My local paper certainly thinks Brown County Commissioner Tom Fischbach had a good idea. Last September, he alerted his fellow commissioners to the fact that Joop Bollen may have cheated this county of $1.76 million that he should have been paying in bank franchise tax on his lucrative lending operations in the EB-5 visa investment program. Over the weekend, we received partial confirmation of that suspicion when we learned Bollen has applied for and that state has ruled necessary a lending license for his SDRC Inc.
Well done, Commissioner Fischbach, says the AAN:
Credit Brown County commissioner Tom Fischbach for an idea that could net some money for the county from the federal EB-5 investor program….
Last month, the state Department of Labor and Regulation Division of Banking issued a license to SDRC allowing it to be a nonresidential mortgage lender. SDRC applied for the license.
That it was issued means SDRC will have to pay the banking franchise tax on future transactions. The state Department of Revenue is examining whether it can collect the tax retroactively….
While it’s certainly possible that the state will determine that SDRC doesn’t owe any back taxes, it’s equally true that the Department of Revenue might try to collect the money, or at least a portion of it. And $1.76 million, or even a part of that total, would be a nice bump for the county. It could be used to fix roads or make improvements to the fairgrounds or upgrade technology.
Fischbach was right to ask the state to look into the matter. Like him, we are surprised that his request sparked action [editorial, Aberdeen American News, 2015.04.02].
The only surprise anyone should feel at this point is that anyone in Pierre should oppose going after Bollen for the millions in gravy that he unlawfully took.