility directly or indirectly related to, any aspect of harvesting any product of the sea whether plant, fish, mammal, amphibian or some other classification, or an enterprise engaged in, or facilities directly or indirectly used in connection with the separation, cleaning, processing, converting, packaging, handling, storing or sale of such products of the sea.
(14) “Health care facilities” shall mean facilities for furnishing physical or mental health care including, but not limited to, hospitals and other facilities for the diagnosis and treatment of any physical or mental illness or malady, offices and clinics and related facilities, nursing homes and related facilities, long-term or lifecare facilities for the elderly or disabled, and shall include facilities used to furnish emergency medical health care and ambulances or vehicles specifically designed, equipped and licensed for transporting the sick or injured, emergency medical equipment and supplies; communications systems; computers and information processing systems; and training and administrative facilities.
(15) “Home buyer” means a person who has executed a contract with the authority to acquire a home, and who has not yet become a homeowner.
(16) “Housing project” means any facility, work, or undertaking to provide or assist in providing decent, safe and sanitary dwellings, apartments, or other living accommodations for persons of low and modest income by any suitable method, including, but not limited to, rental, sale of individual units in single or multi-family structures under conventional condominium, cooperative sales contract or lease-purchase agreement, loans, or subsidizing of rentals or charges. Each facility, work or undertaking may include buildings, leasehold interests, equipment, facilities and other real, personal or mixed property deemed by the Board of Directors of the authority to be necessary, convenient or desirable, including, but not limited to, streets, sewers, water service, utilities, parks, site preparation or landscaping, and any other facility or appurtenances for administrative, community, health; recreational, welfare or other purposes. The term “housing project” or “project” also may be applied to the planning of the buildings and improvements thereto, the acquisition of the property or any interest therein, the demolition of existing structures, construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, alteration or repair of the improvements or other property and all other work resulting therefrom or incidental thereto. The term shall also include all other real, personal or mixed property and all tangible and intangible assets held or used in connection with the housing projects.
(17) “Industrial enterprise” means an enterprise engaged in, or a facility directly or indirectly used to manufacture, produce, process, assemble, repair extract, warehouse, distribute and transport any product, including but not limited to, corporate and management offices and services provided in connection with any of the foregoing and industrial parks.
(18) “Loans” shall mean loans made for the purposes of financing any of the activities authorized within this chapter, including loans made to financial institutions for the purpose of funding loans to third parties or as security for loans made to accomplish any of the purposes of this chapter.
(19) “Members” means the members of the Board of Directors of the authority, organized pursuant to the provisions of 11.1903.
(20) “Mortgage” includes a mortgage, trust indenture, deed of trust, or other similar instrument.
(21) “Mortgage holder” includes the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, Federal Housing Administration, United States Department of Agriculture, Farmers Home Administration, any other federal government or state agency engaged in housing activity, Administrator of Veterans Affairs, Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, private mortgage lender, private mortgage insurer, and their successors, grantees and assigns.
(22) “Mortgage lender” means any bank or trust company, savings bank, national banking association, or savings and loan association maintaining an office in American Samoa, an insurance company certified to transact business in American Samoa, or any mortgage approved by the Federal Housing Administration and maintaining an office in American Samoa.
(23) “Obligations” means any notes, bonds, interim certificates, contracts, debentures, or other forms of obligation issued by the authority pursuant to this chapter.
(24) “Person” shall mean any individual, corporation, association, partnership, joint venture, joint stock company, trust, unincorporated organization, and any other legally recognized entity or government or any agency or political subdivision thereof.
(25) “Persons of low income” means persons or families as determined by the board of directors who cannot afford to pay enough to cause private enterprise in the islands to build an adequate supply of decent, safe, and sanitary dwellings for their use.
(26) “Persons of moderate income” means persons of families as determined by the Board of Directors who cannot afford to pay enough to secure the necessary mortgages to buy a decent, safe and sanitary dwelling for their use.
