The director of communications for the City of Mobile, Alabama, tells Breitbart News that the city cannot produce a key legal document from 2013 that forms the basis for the McGowin Park retail center “swamp deal” in which Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) is set to receive millions of dollars over 20 years from Alabama taxpayers because, “this event occurred under the previous administration.”
The curious response from City of Mobile director of communications George Talbot raises questions about the entire legal basis for the tens of millions of dollars in tax subsidies (at least $75 million and as much as $260 million) provided to McGowin Park LLC, the company in which Corker has a 13 percent interest according to his 2016 personal financial statement filed with the U.S. Senate, and the subsequent $21.8 million revenue bond offering issued in 2016 by the related McGowin Park Improvement District.
Payments to the purchasers of the 2016 $21.8 million revenue bond offering over its 20 year life total $66 million. Total sales tax incentive payments made to the entity the City of Mobile says is legally authorized to receive those payments, however, are likely to be significantly greater–at least $75 million and possibly as much as $260 million.
The difference in those payments–which could be as little as $9 million or as much as $194 million–is scheduled to be paid directly to McGowin Park Incentive, LLC, an entity in which Senator Bob Corker also holds a 13 percent interest, and the same entity to which McGowin Park, LLC assigned its stream of payments to in August 2014, with the approval of the Mobile City Council, and September 2014, with the approval of the Mobile County Commission.
According to a Breitbart investigation, that August 2014 assignment may have violated an October 3, 2013 court order that “validated” an earlier project development agreement which has no specific provision authorizing such an assignment prior to the completion of the project. The City of Mobile, however, refuses to produce the documentation of that court order, and the Mobile County Circuit Court that originated the court order has not yet responded to a Breitbart News request to produce it.
Stunningly, the diversion of some sales tax incentive rebates from the McGowin Park retail center to the owners of McGowin Park Incentive, LLC may also violate the enabling statute–the Alabama Improvement District Act–which prohibits the use of such sales tax incentives for any purpose other than the rebatement of the debt incurred in revenue bond offerings when those rebates are specified as the source of repayment to bond purchasers in the offering.