Public Finance & Economic Development

Our firm has continuously served issuers and participants in the municipal securities industry, and our attorneys’ expertise in Arkansas public finance law has resulted in our bond approving opinions being accepted by participants internationally. Our clients have included the State of Arkansas, its agencies, local governments and their public instrumentalities throughout the state.

We advise issuers and market participants on the process for validly issuing debt, federal and state taxation of municipal securities and compliance with federal and state securities laws. We have served in various roles in public finance transactions including:

  • Bond counsel
  • Underwriter’s counsel
  • Lender’s counsel
  • Issuer’s counsel
  • Trustee counsel
  • Disclosure counsel
  • Conduit Borrower’s counsel

Over the last six years, we have handled 82 bond issues totaling over $1.1 billion in par amount.

In addition to our involvement in primary offerings and refundings, we have assisted in workouts involving municipal securities, including acting as bankruptcy court-approved special counsel. We have provided ongoing advice to municipal securities industry clients regarding the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act, post-issuance tax and securities disclosure policies and other state and federal reporting compliance.

We also have extensive experience in the following:

  • Traditional governmental finance
  • Healthcare
  • Secondary and post-secondary education
  • Airports
  • Ports and harbors
  • Industrial development
  • Rail and multi-modal transportation facilities
  • All types of public utilities including clean and renewable energy, improvement districts and tax-increment financing
  • Qualified 501(c)(3) bonds

Affordable Housing and Community Development

Our attorneys have experience with bond and community development structures involving multiple funding sources and subsidy layers including:

  • HUD Rental Assistance Demonstration program
  • Low income housing tax credits
  • Historic tax credits
  • New Market Tax Credits
  • FHA insured multifamily and hospital mortgages
  • HUD Section 8 Rent Subsidies
  • HOME and CDBG
  • HUD Section 108 Loan Guarantees
  • Opportunity Zones

We serve as issuer’s counsel to the State of Arkansas’s allocator of private activity bond volume cap and low income housing tax credits in connection with its multifamily housing revenue bond program. In that capacity, our attorneys have drawn on their experience with the various types of credit enhanced and private placement structures for multifamily housing revenue bonds. These have included:

  • FHLMC direct purchases
  • FHA mortgage insurance with GNMA securitizations
  • Cash collateralized short-term structures
  • Private direct placements

Economic Development

Much like our history with public finance, our role in Arkansas’s economic development dates back to the beginning of the state’s effort to attract and maintain a variety of industries. Members of our firm helped develop the state’s earliest economic development laws.

Today, we represent local, national and international companies locating or expanding their businesses in Arkansas. We also represent governmental, quasi-public entities and nonprofit economic development corporations involved in attracting and securing industry.

We have advised business clients regarding applications and contracts with the Arkansas Economic Development Commission for grants, credits and rebates provided under the Arkansas Consolidated Incentives Act. This has included interpretation and modifications of existing agreements on behalf of clients facing challenging performance benchmarks in those agreements.

On the local level, we have experience representing business clients in obtaining payment in lieu of property tax agreements (PILOT Agreements) with various counties and other local taxing authorities in conjunction with Act 9 Industrial Development Bond Financing. Our lawyers have played a key role in the development of the legislation authorizing local economic development corporations. We have assisted in the formation of these corporations and the adoption of the sales tax available to them for economic development projects. Other governmental entities we have assisted in forming and currently represent include:

  • Public facilities boards
  • Improvement districts
  • Tax increment financing districts

We have also provided advice regarding property assessed clean energy districts (PACE) in Arkansas.

We are proud of the role we have played in Arkansas public finance and economic development. Our lawyers not only have the skill and experience, but the long-standing relationships to help our clients succeed in this area.

Community Redevelopment and Recovery

Our attorneys have assisted Arkansas communities forming Tax Increment Financing Redevelopment Districts and historic preservation projects.

With the increased frequency of natural disaster events, we have been involved in representing public sponsors with applications for financial and construction assistance from agencies such as:

  • U.S. Army Corp of Engineers
  • Department of Homeland Security
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • Arkansas Department of Emergency Management
  • Arkansas Natural Resources Commission
Powered by Lapero