BY JOHN SOREL, AQUISITIONS

 

Last week I was pleased to attend the 2021 Novogradac Historic Tax Credit Conference in Chicago.  While I attended live and in person, the event was a hybrid show with virtual attendance which was due to the fact that neither business travel policies or pre-pandemic comfort levels have returned to “normal.”  While the live audience was perhaps a little smaller and the cocktail reception less well attended than in other years, the conference was a success in my view. This is particularly true given that it was one of the first in-person events to take place as we all begin to emerge from the COVID-19 required distancing protocols.

I had the pleasure of participating on the “Building the Capital Stack” panel discussion which focused on the challenges of combining federal and state historic tax credits with other funding sources, particularly with the use of Opportunity Zone investment. We discussed that while it can be challenging layering multiple funding sources, the benefits generally outweigh the difficulties and much of the challenge is simply understanding the various programs and anticipating everyone’s pain points. Our panel was moderated by Novogradac’s George Barlow and I was joined on the stage by fellow panelists Irvin Henderson of Henderson Company, Shawn Whitney of law firm of Spencer Fane LLP and Melissa McCormack of Bank of America.

As for the show at-large, there was Lots of discussion about the possibility of an increase in the federal credit amount from 20% to 30%. Unfortunately, we still have more questions than answers there.

Although this conference was smaller than those in the past, Novogradac were terrific hosts, the Swiss Hotel did a wonderful job and I welcomed the opportunity to meet face to face with a number of important clients and counter-parties. It’s just not the same on Zoom.

As we continue to open up as a country, I’m looking forward to more in person meetings and events like this and the continued discussions we have as an industry.

Interested in learning more? Contact me today.