The daily Astorian. (Astoria, Or.) 1961-current, August 17, 2015, Image 2

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THE DAILY ASTORIAN • MONDAY, AUGUST 17, 2015
6RPHWD[FUHGLWVHOOHUVDOORZHGWRÀRXWSULFLQJUXOHV
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By HILLARY BORRUD
Capital Bureau
could cost the state up to $968.1
million in tax revenue, including
$703.6 million from tax credits
that were sold by recipients to
investors, according to an anal-
ysis of Department of Energy
data.
The EO Media Group/Pam-
plin Media Group Capital Bu-
UHDX ¿UVW UHSRUWHG LQ -XQH WKDW
the Oregon Department of En-
ergy quietly stopped enforcing
pricing and other rules on the
state tax credits. When people
questioned the policy, the De-
partment of Energy responded
with a temporary rule change
to retroactively eliminate price
rules going back to mid-2012.
The temporary rule change,
which the department plans to
make permanent, would reward
people who sold tax credits at
deeper discounts than allowed
under state rules. It would not
help people such as Mel Rum-
well, who was told by a state
employee that he had to follow
the rules. Rumwell is president
of the Rock Creek Community
$VVRFLDWLRQ ZKLFK TXDOL¿HG
for a business energy tax credit
E\LQVWDOOLQJDQHQHUJ\HI¿FLHQW
roof.
They had help from staff at
the Oregon Department of En-
State regulators allowed ergy, where employees gave
some sellers of Oregon energy RXW FRQÀLFWLQJ DGYLFH RYHU WKH
tax credits to offer buyers deep years. Some employees told
discounts while forcing others to energy project owners they had
follow strict state pricing rules.
to follow state price guidelines
As a result, those not follow- required in statute. At the same
ing the rules were able to more time, another employee told
easily sell their credits, and their project owners they could ig-
buyers realized greater value for nore that section of state law.
their investment, while those
The Department of Ener-
following the rules were at a gy also stopped verifying how
competitive disadvantage.
much corporations and wealthy
The state offers the tax cred- individuals paid to purchase the
its to government and private tax credits, despite evidence that
organizations to help offset the brokers and project owners were
FRVWRIHI¿FLHQF\DQGUHQHZDEOH looking for loopholes in state
energy projects. Recipients can pricing regulations.
use the credits to reduce their
In one case, this resulted in
taxes, or sell them to raise cap- the Portland metropolitan area
ital.
transit agency TriMet selling
Oregon lawmakers have tax credits with a face value of
tried repeatedly to rein in the $3.6 million for $2.7 million, or
costly incentives, with bills to 75 cents on the dollar instead of
reduce the cost of the program the 98 cents required under the
and control the price at which rules. The deeper the discount,
the credits could be sold to in- the less money went to the re-
vestors.
QHZDEOH HQHUJ\ DQG HI¿FLHQF\
But a group of tax credit re- projects the tax incentives were
cipients and brokers set out to supposed to reward.
¿QGZD\VWRFLUFXPYHQWWKHP
Business energy tax credits
issued between 2006 and 2014
ACCUWEATHER ® FORECAST FOR ASTORIA
Astoria 5-Day Forecast
Tonight
Mainly clear
54°
Tuesday
Oregon Weather
Shown is
tomorrow’s
weather.
Temperatures
are tonight’s
lows and
tomorrow’s
highs
The Dalles
60/99
Astoria
54/83
Portland
60/98
Corvallis
53/100
Eugene
54/99
Pendleton
56/91
Salem
58/99
Albany
56/99
Wednesday
Burns
43/90
Medford
60/105
Nice with abundant
sunshine
83°
57°
Thursday
Not as warm with
times of clouds
and sun
75°
56°
Partial sunshine
70°
54°
Almanac
Sun and Moon
Astoria through Sunday.
Temperatures
High ........................................... 72°
Low ............................................ 50°
Normal high ............................... 69°
Normal low ................................. 53°
Precipitation
Yesterday ................................ 0.00"
Month to date .......................... 0.09"
Normal month to date ............. 0.46"
Year to date ........................... 27.87"
Normal year to date .............. 37.40"
Sunset tonight ..................
Sunrise Tuesday ..............
Moonrise today ................
Moonset today .................
Regional Cities
City
Baker City
Bend
Brookings
Eugene
Ilwaco
Klamath Falls
Medford
Newport
North Bend
Today
Hi Lo W
82 40 s
84 50 s
79 59 s
91 54 s
70 58 s
90 48 s
99 60 s
66 51 s
69 54 s
8:22 p.m.
6:18 a.m.