(27) “Project” means any facilities deemed by the Board of Directors to be necessary or appropriate to a housing project, an agricultural business, an agricultural processing or storage facility, a commercial enterprise, educational facilities, the fishing industry, health care facilities, an industrial enterprise, a tourism facility, a warehousing or distribution facility and sports facilities, convention or trade show facilities; mass transit commuting facilities; parking facilities; sewage or solid waste disposal facilities; facilities for the furnishing of water for use by the general public, including nonresidential users; local district heating and cooling facilities; industrial parks; residential rental property; hydroelectric generating facilities; airport, dock, or wharf or storage or training facilities directly related thereto; facilities for the local furnishing of electric energy or gas; petroleum products processing or storage facilities; air and water pollution control devices or facilities; facilities of agencies of the government for administration or any other governmental purpose: one or more buildings and other structures, whether or not on the same site or sites; any rehabilitation, improvement, renovation, enlargement of, or addition to, any buildings, facilities, or structures for use in any project; sites and other rights in land whether improved or unimproved, machinery, equipment, inventory, site preparation and landscaping, and all appurtenances and facilities thereto, such as warehouses, utilities, access roads, truck docking and similar facilities; as well as any combination of the foregoing any other project which would qualify for tax exempt financing under title 26 U.S.C. 103 and 103A.
(28) “Tourism facility” means a facility used for or useful in connection with theme parks, zoological gardens, amusement parks, major historical, educational or trade museums, cultural centers, or spectator or participatory sports facilities, generally available to the public, including but not limited to, marinas, arenas, beaches, bathing facilities, golf courses, hotels, theaters, and auditoriums.
(29) “Utilities” or “utility” means any enterprise engaged in, or facility directly or indirectly used in the generation, cogeneration, conversion, production, transmission, storage, or delivery of energy, communication, gas, water, wastewater, drainage, electricity, power, solid waste disposal, telephone, data transmission or telecommunication services.
(30) “Warehousing or distribution facility” means a facility used or useful in the storage or centralized distribution of products resulting from, or used in, manufacturing, agriculture, fishing, mining, or any of the other activities specified as public purposes in this chapter, including but not limited to, warehouse, distribution centers, freight terminals, and elevators.
(a) There is established the American Samoa Economic Development Authority to be an agency of the government, and a body corporate and politic to implement the public purposes of this chapter. The Authority may act on behalf of the government for the specific purposes prescribed in this chapter. The Authority shall constitute a public housing agency within the meaning of the United States Housing Act of 1937, as amended and a “local public agency” within the meaning of Title I of the Housing Act of 1949, as amended. The Authority shall have all the powers, rights, duties, privileges, functions and obligations prescribed and provided in this chapter. On the effective date of this legislation, the Authority shall succeed to, and assume all of the rights, property, powers, privileges, duties, contracts, actions, responsibilities and obligations of the American Samoa industrial development commission, which shall simultaneously cease to exist.
(b) The governing body of the Authority is a Board of Director. The first Board of Directors is comprised of 7 members of the Board of Directors of the American Samoa Industrial Development Commission heretofore appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Legislature and 2 members of the Legislature, one from the Senate appointed by the President of the Senate and one from the House of Representatives appointed by the Speaker of the House. The first member has been duly appointed to a term of office expiring on 30 June 1986 and reappointed to a term of office expiring on 30 June 1990. The second member has been duly appointed to a term of office expiring on 30 June 1987. The third member has been duly appointed to a term of office expiring on 30 June 1988. The fourth member and fifth member have been duly appointed to terms of office expiring on 30 June 1989. All subsequent Governor’s appointments shall be for 4-year terms, or for the unexpired portion of a term. The terms of the Legislative appointees shall not exceed their terms as Legislators and the first terms shall begin upon the date of their appointment.
Except for Legislative appointees, recess appointments may be made to fill vacancies caused by death, resignation, or removal for cause if the vacancy occurs while the Legislature is not in session. Except for Legislative appointees, recess appointments expire at the conclusion of the next following regular or special session of the Legislature if they are not confirmed during that session. The members shall elect from among themselves a chairman, for a term not exceeding 2 years, and such other officers as may be prescribed by duly adopted by-laws.
(c) The Authority shall continue to have the powers and rights of a corporation within the meaning of title 30, chapter 01 of the American Samoa Code Annotated, and has all of the powers provided by, and is subject to the limitations of, title 30 not inconsistent with the provisions of this chapter related to the creation, organization, administration, operation and affairs of the Authority.
