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The CDEs usage that vow of income tax credits to entice investors to place cash to 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 difficult 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 being a name for the brand brand new papermaking subsidiary, Cate Street resurrected the fantastic 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 an employer that is major the Katahdin area associated with the state, a place beset with a high poverty and few job opportunities. Cate Street advertised it had invested significantly more than $30 million from the mill since its purchase, like the purchase of a high-interest ten dollars million loan, however it required more income for improvements making it more competitive in a increasingly worldwide market.

Stonehenge Community developing and improved Community Development each promised $20 million for the total investment of $40 million. Because neither of those entities decided to talk about the offer, it is not yet determined the way they became involved in Great Northern Paper. (regulations initially capped investments that are individual ten dollars million, however it ended up being later on amended during the demand of Cate Street, that also desired to make use of the system to improve funds for the next subsidiary, Thermogen, to permit assets as much as $40 million in the event that task guarantees to payday loans Argentaerville Illinois generate or retain at the least 200 jobs.)

The investors into 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 reports that are annual by Stonehenge and improved, U.S. Bank and Vulcan – represented as U.S. Bancorp Community developing Corp. and Enhanced Capital Maine GNP LLC, correspondingly – each spent approximately $4.1 million, for a complete of $8.2 million. The remainder $40 million total investment arrived in the form of the aforementioned one-day loans which were returned to the first lenders the exact same day.

Whether U.S. Bank and Vulcan nevertheless possess their Maine tax credits is ambiguous. While Maine legislation stops income tax credits from being purchased and offered, the investor’s equity stake when you look at the CDE’s investment fund, which is sold with the advantage of taxation credits, is.

It can’t be proven because income tax 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 failed to react to duplicated efforts by phone and e-mail for comment.

Shera Dalin, a spokeswoman for U.S. Bank, will never confirm whether or not the bank possesses the taxation credits, nor would she disclose whether U.S. Bank has any Maine taxation obligation, which may figure out if the taxation credits get toward offsetting its goverment tax bill or could possibly be refunded for money.

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

Michael Allen, connect commissioner for tax 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 reimbursement of some kind, and that’s confidential taxpayer information in accordance with Title 36,” Allen stated. “Sorry about this. Simply following 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 whom had written the rules – in line with the legislative language – regulating the taxation credit system and it is tasked with reviewing the proposed tasks and advising FAME’s board, making the greatest choice on awarding taxation credits.

He had been unsettled by way of a true wide range of problems.

First had been that Great Northern stated it could make use of a percentage regarding the investment to pay right right straight back a high-interest loan of $10 million the organization guaranteed last year whenever it reopened the mill. The organization argued that because the profits of this loan had been used on money 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 future investments.

That, nevertheless, had not been Roney’s biggest problem utilizing the deal.

The larger issue ended up being compared to the $40 million, Great Northern wished to make use of approximately 75 percent from it to buy assets the mill currently owned, then straight away funnel the amount of money back into the initial loan providers.

“No funds are in fact utilized to acquire extra items or solutions, or even build facilities that are additional. Current assets are changing arms among relevant entities,” Roney composed to FAME’s board within the exact same memo.

Here’s exactly just 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 get the paper devices and gear. Following the deal, GNP East ended up being kept purchasing just the land. (Both entities ultimately filed for bankruptcy.)

After attempting to sell its gear to its cousin subsidiary, GNP East passed the purchase proceeds to some other Cate Street-controlled entity – this 1 called GNP NMTC Finance Co. – which then funneled the $31.8 million returning to the first loan providers, based on papers supplied to FAME’s board.

The funds changed arms eight times in Enhanced’s percentage of the offer and seven times in Stonehenge’s deal, at the least to some extent due to the complexity of this U.S. income tax code and guidelines regulating Maine’s New Markets system.

Whenever Roney and FAME’s staff voiced concern on the deal’s framework, Chris Howard, the lawyer through the Portland attorney Pierce Atwood who assisted produce the system and represented Stonehenge, improved and Cate Street when you look at the deal, argued that the usage of one-day loans could be qualified underneath the program that is federal therefore must certanly be underneath the Maine system, also.

The program that is federal one-day loans, which financiers state are the best method to refinance previous expenses. But federal regulators don’t veterinarian each investment deal as it is done in Maine. The city developing finance institutions Fund, which administers the federal New Markets system, only reviews past deals described in CDEs’ yearly reports. This is why, it is confusing how frequently one-day loans are utilized within the program that is federal artificially inflate the worthiness of a good investment.

by: Annuity Advice on Thursday 28/01/21

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