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

January 29, 2021

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

They discovered 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 workers for their jobs making paper. As being a title because of its brand brand brand new papermaking subsidiary, Cate Street resurrected the truly amazing Northern Paper moniker, made famous by the original company bearing that name that built the East Millinocket mill in 1906 and operated it for almost a hundred years before filing for bankruptcy.

The mill ended up being a major company in the Katahdin area for the state, a location beset with a high poverty and few occupations. Cate Street reported it had invested significantly more than $30 million from the mill since its purchase, such as the purchase of the high-interest ten dollars million loan, however it required additional money for improvements to really make it more competitive within an increasingly worldwide market.

Stonehenge Community developing and improved Community Development each promised $20 million for the total investment of $40 million. Because neither of the entities decided to talk about the offer, it is not yet determined how they became a part of Great Northern Paper. (what the law states initially capped individual assets at ten dollars million, nonetheless it ended up being later on amended during the demand of Cate Street, that also desired to make use of the system to increase funds for another subsidiary, Thermogen, allowing opportunities as much as $40 million in the event that task guarantees to generate or retain at the least 200 jobs.)

The investors into the deal – those entities which had supplied the funds to Stonehenge and Enhanced – were U.S. Bank, one of many national country’s largest banking institutions, and Vulcan Capital, the Seattle investment firm 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 Development Corp. and improved Capital Maine GNP LLC, correspondingly – each spent 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 initial loan providers the day that is same.

Whether U.S. Bank and Vulcan still possess their Maine taxation credits is not clear. While Maine legislation prevents income tax credits from being purchased and offered, the investor’s equity stake when you look at the CDE’s investment fund, which includes the main benefit of taxation credits, could be.

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

A representative for Vulcan would not answer duplicated attempts by email and phone for comment.

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

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

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

“Well, they file a tax that is( return and get an advantage through the state, a reimbursement of some type, and that’s private taxpayer information relating to Title 36,” Allen stated. “Sorry about online payday loans in Taylorsville Kentucky that. Just after the statutory legislation.”


Roney, FAME’s counsel that is general admits to being “a small distressed” if the Great Northern investment deal first found their desk. It absolutely was 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 tasks and advising FAME’s board, helping to make the greatest choice on awarding taxation credits.

He had been unsettled with range dilemmas.

First had been that Great Northern stated it might make use of a percentage associated with investment to pay for right right straight back a high-interest loan of $10 million the business guaranteed last year whenever it reopened the mill. The business argued that because the profits of this loan had been allocated to money expenses during the mill, utilising the state’s tax credit system retroactively to stay that debt should really be permitted. In a memo to FAME’s board dated Dec. 18, 2012, Roney warned about establishing a precedent that will want it to take care of refinancing past expenditures the identical to funding future opportunities.

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

The larger issue had been compared to the $40 million, Great Northern desired to make use of approximately 75 per cent of it to buy assets the mill currently owned, then instantly funnel the amount of money returning to the lenders that are original.

“No funds are now utilized to get extra products or services, or even build facilities that are additional. Current assets are changing arms among associated entities,” Roney published to FAME’s board within the same memo.

Here’s just exactly how Cate Street, Stonehenge, and Enhanced accomplished that: First, Cate Street developed an entity that is new 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 equipment. Following the deal, GNP East ended up being kept buying just the land. (Both entities fundamentally filed for bankruptcy.)

After offering its gear to its sibling 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 first loan providers, relating to papers supplied to FAME’s board.

The funds changed fingers eight times in Enhanced’s percentage of the offer and seven times in Stonehenge’s deal, at the very least in component due to the complexity regarding the U.S. income tax rule and guidelines regulating Maine’s New Markets program.

Whenever Roney and FAME’s staff voiced concern on the deal’s framework, Chris Howard, the attorney through the Portland law practice Pierce Atwood whom aided produce the system and represented Stonehenge, improved and Cate Street within the deal, argued that the application of one-day loans will be qualified underneath the federal system, therefore must be underneath the Maine system, aswell.

The federal system allows one-day loans, which financiers state are the best method to refinance previous expenses. But regulators that are federal veterinarian each investment deal as it is done in Maine. Town developing finance institutions Fund, which administers the New that is federal Markets, only ratings previous deals described in CDEs’ yearly reports. Due to this, it is uncertain how frequently one-day loans are utilized into the program that is federal artificially inflate the worthiness of a good investment.