(d) The chairman shall be the agent of the authority upon whom any process, notice, or demand required or permitted by law to be served upon the authority may be served. In the chairman’s absence, any other member of the board of directors shall be the agent for receiving service of process, notice or demand.
(e) The Authority shall have perpetual existence.
(f) The Authority shall have the right to acquire facilities or projects by exercising the power of eminent domain in accordance with the provisions of general law. The power of eminent domain shall be exercised only when the Board of Directors deems that no other reasonable alternative is available, and compensation shall be made in accordance with law for the property rights acquired in this manner.
(a) The Authority may issue bonds or enter into other obligations to finance all or any portion of the cost of a project or facility or otherwise implement any project set forth and defined by this chapter.
(b) Bonds issued for each project under the provisions of this chapter do not constitute a debt of the Territory or the Government, or its political subdivisions or agencies, or a pledge of the faith and credit of any of them, but are payable solely from the revenue of such project and from any other source of funds lawfully available to the Authority, including funds received from the Federal Government to acquire, construct, finance, own, operate or lease the project. The bonds must contain a statement to the effect that neither the Territory or the Government nor any political corporate or subdivision of the Territory or the Government is obligated to pay the same or the bond interest from sources other than those specified in the bonds, and that the faith and credit and the taxing power of the Territory or the Government, or its political subdivisions, is not pledged to the payment of the principal of or the interest on these bonds. The Authority may not incur financial obligations which cannot be paid from proceeds of the bonds or from the security given for the bonds or from revenues realized from the project or realized from repayment of a loan made by the Authority to finance or refinance a project, in whole or in part, or from any other source of funds lawfully available to the Authority, including funds received from the Federal Government.
(c) The exercise of the powers granted by this chapter will be in all respects for the benefit of the people of American Samoa and will constitute the performance of essential public functions. The Authority is not required to pay any taxes on any project or any other property owned, constructed or otherwise utilized by the Authority under the provisions of this chapter, and no taxes shall be payable upon the interest or the bonds or otherwise upon the bonds issued under the provisions of this chapter or upon their transfer, and the bond income(including any profit made on the sale of the bonds), must at all times be free from taxation by the Territory or the Government and any local unit or political subdivision of the Territory or the Government.
(d) The Authority may enter into contracts, agreements and other obligations with any agency or department of the United States of America, the Government or any other person on terms and conditions deemed appropriate by the Board of Directors of the Authority and for a term which may extend to 55 years from the effective date of the agreement or contract. The Government, through its duly constituted officials, may enter into contracts, agreements and other obligations with the Authority to implement any of the provisions of this chapter upon terms and conditions deemed appropriate by the Government.
(a) The Authority has the following specific powers with respect to any project together with all other powers incidental, necessary or appropriate for the implementation of these projects not in conflict with the provisions of this chapter:
(1) to acquire, whether by construction, devise, purchase, gift, lease, condemnation or otherwise or any one or more of such methods, and to construct, improve, maintain, equip., and furnish one or more projects other than a project involving governmental facilities, located within the Territory or within the coastal waters of the Territory;
(2) to lease or lease-purchase to a lessee or from a lessor all or any part of a project for rentals upon terms and conditions which its members consider advisable;
(3) to sell or acquire by installment payments or otherwise and convey or receive conveyance of all or any part of a project other than a project involving government facilities, for a purchase price upon the terms and conditions which its members consider advisable;
(4) to lease for a term coterminous with the term of any bonds issued by the Authority, from the government all or any part of a project for governmental facilities provided that any lease of ten years or more submitted to the Legislature as may be required by section 37.2030 A.S.C.A.;
(5) to make secured or unsecured loans for the purposes of providing temporary or permanent financing or refinancing of all or part of the cost of a project, including the refunding of any outstanding obligations, mortgages, or advances issued, made, or given by any person for the cost of a project; and to charge and collect interest on these loans for the loan payments upon the terms and conditions which its members consider advisable;
(6) to issue bonds for the purpose of financing any project as provided in this chapter and to sell bonds at a price determined by the members or to exchange bonds for property, labor, services, material or equipment, comprising a project or incidental to the acquisition of a project, and those bonds may bear interest at any rate or rates, including variable rates, and contain other terms, provisions or conditions determined by the members to be necessary or appropriate;
