This case examines the tax, financial accounting, and governmental reporting consequences of a private Developer's actual purchase, renovation, and transfer of Ridgely House—an historical building in Ridgely, Maryland—to the Town of Ridgely. In short, the Developer purchases the building for $110,000 and incurs $190,000 in renovation costs to convert the property to a Town Hall and Police Station. He then “leases” the property back to the Town under terms and conditions outlined in a lease/purchase agreement (which can be viewed on the Web at http://faculty.ssu.edu/∼kjsmith/ridgely.htm).
The case is constructed from the background information and actual lease/purchase agreement provided by the Developer. The terms of the agreement raise several questions regarding the proper tax and financial accounting treatment of various aspects of the transaction. The Developer (lessor) questions whether the transaction is to be reported for tax and financial‐reporting purposes as a rental or a sale, if the property qualifies for a federal historical tax credit, and what net cash flow can be expected from the project. As an optional assignment (at the instructor's discretion), the Town (lessee) questions whether it has entered into an operating or capital lease, how to record the transaction in accordance with Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) guidelines, and what disclosures are required on its Statement of Financial Position.
The case background, key lease/purchase agreement terms, and actual lease/purchase agreement provide the prerequisite material for solving the case requirements. In addition, outside resources (textbooks, online tax and financial accounting web sites, etc.) should be consulted in the process of seeking solutions to the questions posed by the Developer and the Town Commissioners. It is suggested that solutions to the case requirements be presented to the instructor in the form of an Executive Summary with supporting documentation and schedules.