9:22 a.m.
9:39 p.m.
First
Full
Last
New
Aug 22
Aug 29
Sep 5
Sep 12
City
Olympia
Pendleton
Portland
Roseburg
Salem
Seaside
Spokane
Vancouver
Yakima
Today
Hi Lo W
83 49 s
87 56 s
88 60 s
93 59 s
90 58 s
73 54 s
84 59 s
88 57 s
92 55 s
Tues.
Hi Lo W
90 53 s
91 60 s
98 65 s
102 62 s
99 62 s
78 56 s
87 60 s
97 62 s
94 56 s
Tonight's Sky: Ursa Major is above the north-
west horizon before midnight.
Source: Jim Todd, OMSI
Tomorrow’s Tides
Time
10:18 a.m.
10:47 p.m.
Low
0.3 ft.
1.0 ft.
Tomorrow’s National Weather
Tues.
Hi Lo W
84 71 t
88 70 s
82 69 c
75 49 t
75 60 t
84 70 t
101 77 s
59 50 sh
89 75 sh
85 69 pc
75 58 t
107 79 s
83 66 pc
86 73 t
91 79 t
80 71 t
89 78 t
92 74 s
88 66 t
94 74
t
89 71 t
84 59 s
76 61 pc
87 62 s
92 75 t
the Warrenton Soccer Com-
plex.
The Lower Columbia
³:HXVH¿VKLQJQHWVIRURXU
Youth Soccer Association is soccer nets. It’s kind of unique,”
looking for volunteers with said Fergus Loughran, the asso-
H[SHULHQFH PHQGLQJ ¿VKLQJ ciation’s director of coaching.
nets to help repair netting at
Loughran said they hope to
have the repairs completed be-
fore Labor Day weekend.
Those interested in assisting
may call Loughran at 503-816-
7979 or Jerry Boisvert, LCYSA
¿HOG PDLQWHQDQFH PDQDJHU DW
503-298-7987.
Deaths
Astoria / Port Docks
Time
High
4:03 a.m. 7.3 ft.
4:32 p.m. 7.7 ft.
you are contemplating nor will
we issue tax advice on whether
that side transaction might be
a taxable transaction for your
partner,” Bock wrote. “What-
ever side arrangement you are
contemplating with a partner is
something over which we have
no control. I hope that helps.”
Salem-Keizer Transit did not
proceed with the deal, and has
not sold the tax credits.
In June 2014, a different tax
credit broker, Blue Tree Strat-
egies, pitched a similar deal to
TriMet, which had $3.6 million
in energy tax credits.
Instead of sending the rebates
directly to the buyers, however,
Blue Tree Strategies proposed
that TriMet hide the payments in
the broker’s commission. Blue
Tree Strategies would then send
most of the commission — more
than $770,000 — to the tax credit
buyers. This would reduce the net
price of the tax credits from 95 to
98 cents on the dollar, as required
under state rules, to an average of
75 cents on the dollar, according
to Blue Tree Strategies’ proposal.
7UL0HWRI¿FLDOVZHUHXQFRP
fortable with the idea, and Blue
Tree Strategies’ owner Aaron
Berg asked Buckley in an Oct.
HPDLOLIKHZRXOG¿HOG
questions from TriMet and other
Blue Tree Strategies clients . Berg
provided a copy of Buckley’s
answer to the EO Media Group/
Pamplin Media Group Capital
Bureau.
Buckley, who oversees the
agency’s tax incentive, energy
grant and loan programs, agreed
to Berg’s request.
Although TriMet never went
through with the rebate, the tran-
sit agency sold its credits at the
same steep discount of 75 cents
on the dollar earlier this year.
TriMet and the buyers waited to
complete paperwork until after
the Department of Energy’s tem-
porary rule change eliminated
price regulations.
The Capital Bureau is a
collaboration between EO
Media Group and Pamplin
Media Group.
Repairs needed for soccer netting
The Daily Astorian
Under the Sky
Tues.