(7) as security for the payment of the principal of and interest on any bonds issued and any agreements made in connection with that issuance, to mortgage and pledge all or part of these projects, whether then owned or later acquired, and to assign, mortgage, and repledge security available to the authority to secure a loan made by or to the Authority and to pledge the revenues, rentals, receipts and other payments therefrom;
(8) to enter into any contracts or agreements, in addition to the bond documents, which it deems necessary or appropriate on terms and conditions the members deem appropriate;
(9) to charge to applicants for bond financing and other services reasonable application, administration and other fees:
(10) to agree, notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in this chapter or in any other provision of law, to any conditions attached to federal government financial assistance in the development or operation of projects; and the authority may include in any contract, made in connection with a project, stipulations requiring that the contractor and any subcontractors comply with requirements as to maximum hours of labor, and comply with any conditions which the Federal Government may have attached to its financial aid to the project:
(11) to obligate itself, as required by the Federal Government or as necessary to acquire mortgage insurance, in any contract with the Federal Government for contributions to the Authority, to transfer or convey to the federal government possession of or title to the project to which such contract relates, to the extent that the Authority has obtained possession or title to a project, upon the occurrence of a substantial default (as defined in such contract) with respect to the covenants or conditions to which the authority is subject: and such contract may further provide that in case of such transfer or conveyance, the Federal Government may complete, operate, manage, lease, convey or otherwise deal with the project and funds in accordance with the terms of such contract, provided that the contract requires that, as soon as practicable after the Federal Government is satisfied that all defaults with respect to the project have been or will be cured and that the project will thereafter be operated in accordance with the terms of the contract, the Federal Government shall transfer back, or reconvey to the Authority the project as then constituted;
(12) to lease real property to or from private entities or the government, for such periods as are authorized by law, and to hold and manage or to sublease said property;
(13) to borrow or lend money, to issue temporary or long term evidence of indebtedness, and to repay the same;
(14) to pledge the assets and receipts of the authority as security for debts, and to acquire, sell, lease, exchange, transfer or assign, real, personal or mixed property, or any interest therein;
(15) the Authority shall have no authority to purchase or otherwise acquire communal or native land;
(16) to undertake and carry out studies and analyses of housing needs, to prepare plans to remedy housing needs, to execute the same, to operate projects and to provide for the construction, reconstruction, improvement, extension, alteration or repair of any housing project or any part thereof;
(17) with respect to any dwellings, accommodations, lands, buildings or facilities embraced within any housing project (including individual cooperative or condominium units), to lease or rent, sell, enter into lease-purchase agreements or lease with option to purchase; to establish and revise rents or required monthly payments; to make rules concerning the selection of tenants or homebuyers, including the establishment of priorities, and concerning the occupancy, rental, care and management of housing units; and to promulgate further rules as the Board of Directors may deem necessary and desirable to effectuate the powers granted by this chapter;
(18) to finance the purchase of a home by an eligible homebuyer in accordance with regulations and requirements of the Federal Government;
(19) to terminate any lease or rental agreement or lease-purchase agreement when the tenant or homebuyer has violated the terms of such agreement, or failed to meet any of its obligations thereunder, or when such termination is otherwise authorized under the provisions of such agreement; and to bring action for eviction against such tenant or homebuyer;
(20) to establish income limits for admission that insure that dwelling accommodations in a housing project shall be made available only to persons of low income or moderate income;
(21) to purchase insurance from any stock or mutual company for any property or against any risk or hazards;
(22) to invest such funds as are not required for immediate disbursement;
(23) to establish and maintain such batik accounts and other banking relationships as may be necessary or convenient;
(24) to employ an executive director, technical and maintenance personnel and such other officers and employees, permanent or temporary, as the Authority may require and to delegate to such officers and employees such powers or duties as the Board of Directors shall deem proper;
(25) to join or cooperate with any other public housing agency or agencies operating under the laws or ordinances of a state, territory or Indian tribe in the exercise, either .jointly or otherwise, of any or all of the powers of the Authority and such other public housing agency or agencies for the purposes of financing, (including but not limited to the issuance of notes or other obligations and giving security therefor), planning, undertaking, owning, constructing, operating or contracting with respect to a housing project or projects of the Authority or such other public housing agency or agencies, so joining or cooperating with the Authority, in the name of the Authority or in the name of such agency or agencies;
(26) to take such further actions as the Board of Directors may deem necessary and desirable to effectuate the purposes of the Authority.
