An official with the National Park Service said the federal credits cannot be sold, but developers often bring on an equity investor who can claim the credits.
Julia Sass Rubin, an associate professor at Rutgers University in New Jersey who studies tax incentive programs, said hiding the identity of tax credit buyers, however, raises questions about whether they are being used properly.
“It does open up all sorts of possibilities for mischief,” Rubin said. “It’s just generally bad government not to tell people where their tax credits are going. These are public tax dollars. There’s a lot of different ways it could be exploited.”