Hi Lo W
85 42 s
89 54 s
76 59 pc
99 57 s
75 60 s
94 50 s
105 65 s
69 53 s
72 55 s
National Cities
Today
City
Hi Lo W
Atlanta
83 71 t
Boston
92 72 s
Chicago
88 69 t
Denver
80 54 t
Des Moines
78 68 t
Detroit
88 70 s
El Paso
97 76
t
Fairbanks
68 52 sh
Honolulu
89 75 sh
Indianapolis
86 67 t
Kansas City
87 71 t
Las Vegas
109 81 s
Los Angeles
87 68 s
Memphis
87 72 t
Miami
91 79 t
Nashville
80 70 t
New Orleans
86 77 t
New York
96 78 s
Oklahoma City 93 72 pc
Philadelphia
95 73 s
St. Louis
90 74
t
Salt Lake City
91 60 s
San Francisco
81 60 pc
Seattle
82 59 s
Washington, DC 98 75 s
Klamath Falls
48/94
Forecasts and graphics provided by AccuWeather, Inc. ©2015
58°
Friday
Times of clouds
and sun
69°
Ontario
56/93
Bend
50/89
code and full enforcement of
state tax laws. Wiser said the
FRQÀLFWLQJDGYLFHIURP'HSDUW
ment of Energy employees was
a sign the agency lacked leader-
ship.
“Some of them believe in fol-
lowing the law, and some of them
don’t believe in following the
law,” Wiser said. “And nobody’s
telling them, ‘This is the way it
will be in our department.’”
Brokers and project own-
ers have for years sought ways
around state tax credit price
guidelines. In October 2013,
Salem-Keizer Transit Finance
Manager Jared Isaksen emailed
Rules and loopholes
state Energy Incentives Program
The Department of Energy Manager Maureen Bock to ask if
historically controlled tax cred- the district could use a side deal
it prices directly, through what to bypass the price guidelines.
was known as the pass-through
The transit district had been
program. The agency helped awarded energy tax credits
match buyers and sellers, set worth $3.7 million, which it
rates at which the credits could could sell under state rules for
be sold and handled the pay- no less than 97.6 cents on the
ments.
dollar or a total of nearly $3.6
When people started to ne- million. Isaksen asked Bock if
gotiate private deals outside the the district could send a rebate of
pass-through program, the Leg- nearly $876,000 to the buyer of
islature stepped in with a 2009 the credits. That would lower the
law that required the Depart- net price of the tax credits to 76
ment of Energy to develop “a cents on the dollar.
formula to be employed in the
“The underlying question is
determination of prices of (tax) can the d istrict discount the cred-
credits” in those sales. Lawmak- its further to make them more at-
ers reiterated the mandate in a tractive to possible pass-through
2011 law.
partners?” Isaksen wrote. “If the
However, some energy proj- answer is no, then why not?”
ect owners and tax credit bro-
Bock initially referred the
kers found a different section question to Joe Colello, who han-
of state law they interpreted as dled tax credits and other renew-
allowing the sale of tax credits DEOHHQHUJ\DQGHI¿FLHQF\LQFHQ
at any price negotiated by the tives at the agency. Colello wrote
buyers and sellers. Anthony back that Salem-Keizer Transit’s
Buckley, the Oregon Depart- proposal was not allowed under
PHQW RI (QHUJ\¶V FKLHI ¿QDQ state rules.
FLDO RI¿FHU DJUHHG DQG VLQFH
Isaksen disagreed with Colel-
at least fall 2014, the agency lo’s response, which prompted
allowed the private sales at ne- Bock to step in. She referred to
gotiated prices under that same the state law that requires the
section of Oregon law. It sim- Department of Energy to set tax
ply states one-time transfers of credit sales prices, and explained
tax credits are allowed, unless KRZWKHDJHQF\YHUL¿HGWKDWEX\
expressly prohibited by other ers and sellers were following the
laws.
rules. Then, she addressed the re-
Jody Wiser is chair of Tax bate Isaksen proposed.
Fairness Oregon, a group which
“We will not issue a legal
advocates for a progressive tax opinion on the legality of what
“We were told by the state
that we could not discount it,”
Rumwell said of the tax credit.
Rumwell said the association
has no use for the credit because
it does not owe taxes to the state,
and its window to sell the tax
credit closed in December.
(QHUJ\ RI¿FLDOV KDYH VDLG
they had authority to make a
business decision not to enforce
the rules, but the policy appears
to contradict the intent of the
state Legislature which wanted
to set prices to ensure the tax
LQFHQWLYHVZRXOGEHQH¿WHQHUJ\
projects.
Fronts
Aug. 13, 2015
MARSCH, Dena Suzanne,
61, of Astoria, died in As-
toria. Caldwell’s Luce-Lay-
ton Mortuary in Astoria is in
charge of the arrangements.
REKART, Mary Kath-
erine, 66, of Warrenton,
died in Portland. Caldwell’s
Luce-Layton Mortuary in
Astoria is in charge of the ar-
rangements.
Cold
Lotteries
Warm
Stationary
Showers
T-Storms
-10s
-0s
0s
10s
20s
30s
40s
50s
60s
70s
80s
90s
100s
110s
Rain
Flurries
Snow
Ice
Shown are noon positions of weather systems and precipitation. Temperature bands
are highs for the day. Forecast high/low temperatures are given for selected cities.