(b) The Authority may not own or operate any industrial enterprise, commercial enterprise, or utility, other than as lessor, seller, or lender or pursuant to the requirements of any bond documents or other contract or agreement deemed appropriate by the Board of Directors of the Authority. Accordingly, the lessee, purchaser, or borrower pursuant to any lease, sale or loan agreement related to an industrial enterprise, a commercial enterprise, or utility is considered the owner of the project for the purposes of the application of any- property, sales, or use taxes or any other taxes levied or imposed by the Territory and its political subdivision. The purchase and holding by the authority of mortgages, deeds of trust, or other security interests and contracting for any servicing of them may not be construed as the operation of any such project.
(c) The Authority shall receive applications for approval of projects which must contain such information as is required by the authority. After an application is submitted which meets the requirements of the Authority, the Authority shall hold a public hearing on the application. Notice of the hearing must be published no less than 3 days nor more than 30 days prior to the hearing. All interested persons who appear at the hearing shall be given reasonable opportunity to be heard. The hearing shall be conducted by either the Board of Directors, one of its members, an employee of the Authority, or another person designated by the Board of Directors as the hearing examiner. The person conducting the hearing may administer oaths and question witnesses, and shall make a recommendation to the Board of Directors regarding the project. The Board of Directors shall then make a recommendation to the Governor regarding which projects should be approved, and may make a determination that the project is necessary and appropriate to the implementation of the purposes of this chapter. The Governor must give final approval of each project. Following approval by the Governor, and execution of bond documents by all parties, the authority may deliver its bonds. Neither the recommendations of the persons conducting the hearings nor the determination by the Board of Directors, nor actions of the Governor regarding approval, are reviewable by a court except in cases of fraud. The bonds of the authority, when delivered, shall be incontestable for any cause and shall be valid, binding and enforceable in accordance with their terms and conditions.
(d) In undertaking any project, the Authority shall adhere to the following criteria and requirements:
(1) the project, in the determination of the Authority, is appropriate for the needs and circumstances of, and makes a significant contribution to, the economic well-being of the Territory, and serves a public purpose by advancing the economic prosperity, public health, safety or general welfare of the Territory or its inhabitants;
(2) financing of a project involving an industrial enterprise, a commercial enterprise or utility may not be entered into with a person who is not financially responsible and fully capable and willing to fulfill its obligations to make payments in the amounts and at the times required, to fulfill the obligation to operate, repair and maintain any project involving an industrial enterprise, commercial enterprise or utility at its own expense, and to serve the purposes of this chapter, and other responsibilities as imposed under the bond documents. In determining financial responsibility of the party, consideration must be given to the party’s ratio of current assets to current liabilities, net worth earning trends, coverage of all fixed charges, the nature of the industry or actively involved and its inherent stability, and guarantee of the obligations by some other financially responsible corporation, firm or person, and other factors determinative of the capability of the party, financially and otherwise, to fulfill its obligations consistently with the purposes of this chapter.
(e) The Authority is authorized to issue each year the full amount of bonds available under federal law for industrial development projects, including, but not limited to, private activity bonds, as well as the full amount of bonds available under federal law for housing projects.
(f) The obligations of the Authority are declared to be issued for an essential public and governmental purpose and to be public instrumentalities, and, together with interest thereon and income therefrom, shall be exempt from taxes imposed by the Territory or the Government and any local unit or political subdivision of the Territory or the Government. The tax exemption provisions of this chapter shall be considered part of the security for the repayment of obligations and shall constitute, by virtue of this chapter and without necessity of being restated in the obligations, a contract between the Authority and the Government, and the holders of obligations and each of them, including all transferees of the obligations from time to time.
