A news service for the people of Michigan from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy

Hangar42 was a complex, suspicious land deal involving $10 million in tax credits that the Mackinac Center first brought to light.

For the last six months, Mackinac Center reporter Kathy Hoekstra kept a list of the 20 or so parties involved in the deal by taping a piece of paper with their names on her wall to better track the scheme. With every development, Hoekstra updated the wall.

On Tuesday, Joe Peters — the buyer of Hangar42 — was charged by the Michigan Attorney General's office with one count of attempted felony false pretenses over $20,000, according to a press release. The AG office looked into the questionable Michigan film tax credit application Peters filed with the Michigan Film Office. The Mackinac Center called for an investigation by the Attorney General's office on June 17.

The AG's investigation came a month after the Mackinac Center's Hoekstra and Michael LaFaive broke the story May 20 of Hangar 42. Peters' company, West Michigan Film, purchased a large production studio for $40 million dollars.

Hangar42 — which was touted by Gov. Jennifer Granholm in her State of the State address — was said to be a $40 million investment. But Mackinac Center research showed the building was listed for sale as little as $9.8 million just days before the governor's speech mentioned the project. The studio qualified for a refundable infrastructure tax credit, which would represent 25 percent of the infrastructure investment in the project.

The Attorney General press release stated that the credit application was ultimately denied when Peters could not properly document the alleged investment.

The Michigan Film Office and Michigan Economic Development Corp. ignored questions posed by Hoekstra and LaFaive during the Mackinac Center's investigation.

"It's huge," said LaFaive, the director of the Mackinac Center's Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative, about the charge. "It shows the importance of independent investigation. How many more outside deals might we have exposed if the MEDC had not constructed a Berlin Wall around information."

Hoekstra said the goal was to protect taxpayer dollars.

"We want to make sure nobody is taking advantage of the system on the backs of Michigan taxpayers."

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See also:

YouTubes Praising Special Tax Breaks for Filmmakers Getting Yanked

Attorney General Heeds Requests for Investigation of Embattled Film Studio

Sorry — Your Film Office Success Story Was Not Found

State Websites Give History a Rewrite

E-mails Reveal That Film Office Chief Agrees With Criticisms of Embattled Studio Project

Funding Questions Surround Hangar42 Studios Deal, According to Center Analyst

Bills Would Demand More Info From Filmmakers Getting Special Tax Breaks

Senator Says House Is Stalling Reform of Special Tax Perks for Filmmakers

This Just In: Convicted Embezzler's Business Awarded State Tax Subsidy

Hangar42 Studios' Incentives Raise Questions

 

 

Adam Neuman was not afraid to put his life on the line; he's certainly not afraid of union bullying. He fought for freedom overseas, and he simply wants to exercise it back home. But the Brighton Education Association and his school district are violating his rights.


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