Weather (W): s-sunny, pc-partly cloudy, c-cloudy, sh-showers, t-thunderstorms,
r-rain, sf-snow fl urries, sn-snow, i-ice.
K lem p Fam ily D en tistry...
W e h elp keep fam ilies sm ilin g!
W e lo v e new p atients!
C o m e and see h o w
co m fo rtab le d entistry
can really b e...
“This is truly “family dentistry”
because the moment you enter the
state of the art office you are greeted
and treated just like you are a part
of Dr. Klemp’s family. Everyone is
caring and patient and cares
K lem p Fa m ily D en tistry
o ffers a b ro a d ra n ge o f
th era pies a lo n g with a ll
yo u r gen era l d en tistry n eed s.
about your every concern...”
another smiling family
OREGON
Sunday’s Pick 4:
1 p.m.: 0-9-1-6
4 p.m.: 3-8-3-6
7 p.m.: 1-1-3-1
10 p.m.: 8-0-4-7
Saturday’s Megabucks:
14-21-23-26-34-37
Estimated jackpot: $6 mil-
lion.
Saturday’s Powerball:
3-13-17-42-52, Powerball: 24
Estimated jackpot: $70
million.
Saturday’s Pick 4:
1 p.m.: 5-1-7-6
4 p.m.: 9-0-1-5
7 p.m.: 6-9-0-8
10 p.m.: 4-0-3-5
Friday’s Pick 4:
1006 West Marine Drive, Astoria
(503) 468-0116
www.klempfamilydentistry.com
Works Committee, 9 a.m.,
City Hall, 163 E. Gower St.,
Cannon Beach.
Clatsop County Human
Services Advisory Council,
4 to 5:30 p.m., 800 Exchange
St., Room 430.
Port of Astoria Commis-
sion, 5 p.m., executive ses-
sion (closed to public), 6 p.m.,
UHJXODUVHVVLRQROG3RUWRI¿F
es, 422 Gateway Ave.
Astoria Historic Land-
marks Commission, 5:15
p.m., City Hall, 1095 Duane
St.
Shoreline Sanitary Dis-
trict Board, 7 p.m., Gearhart
Hertig Station, 33496 West
Lake Lane, Warrenton.
Seaside
Planning
Commission,
7
p.m.,
City Hall, 989 Broadway,
Seaside.
Public meetings
MONDAY
Knappa School Board,
5:30 p.m., regular meeting,
Knappa High School library,
41535 Old U.S. Highway 30.
Jewell School Board, 6
p.m., Jewell School Library,
83874 Oregon Highway 103.
Astoria City Council, 7
p.m., City Hall, 1095 Duane St.
TUESDAY
Cannon Beach Public
The Daily Astorian
Established July 1, 1873
(USPS 035-000)
Published daily, except Saturday and Sunday,
by EO Media Group, 949 Exchange St., PO
Box 210, Astoria, OR 97103 Telephone 503-
325-3211, 800-781-3211 or Fax 503-325-6573.
POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The
Daily Astorian, PO Box 210, Astoria, OR 97103-
0210
www.dailyastorian.com
MEMBER OF THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
KLEMP F A MILY D ENTISTRY
WASHINGTON
Sunday’s Daily Game:
9-3-4
Sunday’s Keno: 03-04-
07-10-12-13-14-20-26-29-37-
38-41-47-54-56-60-62-69-78
Sunday’s Match 4: 07-
13-17-24
Saturday’s Daily Game:
3-1-7
Saturday’s Hit 5: 07-08-
21-33-37
Estimated
jackpot:
$190,000
Saturday’s Keno: 01-02-
04-05-07-14-18-20-23-26-34-
40-42-43-55-64-73-74-77-78
Saturday’s Lotto: 22-26-
28-32-34-36
Estimated jackpot: $2.4
million
Saturday’s Match 4: 12-
18-19-21
Friday’s Daily Game:
8-3-2
Friday’s Keno: 04-08-15-
34-35-38-45-51-54-61-63-67-
68-73-74-75-77-78-79-80
Friday’s Match 4: 05-06-
21-24
Friday’s Mega Millions:
12-15-20-52-71, Mega Ball:
03
Estimated jackpot: $30
million.
1 p.m.: 0-0-9-4
4 p.m.: 9-3-2-1
7 p.m.: 8-8-7-7
10 p.m.: 6-3-2-1
The Associated Press is entitled exclusively to
the use for republication of all the local news
printed in this newspaper.
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