(g) Obligations of the Authority shall be issued and sold in the following manner:
(1) obligations of the Authority shall be authorized by a resolution adopted by the vote of a majority of the full Board of Directors and may be issued in one or more series;
(2) the obligations shall bear such dates, mature at such times, bear interest at such rates, be in such denominations, be in such form, either coupon or registered, carry such conversion or registration privileges, have such rank or priority, be executed in such manner, be payable in such medium of payment and at such places, and be subject to such terms of redemption, with or without premium, as such resolution may provide;
(3) the obligations may be sold at public or private sale at no less than par.
(h) Obligations of the Authority shall be fully negotiable. In any suit, action or proceeding involving the validity or enforceability of any obligation of the Authority or the security therefor, any such obligation reciting in substance that it has been issued by the Authority to aid in financing a project pursuant to this chapter shall be conclusively deemed to have been issued for such purpose, and the project for which such obligation was issued shall be deemed to have been planned, located and carried out in accordance with the purposes and provisions of this chapter.
(i) In connection with the obligations set forth in bond documents or other contracts and obligations, the Authority, subject to the limitations in this chapter may:
(1) pledge all or any part of its gross or net rents, fees or revenues to which its rights then exist or may thereafter come into existence;
(2) provide for the powers and duties of obligees and limit their liabilities; and provide the terms and conditions on which such obligees may enforce any covenant or rights securing or relating to the obligations;
(3) covenant against pledging all or any part of its rents, fees and revenues or personal property to which it is already entitled to or may thereafter be entitled to or permitting or suffering any lien on such revenues or property;
(4) covenant with respect to limitations on its right to sell, lease or otherwise dispose of any project or any part thereof;
(5) covenant as to the obligations to be issued and as to the issuance of such obligations in escrow or otherwise, and as to the use and disposition on the proceeds thereof:
(6) provide for the replacement of lost, destroyed or mutilated obligations;
(7) covenant against extending the time for payment of its obligations or interest thereon:
(8) covenant concerning the rents and fees to be charged in the operation of a project or projects, the amount to be raised each year or other period of time by rents, fees and other revenues, and as to the use and disposition to be made thereof;
(9) create or authorize the creation of special funds for moneys held for construction or operating costs, debt service, reserves or other purposes and covenant as to the use and disposition of the moneys held in such funds;
(10) prescribe the procedure, if any, by which the terms of any contract with holders of the obligations may be amended or abrogate;
(11) covenant as to the use, maintenance and replacement of its real, personal or mixed property, the insurance to be carried thereon and the use and disposition of insurance moneys;
(12) covenant as to the rights, liabilities, powers and duties arising upon the breach of any covenant, condition or obligation;
(13) covenant and prescribe as to events of default and the terms and conditions upon which any or all of its obligations become or may be declared due for maturity, and as to the terms and conditions upon which such declaration and its consequences may be waived;
(14) vest in any obligees or any portion of them the right to enforce the payment of the obligations or any covenants securing or relating to the obligations;
(15) exercise all or any part or combination of the powers granted in this section;
(16) make covenants other than and in addition to the covenants expressly authorized in this section, of like or different character;
(17) make any covenants and do any acts and things necessary, covenient or desirable in order to secure its obligations, or in the absolute discretion of the Authority, tending to make the obligations more marketable although the covenants, acts or things are not enumerated in this section.
(i) American Samoa and all its public officers, municipal corporations, political subdivisions, and public bodies, all banks, bankers, trust companies, savings banks and institutions, including savings and loan associations, all investment companies, insurance companies, annual contributions or other financial assistance to be paid by the federal government or any agency thereof, and the obligations of the Authority and the bonds and other obligations of any such public housing authority or agency shall be authorized security for all public deposits and shall be fully negotiable in American Samoa. It is the purpose of this section to authorize any of the foregoing to use any funds owned or controlled by them, including (but not limited to) sinking, insurance, investment, retirement, compensation, pension, and trust funds and funds held on deposit, for the purchase of any such bonds or other obligations, provided that nothing contained in this section shall operate to relieve any person, firm, or corporation from liability for failure to exercise reasonable care in selecting investments or in the case of a guardian or trustee from liability for failure to exercise the judgment and care to observe the duties required of a guardian or trustee.
(a) The Authority shall submit an annual report; signed by the Chairman of the Board of Directors, to the Governor and members of the Legislature showing a summary of the year’s activities, the financial condition of the Authority, the condition of the properties, the number of housing units and vacancies, any significant problems and accomplishments, plans for the future, and such other information as the Authority or the Governor shall deem pertinent.
