Schorr Johnson, a spokesman for the Department of Revenue, said his agency’s interpretation of the law has been backed up in court.
There are several lawsuits going through state court at the moment challenging the agency, including ones that involve the N.C. Farm Bureau and Monarch Private Capital, a tax-credit broker based in Georgia whose partnerships invested in hundreds of millions of dollars worth of projects.
Joseph S. Dowdy, a Raleigh-based lawyer for Monarch, said he believes the revenue department is misapplying federal law and that there’s a good chance the lawsuits will end up at the N.C. Supreme Court, a process that could take more than a year.
Cooper’s office says it hopes there can be “finality and stability on this issue soon.”
“The governor supports legislative efforts to encourage investment in renewable energy, including through the use of tax credits,” spokesman Ford Porter said in a written statement. “The Department of Revenue is required to follow the law, as enacted by the General Assembly, and there are court actions pending that can help interpret how that law is enforced.”
Hurting future investments
Ray Starling, general counsel for the N.C. Chamber, believes the audits are hurting future investments in North Carolina tax credits, such as the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit and Mill Rehabilitation Tax Credit.