News: CJ Exclusives

McCready solar tax credits may be at risk from Cooper’s DOR

This UPS Store in North Raleigh is where Double Time Capital rents the mailbox that serves as its official address. (CJ photo by Don Carrington)
This UPS Store in North Raleigh is where Double Time Capital rents the mailbox that serves as its official address. (CJ photo by Don Carrington)

Tax credits claimed by clients of Dan McCready’s solar investment company may be jeopardized by Gov. Roy Cooper’s Department of Revenue.

McCready, the Democratic nominee in the 9th Congressional District special election, started the investment firm Double Time Capital in 2013. The company set up partnerships letting investors in solar projects take advantage of a 35% state tax credit. 

Carolina Journal has tried without success to speak with McCready and other Double Time representatives. Double Time’s physical address, based on records filed with the Secretary of State’s office, is a mailbox at a UPS Store in North Raleigh.

Box 226 is listed by the N.C. Secretary of State as the street address of Double Time Capital, co-owned by Dan McCready. (CJ photo by Don Carrington)

Earlier this month, CJ reported that a September 2018 DOR ruling appears to hit some solar investors hard. DOR is denying some tax credits to partnerships. It said investors had set up partnerships for solar tax credits that didn’t satisfy the federal Internal Revenue Code, and N.C. law should match as the federal code.

Monarch Tax Credits, a Georgia-based investment company involved in financing solar projects, was one business affected by DOR. McCready’s Double Time Capital and Monarch appear to operate similarly. CJ has been unable to determine whether Double Time’s customers are also affected.

The special election is Sept. 10. McCready’s main opponent is Republican state Sen. Dan Bishop. Both are from Charlotte. McCready’s campaign website features his involvement in solar energy. “Dan played a key role in North Carolina becoming second in the nation for solar power, and today North Carolina supports over 30,000 clean energy jobs,” the website says.

A 2017 Forbes article profiled McCready and his partner Rye Barcott, U.S. Marine Corps veterans who formed Double Time to bundle investments in late-stage, utility-scale solar projects.

After several unsuccessful efforts to speak with someone from Double Time, CJ contacted McCready’s campaign press secretary Dory MacMillan and requested a phone interview with McCready. MacMillan hadn’t responded at press time.

A March 2018 Business North Carolina story about McCready reported Double Time collected about $80 million and invested in 36 North Carolina solar projects. 

In early August, CJ first reported the DOR is denying tax credits for some solar energy investments. One tax lawyer said investors could lose as much as $500 million. Several tax experts and lawyers say DOR’s insistence that the state had to define partnerships based on the federal tax code was incorrect. They argue the Cooper administration lacked the power to change who qualifies for the credit without the legislature’s approval.

In a subsequent story, CJ reported Monarch asked DOR to issue formal rulings defending its partnership rule. Monarch lawyer Joseph Dowdy told CJ the ruling could affect as many as 200 Monarch customers.

The News & Observer also reported on the disallowed tax credits.

Double Time Capital doesn’t appear to have an actual office. The company’s website lists its address as 14460 Falls of Neuse Road, Suite 149-226, Raleigh, NC, 27614. The same address is listed as the principal office street address on Double Time’s 2019 annual report filed with the N.C. Secretary of State. The address is a mailbox in a UPS Store in a North Raleigh shopping center.

Secretary of State spokesman Tim Crowley told CJ the Secretary of State accepts private mailboxes as business addresses because the U.S. Postal Service recognizes them as street addresses. 

One of the primary goals for the Secretary of State’s office is to make sure business registration information is transparent, which is why the vast majority of filings are available online as submitted by the registrant. The responsibility for filing accurate information rests with the registrant,” Crowley said.