Historic Boardwalk Hall, LLC v. Comm'r of Internal Revenue, No. 11-1832 (3d Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, a state agency which owned a leasehold interest in the East Hall, also known as “Historic Boardwalk Hall”, on the boardwalk in Atlantic City, was tasked with restoring it. After learning of the market for federal historic rehabilitation tax credits (HRTCs) among corporate investors, and of the additional revenue which that market could bring to the state through a syndicated partnership with one or more investors, NJSEA created Historic Boardwalk Hall, LLC (HBH) and sold a membership interest to a subsidiary of Pitney Bowes. Transactions admitting PB as a member of HBH and transferring ownership of East Hall to HBH were designed so that PB could earn the HRTCs generated from the East Hall rehabilitation. The IRS determined that HBH was simply a vehicle to impermissibly transfer HRTCs from NJSEA to PB and that all HRTCs taken by PB should be reallocated to NJSEA. The Tax Court disagreed. The Third Circuit reversed. PB, in substance, was not a bona fide partner in HBH.