by / / Absolute Data

It’s a Great Time to Be a Prison Landlord, Thanks to the IRS
By Rob Urban and Kristy Westgard, published on Bloomberg, on August 9, 2018

Private-prison companies keep winning, and they have U.S. taxpayers to thank.

Not only are Americans footing the bill for detaining thousands of border-crossers, the Internal Revenue Service allows CoreCivic Inc. and GEO Group Inc. to legally avoid paying taxes on their gains.

Those gains are substantial. A dollar placed on CoreCivic the day before President Donald Trump’s 2016 election, with dividends reinvested, would be worth $2.02 today. For GEO, $1.83.

A big part of the success stems from Trump’s plan to spend nearly $2.8 billion next year expanding immigrant detention capacity by 30 percent from 2017. The funding would support an average daily population of 52,000, about the size of Saginaw, Michigan. More than 70 percent of undocumented immigrants were held in private prisons last year, according to nonprofit group In the Public Interest.

Savvy use of the tax code plays a role, too. CoreCivic and GEO, the biggest U.S. prison companies, are classified as real estate investment trusts. That means almost all their profits from property-related operations are tax free as long as they’re distributed to shareholders through dividends.

“We are very pleased with our second-quarter operating results and with our forecast for the balance of the year,” GEO Chief Executive Officer George Zoley told analysts last week.

The tax rules incentivize CoreCivic and GEO to build and lease detention facilities rather than only manage them. They’re doing just that.

Prison Ownership

Boca Raton, Florida-based GEO owned or leased 102 prisons in the U.S. last year, up from 65 in 2013, when it became a REIT.

CoreCivic, based in Nashville, Tennessee, reduced managed-only contracts to seven last year from 16 in 2013, the year it also became a REIT. Facilities it owns and manages or leases grew to 82 from 53.

Both companies also have business lines whose revenue is taxable.



“For the past five years, we’ve been very thoughtful about rebidding on CoreCivic Safety’s managed-only contracts when they are up for expiration,” CoreCivic spokeswoman Amanda Gilchrist said in an email. “The margins in the managed-only business are very low, and we are dependent on the government partner to maintain the real estate asset, including maintaining all critical security and life safety systems.”

The shift in strategy is evident in Conroe, Texas, and Lansing, Kansas, where the companies’ income is guaranteed by long-term leases.

10-Year Lease

The 1,000-bed Texas center, set to open in September, is the result of a 10-year lease signed by GEO and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Construction will cost about $120 million, and the prison will generate $44 million in annualized revenue per year over the life of the lease, GEO said. GEO will run the facility and ICE will have an option to renew the lease when it’s up.

Conroe is the first new federal detention center to be built since Trump took office, though the procurement process started under Barack Obama, GEO spokesman Pablo Paez said.

The 2,400-bed Kansas facility, partly replacing an older prison, will cost about $155 million to build. It’ll be run by state employees. CoreCivic designed it, built it and will be responsible for maintenance over the life of the 20-year contract. The total cost of the lease will be $362 million. When the lease is up, the prison will belong to the state.

That deal likely will lead to others, said Lucibeth Mayberry, CoreCivic’s executive vice president of real estate.

Marketing Opportunity

“Kansas has really allowed us to market this opportunity,” Mayberry said. “We’ve had a number of state and large county customers who’ve come to us now asking to see the lease, because having a template to follow is going to be important to kick that business line off.”

Kansas lawmakers discussed floating a bond to pay for the facility, but opted instead for the leasing contract with CoreCivic. Outsourcing prison construction speeds the expansion of America’s penal system, the world’s largest, as politicians are spared from having to ask voters to approve bond issues, according to Shahrzad Habibi of In the Public Interest.

An audit conducted for the Kansas legislature found the cheapest option would have been to finance construction with a bond and outsource maintenance. CoreCivic argued that savings from operations would pay for the lease, and using modern cell-block designs with video cameras would mean fewer guards. CoreCivic borrowed $159.5 million to pay for construction, at 4.43 percent, similar to the rate Kansas would have gotten.

“Under this proposal, the cost to construct and maintain ended up being about equal to the other result,” said Mike Gaito, the director of capital improvements at the Kansas Department of Corrections.

Some critics question whether prison companies should qualify for REIT status.

“The fact that the actual tenants of the building are not the government agencies contracting with the private-prison operators raises several questions,” tax attorney Peter Boos wrote in a 2014 analysis. “To suggest that this type of operation, which has significant aspects of tax avoidance embedded in the proposal, has at its core a real estate business is, at best, a charitable description of private prisons.”

REIT Designation

U.S. Representative Gregory Meeks, a New York Democrat, said he’s introduced legislation to take REIT designation away from private-prison companies. A similar bill was introduced in the Senate by Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden. Neither has come to a vote.

In 2016, the U.S. Justice Department under Obama said it would phase out private-prison use. That decision was reversed by Trump Attorney General Jeff Sessions in February 2017.

Last year, CoreCivic’s earnings from the federal government contributed about 48 percent of revenue, with 41 percent coming from states.

“It’s important for investors to know that over the last 10-plus years, if ICE gets an increase in detention funding from one fiscal year to the next, that serves as the new base going forward,’’ CoreCivic CEO Damon Hininger said in February. “We have not seen a funding reduction enacted, only increases of the maintaining of prior-year funding.’’

Share

Views: 86

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Greed is a disease. 

