Columnist Lee Schafer provides short takes on economic incentives and choices, business strategy and performance, market moves, what business leaders are saying and doing and other topics that pique his interest.

Deal Slowdown Sure to Follow Allocation of Last Angel Tax Credits

Posted by: Lee Schafer Updated: May 22, 2013 - 3:00 PM

If what happened in 2012 is any indication, the market for start-up equity financing is going to be slowing dramatically now that Minnesota’s angel tax credits have been fully allocated for the year.

The state ran out of its last credits for the program — which provides a 25 percent “refundable” tax credit to investors who put money into qualified startup companies — on May 17.

A Minnesota Senate proposal to increase the 2013 allocation by $5 million, to $17.7 million, did not survive negotiations with the Minnesota House and was not included in final tax legislation approved Monday evening.

Last year the tax credit allocation ran out in July, and entrepreneurs have said that had the effect one would expect, of causing investors to just sit on opportunities until January. The conventional wisdom among economists on angel credits is that they may not influence investor behavior on whether to invest, but their availability sure can on when to invest.

If an entrepreneur is looking for financing between now and first quarter next year, no credit is a problem.

It was a pretty active start to 2013 in the start-up financing market, to according to the closely watched TECHdotMN web site. It reported that at least 24 Minnesota technology-oriented ventures raised in excess of $28 million in the first quarter of 2013. That’s up dramatically from the same period of 2012 when adjusted for one exceptional deal that distorted the 2012 picture.

It will be interesting to see what TECHdotMN reports for subsequent quarters.

The program reopens in January 2014 with $12 million in credits for the year.

The state has hired a consultant to analyze the effectiveness of angel tax credits, as the program is scheduled to sunset in 2014. Hopefully the consultant looks into what happens in the market when credits are all claimed for a given year.

 

 

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