The CDEs use who promise of income tax credits to entice investors to place cash in their funds. The CDEs then seek out businesses in low-income areas to purchase.

The CDEs use who promise of income tax credits to entice investors to place cash in their funds. The CDEs then seek out businesses in low-income areas to purchase.

They found one in Great Northern Paper.


Cate Street Capital bought the distressed paper mill in East Millinocket for $1 from Brookfield resource Management as well as 2 months later came back 200 employees for their jobs making paper. As a title because of its brand brand new papermaking subsidiary, Cate Street resurrected the truly amazing Northern Paper moniker, made famous because of the initial business bearing that name that built the East Millinocket mill in 1906 and operated it for almost a century before filing for bankruptcy.

The mill had been a major manager in the Katahdin area associated with state, a place beset with a high poverty and few job opportunities. Cate Street stated it had invested a lot more than $30 million in the mill since its purchase, such as the purchase of a high-interest ten dollars million loan, however it required more income for improvements to really make it more competitive within an market that is increasingly international.

Stonehenge Community developing and improved Community Development each promised $20 million for a total investment of $40 million. Because neither of those entities decided to discuss the offer, it is unclear the way they became a part of Great Northern Paper. (what the law states initially capped investments that are individual ten dollars million, nonetheless it had been later amended during the demand of Cate Street, that also desired to make use of the system to boost funds for the next subsidiary, Thermogen, to permit opportunities up to $40 million in the event that task guarantees to generate or retain at the very least 200 jobs.)

The investors when you look at the deal – those entities which had supplied the funds to Stonehenge and Enhanced – had been U.S. Bank, among the national country’s largest banking institutions, and Vulcan Capital, the Seattle investment company started by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.

In line with the yearly reports filed by Stonehenge and improved, U.S. Bank and Vulcan – represented as U.S. Bancorp Community developing Corp. and improved Capital Maine GNP LLC, correspondingly – each invested approximately $4.1 million, for an overall total of $8.2 million. All of those other $40 million total investment arrived in the form of the aforementioned one-day loans that have been gone back to the first loan providers the exact same time.

Whether U.S. Bank and Vulcan still possess their Maine taxation credits is confusing. While Maine legislation stops income tax credits from being sold and bought, the investor’s equity stake when you look at the CDE’s investment fund, which is sold with the main benefit of taxation credits, may be.

It can’t be proven because taxation documents are confidential, however it’s thought that neither U.S. Bank nor Vulcan, that will each get about $8 million in income tax credits, has any Maine tax obligation and thus would get money refunds from Maine income Services.

A representative for Vulcan would not react to duplicated efforts by email and phone for comment.

Shera Dalin, a spokeswoman for U.S. Bank, wouldn’t normally confirm whether or not the bank possesses the income tax credits, nor would she reveal whether U.S. Bank has any Maine taxation obligation, which will see whether the taxation credits get toward offsetting its goverment tax bill or might be refunded for money.

“Unfortunately, I’m perhaps not likely to be in a position to provide any information or remark about this,” Dalin said.

Michael Allen, connect commissioner for taxation policy at Maine sales Services, declined to express whom holds the income tax credits because taxpayer info is private.

“Well, they file a tax that is( return and get an advantage through the state, a refund of some kind, and that is private taxpayer information in accordance with Title 36,” Allen stated. “Sorry about that. Simply after the legislation.”


Roney, FAME’s counsel that is general admits to being “a small difficult” if the Great Northern investment deal first found his desk. It had been Roney who published the rules – in line with the language that is legislative regulating the income tax credit system and it is tasked with reviewing the proposed jobs and advising FAME’s board, helping to make the best choice on awarding taxation credits.

He had been unsettled by wide range of problems.

First had been that Great Northern stated it might utilize a portion associated with investment to cover right straight back a loan that is high-interest of10 million the business guaranteed last year whenever it reopened the mill. The organization argued that because the profits of this loan had been used on capital expenses during the mill, utilizing the state’s tax credit system retroactively to stay that debt should always be permitted. In a memo to FAME’s board dated Dec. 18, 2012, Roney warned about establishing a precedent that could want it to deal with refinancing past expenditures the identical to funding investments that are future.

That, nonetheless, had not been Roney’s problem that is biggest because of the deal.

The larger problem had been compared to the $40 million, Great Northern wished to make use of approximately 75 % of it to buy assets the mill currently owned, then instantly funnel the cash back into the initial loan providers.

“No funds are in fact utilized to get extra items or solutions, or even to build facilities that are additional. Current assets are changing fingers among associated entities,” Roney composed to FAME’s board into the memo that is same.

Here’s just just how Cate Street, Stonehenge, and Enhanced accomplished that: First, Cate Street created a brand new entity called GNP Maine Holdings LLC to get the $40 million investment. That entity then paid the $31.8 million to GNP East Inc., the existing Cate Street-controlled entity that owned the mill, to purchase the paper devices and gear. Following the deal, GNP East had been kept buying just the land. (Both entities ultimately filed for bankruptcy.)

After attempting to sell its gear to its sis subsidiary, GNP East passed the purchase proceeds to some other Cate entity that is street-controlled this 1 called GNP NMTC Finance Co. – which in turn funneled the $31.8 million back again to the initial loan providers, based on papers supplied to FAME’s board.

The income changed arms eight times in Enhanced’s percentage of the deal and seven times in Stonehenge’s deal, at the very least in component due to the complexity regarding the U.S. taxation rule and rules Maine’s New Markets that is governing system.

Whenever Roney and FAME’s staff voiced concern within the deal’s structure, Chris Howard, the lawyer through the Portland law practice Pierce Atwood whom aided produce the system and represented Stonehenge, improved and Cate Street when you look at the deal, argued that the employment of one-day loans will be qualified underneath the program that is federal therefore must certanly be underneath the Maine system, too.

The federal system allows one-day loans, which financiers state are a legitimate method to refinance previous expenditures. But federal regulators don’t veterinarian each investment deal as it is done in Maine. The city developing finance institutions Fund, which administers the New that is federal Markets, only ratings previous deals described in CDEs’ yearly reports. This is why, it is not clear how many times one-day loans are utilized into the program that is federal artificially inflate the worth of a good investment.

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