The House Budget dropped with several potential sources of financing for the $uperman building this week.
The Rebuild RI Tax Credit had a limit set of $150 million. This would easily take care of the $uperman Buildings asks. New changes made 195 projects eligible for these credits. Many noted the definition of I-195 Land included the $uperman Building in the defined area, possibly giving it a back door to the taxpayer dollars they so crave. But the $15million per project remains. (There is an exemption for I-195 Land for section (d) (1) (i) of the credit limits, but the $15mil max is in (d)(1)(ii) so I believe it still exists, someone educate me if I’m wrong). Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor was quick to debunk this, saying the definition was an oversight, and will be corrected. I tend to believe him there, only because I don’t think the House hasn’t worked out what they want yet in return for this ask.
The Budget entry I am looking at is the Extension of the Historic Tax Credits. That program was set to expire in 2016 originally, and will now be extended one more year. This is where I believe they are leaving the window open for the $uperman Building.
That would be in line with what I noted about the Governors projected new issuance of $75million in Historic Tax Credits. It seems that Commerce Corp is ready to issue those when called on as they put out an RFP for these in 2015. The RFP is titled ‘REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS FOR A DIRECT PURCHASE BY A FINANCIAL INSTITUTION OF A FEDERALLY TAXABLE BOND ISSUE’ and contains some good information on the Historic Tax Credit program the most significant being that in 2008 Commerce Corp was authorized to issue $356.2 million in bonds to support the “Historic Preservation Tax Credit Fund” but so far have only issued $150 million in bonds. That leaves 206 million taxpayer dollars to gift to developers like $uperman partners Cornish Associates and High Rock Development.
The pieces fit from my point of view. The Governor expects a new issuance in late 2018, Commerce Corp is assumedly ready to go from the RFP and they have $206 million to play with, and the House is extending the Historic Tax Credit Program. High Rock/Cornish publicly have indicated that they are not working on getting their funding this year, hard to believe after their big dog and pony press conference, but easier to swallow when you see the pieces falling in place. All that will be left next session is the legislation to grant them access to those funds, an easier task if legislators get to say no new funds were appropriated, they were able to leverage existing programs to bailout $uperman.