Business

CEI Capital using tax credits, economic sense to create jobs

CEI Capital Management buys federal tax credits and sells them to lenders to secure financing for projects in economically distressed rural areas. Projects have included turning an old New Hampshire paper mill into a “green” power plant (above left) and financing a start-up yogurt company in Vermont.
CEI Capital Management buys federal tax credits and sells them to lenders to secure financing for projects in economically distressed rural areas. Projects have included turning an old New Hampshire paper mill into a “green” power plant (above left) and financing a start-up yogurt company in Vermont.Matthew Cavanaugh for The Boston Globe

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A low-profile financial firm in Portland, Maine has achieved almost Zen-like mastery over the art of using an obscure federal tax credit program to spur private investment in economically distressed communities. CEI Capital Management LLC is today the nation’s largest seller of so-called New Market Tax Credits, using them to finance 76 projects across the country and create nearly 12,000 jobs in places that desperately need them.

Founded a decade ago, company combines social and environmental responsibility with hard-nosed financial analysis and a strategy that focuses on markets with few competitors. To date, CEI Capital has allocated more than $850 million in new market tax credits to ventures ranging from a eucalyptus plantation in Hawaii to a green hotel in Maine’s remote potato country.

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