Public Finance and Economic Development

Public Finance and Economic Development

Primary Contact: Jim Fowler

Our public finance practice dates back to the late 19th century when state and local bond issuers began utilizing approving legal opinions of bond counsel to restore integrity in troubled bond markets.  Since then we have actively maintained the longest public finance law practice in Arkansas.

Our bond approving opinions have been accepted by market participants nationally and throughout the world.  Our lawyers represent a variety of clients in involved in public finance, including:

Bond counsel

Underwriter’s counsel

Lender’s counsel

Issuer’s counsel

Trustee counsel

Disclosure counsel

Special counsel in bankruptcy proceedings

Counsel to for-profit and non-for-profit 501 (c)(3) obligors in conduit financings


Our experience has included various bond counsel engagements with Arkansas’ leading bond issuer, the Arkansas Development Finance Authority, including its single family mortgage revenue bond, revolving loan fund and state facilities programs. Rose attorneys are experienced in working with institutional buyers, rating agencies, credit enhancers, liquidity providers and interest rate hedge providers.

We advise clients on:

Matters of Arkansas state and local government finance law

Federal and Arkansas taxation of bonds

Federal and state securities laws

United States Bankruptcy Code

Our lawyers are experienced with general obligation bonds and limited tax backed bonds, special assessment bonds and revenue bonds.  Among those include:

Governmental bonds supported by general obligations

Property taxes

Sales and use taxes

Special assessments

Tax increments

Franchise fees


Our revenue bond experience includes:

Governmental and private-activity obligations supported by public and private utilities

Healthcare facilities

Higher and secondary education





Industrial development projects

Our attorneys have been active in advising our public finance clients regarding post-issuance compliance and disclosure.  In that regard, we have assisted clients in the preparation of post issuance compliance tax and disclosure policies, including presentations to issuers’ and obligors’ disclosure working groups on best practices to avoid regulatory/compliance problems.

Representative matters


Saline County, Arkansas

Industrial Development Revenue Bonds




City of Hope, Arkansas

Waste Disposal Revenue Bonds




City of Little Rock, Arkansas

Industrial Development Refunding Revenue Bonds


Economic Development

Much like our history with public finance, our role in Arkansas economic development dates back to the beginning of the State’s effort to attract and maintain industry.  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 non-profit 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. Our lawyers have represented the Arkansas Capital Corporation in matters relating to SBA lending, USDA lending, Federal and State New Markets Tax Credits, and the EB-5 visa program

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 and tax increment financing districts.  We have also provided advice regarding property assessed clean energy districts in Arkansas.

We have been 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.


Selected Recent Examples –

 Arkansas Capital Corporation as arranger of $18.8-million loan syndication with Beaty Capital Group for the redevelopment of the Shared Services Center in Fort Smith, Arkansas.


Economic Development Corporation of Jefferson, County

$3,925,000 Economic Development and Ground Lease Agreement

to provide initial funding for a proposed $1.9 Billion Energy Facility