(b) During his tenure and for one year thereafter, no director, officer or employee of the Authority, or any member of the Governor’s office, or any other public official who exercises any responsibilities or functions with regard to a project, shall voluntarily acquire any interest, direct or indirect, in any project or in any property included or planned to be included in any project or any contract or proposed contract relating to any project unless prior to such acquisition, he discloses his interest in writing to the Authority and such disclosure is entered upon the minutes of the Authority, and the director, officer or employee shall not participate in any action by the authority relating to the property or contract in which he has any such interests. If any director, officer or employee of the Authority involuntarily acquires any such interest, or voluntarily or involuntarily acquired any such interest prior to appointment or employment as a director, officer or employee, the director, officer or employee, in any such event, shall immediately disclose his interest in writing to the Authority; and such disclosure shall be entered upon the minutes of the Authority, and the director, officer or employee shall not participate in any action by the Authority relating to the property or contract in which he has any such interests. Any violation of the foregoing provisions of this section shall constitute misconduct in office. This section shall not be applicable to the acquisition of any interest in obligations of the Authority issued in connection with any project, or to the execution of agreements by banking institutions for the deposit or handling of funds in connection with a project or to act as trustee under any trust indenture.
(c) Each project developed or operated under a contract providing for federal government financial assistance shall be developed and operated in compliance with all requirements of such contract and applicable federal legislation, and with all regulations and requirements prescribed from time to time by the federal government in connection with such assistance.
(d) The Authority shall obtain or provide for the obtaining of an adequate fidelity bond for any person handling cash, or authorized to sign checks or certify vouchers.
(e) The Authority shall not construct or operate any project for profit.
(f) All property including funds acquired or held by the Authority pursuant to this chapter shall be exempt from levy and sale by virtue of an execution, and no execution or other judicial process shall issue against the same nor shall any judgment against the Authority be a charge or lien upon such property. However, the provisions of this section shall not apply to or limit the right of obligees to pursue any remedies for the enforcement of any pledge or lien given by the Authority on its rents, fees or revenues or the right of the Federal Government to pursue any remedies conferred upon it pursuant to the provisions of this chapter or the right of the Authority to bring eviction actions pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.
(g) The Authority shall obtain the approval of any other Federal Government department or agency, if necessary, prior to signing any financial assistance contract with the Department of Housing and Urban Development or any other Federal Government department or agency.
(h) The Authority may borrow money or accept financial or other assistance from the Federal Government to assist in its construction, operation, or maintenance of any housing project. The Authority may do any and all things necessary or desirable to secure such assistance including obligating itself in any contract with the Federal Government for loans or contributions to convey to the Federal Government the projects to which the contract relates upon the occurrence of a substantial default thereunder.
(i) Funds shall be appropriated annually for the purpose of paying rental charges on lease contracts entered into between the Authority and the government pertaining to the lease of space by an agency or agencies of the government in an office building owned by the Authority. The rental charges shall be in an amount sufficient to pay the principal of and interest on the bonds issued by the Authority to finance the office building, after taking into account amounts received from any other sources of lawfully available funds and to maintain any reserve fund required for servicing the debt. All lease contracts entered into between the Authority and the government pertaining to the lease of space by an agency or agencies of the government in an office building owned by the Authority shall be signed by the Governor on behalf of the government and attested by the Secretary of American Samoa. All lease contracts duly executed by the Authority and by the Governor on behalf of the government shall be incontestable in any court or other forum for any reason and shall be valid and binding obligations in accordance with their terms and conditions for all purposes.
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to violate any provision of the Constitution of American Samoa, and all acts taken under this chapter shall conform to the Constitution, whether expressly provided or not. Where any procedure of this chapter is held by any court to violate the Constitution or any other law of the Territory, the members of the Authority shall have the power to provide by resolution an alternative procedure conforming to the Constitution or law of the Territory. If any provision of this chapter is found by a court to be invalid, that finding shall not affect the validity of any other provision of this chapter, and the Legislature hereby declares that it would have enacted the valid provisions of this chapter despite the invalidity of any other provision.