It's a great time to be Any sort of landlord so it seems. Property managers and landlords rip off tenants in enjoyment, put it in their ads, and publish them! Thats how high and mighty they have become, Some tax incentives also.  It's the take up of "Bad behaviour" position that the banks left vacant.  

Also what about criminals rehabilitation? Private prisons use them as a free (almost) work force. Commercial courts supply the workers. Most of them has been sentenced for no real crime, it's called victimless crime.

Either way - a tenant works all week and hands all his pay to landlord. Inmate works all week, gets no pay to hand over any way. Both outcomes the same. Landlords are the new "banks" and they need slaves, and they take them.

RSS

 

 

Latest Activity

StudioJoe commented on Boris Badenov's page Dashcam Video Captures Intense Police Shootout in Arkansas
"What I don't get is the cops appear to be standing down. They could have dropped this sh*t, he got out of his car and ran right up to the front of the squad car and continued shooting until his gun was empty, and I didn't hear the cops…"
7 minutes ago
William Stack commented on Boris Badenov's page This chick is 100% serious. They want to move to your neighborhoods for the sole purpose of manipulating your politics. They don't care about you, your family, or your community.
"Far fairer idea than how the GOP took power by manic gerrymandering. "
9 minutes ago
Deep Space favorited James T. Kirk's video
16 minutes ago
StudioJoe commented on Boris Badenov's page Stacey Abrams Amassed Nearly Three Dozen Lawyers to Contest Georgia Gubernatorial Election #StopTheSteal
"Lawfare: bankrupt your opponents or drag the process out in the courts so there's no resolution. Buys time to manufacture more fraudulent illegal ballots."
19 minutes ago
Guardian of Scotland commented on Raz Putin's blog post Colloidal Silver?! What it is, how to make it. A potential lifesaver!
"Do you believe anything that the FDA says? I do not. I have made colloidal silver myself and used it. The only problem with home made CS if done correctly is that you have to send it to a lab to verify the particle size. The smaller the particle…"
1 hour ago
Raz Putin commented on Fat Freddys Cat's blog post THE BIGGEST CONSPIRACY AMERICA EVER FACED IS BROKEN
"Let's hope that Trump or the Senate orders the audit. Every American should be made aware of this. 5 Stars FFC."
1 hour ago
TheBigWedding commented on Boris Badenov's page ‘Robocop’ on patrol at Singapore summit
"I will always have a soft-spot in my heart for ED-209."
1 hour ago
Raz Putin favorited Fat Freddys Cat's blog post THE BIGGEST CONSPIRACY AMERICA EVER FACED IS BROKEN
1 hour ago
Chris of the family Masters posted videos
2 hours ago
Gralton commented on Boris Badenov's page SAD BUT TRUE
"Germany? Sweden? take your pick Europe is fucked.too bad those civi's are not armed."
2 hours ago
Boris Badenov commented on Boris Badenov's page South Park S22E07 UNCENSORED
"ManBearPig"
3 hours ago
Diana favorited Chris of the family Masters's discussion Is Vote Fraud Encouraged by Governments Because the Resulting Crisis Can be Used to Justify Real ID Cards?
3 hours ago
Chris of the family Masters favorited James T. Kirk's video
3 hours ago
Diana commented on Dr. Frederick Meekins's blog post Romney Downplays Danger Of Out Of Control Press
"Pot calling the kettle black.  Romney praised Trump in 2012.  In 2015 when Trump became the nominee Romney started bashing him.  This is anti-Trump phase, but he could flip at any time."
3 hours ago
Fat Freddys Cat commented on Boris Badenov's page Swalwell just threatened to NUKE U.S. citizens if they don't give up their guns.?
"He can be found in the oxford english dictionary under "fucked in the head""
3 hours ago
Nazda Pokmov commented on James T. Kirk's video
Thumbnail

The Truth About Brexit (2018)

"The EU is never going to let the CASH COW go.....the UK has been sold a bill of rotten goods with May and her constant dithering pushing back the exit date again and again.  She is nothing but Dennis Thatcher...Margaret Thatcher's…"
3 hours ago
Nazda Pokmov commented on James T. Kirk's video
Thumbnail

Actual Leftists Attack Pelosi as the Corporate Democrats Balk and Whine

"Fudge is a known Ohio crook....but I think she'd be less of an azzhole than Nancy ever was when it comes to working against Donald and the things Donald needs to get accomplished for America..."
3 hours ago
raymond moody commented on Fat Freddys Cat's blog post Did a Vaccine Experiment on U.S. Soldiers Cause the “Spanish Flu”? What? Needlessly kill millions 0f the bravest young men at war?
"Nice one, Fat Freddy"
3 hours ago
Diana commented on Boris Badenov's page Oakland Police Arrest IED Bomber who Injured 10 Officers during a Black Lives Matter Protest. You won't hear about this
"Wilson’s death at a BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) station on July 22 has sparked outcry, and John Lee Cowell was charged with the murder. The killing happened just days after two other female passengers faced a similar threat from…"
4 hours ago
Chris of the family Masters commented on Dr. Frederick Meekins's blog post Romney Downplays Danger Of Out Of Control Press
"Who is this character Romney? (sarc)"
4 hours ago

Please remember this website is supported by your donations...

© 2018   Created by truth.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

content and site copyright 12160.info 2007-2015 - all rights reserved. unless otherwise noted