MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A little-known government entity in Wisconsin has arranged more than $1.3 billion in mostly tax-free loans to businesses nationwide.
The Wisconsin State Journal reports Thursday that the Public Finance Authority has delivered reduced-tax financing in 33 states since being created just over three years ago.
Projects include Planned Parenthood's national headquarters in New York, a California-based chain of Christian radio stations and a grocer in Mount Horeb.
Supporters say the PFA spurs vital business expansion without risk to taxpayers, while the type of debt the authority issues has drawn criticism.
Unlike conventional government bonds that guarantee lenders will be repaid, the "conduit bonds" offered by the PFA and other government agencies simply bring together investors and developers and then grant tax-exempt status to the interest earned by the investors.