Governmental Finance

Governmental Finance

Innovative financing techniques, timely delivery

Butler Snow’s public finance group has been advising governments, borrowers, and other transaction participants for decades. Many of our attorneys have more than 30 years of public finance experience. During this time, we’ve built a reputation for excellence based on a combination of factors, including responsiveness, technical proficiency, innovation and timely delivery.

We believe we bring a diverse and distinctive perspective—with viewpoints and practical solutions that our clients truly appreciate—in representing participants concerning public finance matters, including as bond counsel, disclosure counsel, or underwriter’s counsel.

We’ve had enormous success in efficiently structuring and closing numerous complicated public-finance transactions. Our team has worked on a wide variety of projects for states, cities, towns, counties, school districts, special districts, universities and higher education systems, joint action agencies, urban renewal authorities and underwriting firms—to name a few.

Bond counsel

We have extensive experience using innovative financing techniques, including:

  • General obligation bonds
  • Revenue bonds for utilities, airports, health care facilities, toll roads or bridges, and other income-producing projects
  • Revenue bonds payable from a dedicated tax, such as sales tax or excise tax
  • Tax increment bonds
  • Special assessment bonds
  • Lease purchase agreements, including transactions involving certificates of participation
  • Private activity bonds to benefit for profit and non-profit borrowers
  • Taxable/tax-exempt bond combinations
  • Senior/subordinate lien revenue bonds
  • Refundings and restructurings, including synthetic fixed-rate refinancing and crossover refunding
  • Variable-rate or adjustable-rate bonds
  • Interest rate swaps and commodity swaps
  • Standby purchase agreements and other credit facilities

This represents just a sampling of our bond experience. We have been involved in numerous forms of other financing techniques within governmental finance, as well.

Disclosure or underwriter’s counsel

Our strategy for providing quality disclosure counsel services involves a multi-layered approach based on communicating with and educating our clients. We assist clients in the preparation of securities offering documents and assist issuers with compliance requirements under Securities and Exchange Commission Rule 15c2-12, including the annual continuing disclosure requirements and material event notice requirements of the rule.

We also regularly represent investment banking firms as underwriter’s counsel, providing advice as to their responsibilities under state and federal securities laws and in the preparation of official statements.

Full service support

Butler Snow’s attorneys are always available to work through questions and issues—and to gather the appropriate team to fulfill all your ongoing legal needs.

For example, we have attorneys who practice outside of the public finance arena who are able to augment our efforts with experience in securities, tax, real property, litigation, education, health care and environmental law. Our environmental, real estate and construction law attorneys are particularly valuable in financings that involve construction, start-up facilities, land issues, intense due diligence requirements and thorough disclosure exploration and drafting.

Continuous monitoring and broad industry involvement

We continually watch and analyze changes to the regulatory environment because of the direct impact on our finance clients. For example, the rules and regulations relating to tax-exempt securities are continuously evolving. Congress, the IRS, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board, among others, have been very active in this area of law, and regularly update laws, rules and regulations that impact our clients.

We also monitor state-specific regulatory and legal environments. For example, Butler Snow attorneys have extensive experience with Colorado’s unique Taxpayers Bill of Rights (also known as TABOR). Members of our team have been on the forefront of analyzing and interpreting TABOR since its adoption in 1992.

To help keep our finger on the pulse of change, our team members are also actively involved in the National Association of Bond Lawyers (NABL), as well as other associations and organizations. NABL not only educates its members on current developments in state and federal law relating to municipal bonds and public finance, but it provides advice and comments at the federal, state and local levels with respect to legislation, regulations, rulings and other actions or proposals, and it files briefs and memoranda before courts and administrative agencies.


  • Represented the Regional Transportation District (RTD) in connection with forming the unique public-private partnership transaction that will fund the construction of commuter rail lines in Denver, east to the airport and west to Arvada and Wheat Ridge, as well as improvements to Denver Union Station.
  • Represented Cobb County, Ga., in closing a $376.6M bond transaction to assist in the construction of SunTrust Park, home the Major League Baseball’s Atlanta Braves.
  • Represented the Denver Union Station Project Authority in the redevelopment of Denver Union Station, a multi-modal transportation hub in the City of Denver.
  • Served as Bond Counsel for the Ole Miss Athletics Foundation Multi-Purpose Arena Construction Project.
  • Served as Bond Counsel in connection with the financing and development of a number of electric generation facilities and a liquefied natural gas facility totaling more than $1.1 billion.
  • Represented public and private universities, colleges and community colleges throughout the country in structured finance transactions to support the construction of sports facilities, student housing and parking facilities. Representative matters include:
    • Delta State University Educational Building Corporation – $15.1M Revenue Refunding Bonds for a facilities refinancing project.
    • Alcorn State University Educational Building Corporation – $43.3M Revenue Refunding Bonds for a facilities refinancing project.
    • Served as underwriter’s counsel for the issuance of more than $60M of revenue bonds by a public university in Mississippi to expand its athletic facilities, finance various capital expenditures, and refund certain outstanding debt.
    • University of Southern Mississippi Education Building Corporation – $49.9M Revenue Bonds for a campus facilities improvement project.
    • Underwriter’s counsel for $15.5M Certificates of Participation for the University of Southern Mississippi’s parking facility construction project.
    • Served as bond counsel for the Ole Miss Athletics Foundation Multi-Purpose Arena Construction Project.
    • Served as bond counsel for the Jones County Junior College District Capital Improvements Project – $18.2M Mississippi Development Bank Special Obligation Bonds.
    • Served as bond counsel for the Hinds Community College District Capital Improvement Project – $27M Mississippi Development Bank Special Obligation Bonds.
    • Served as bond counsel and underwriter’s counsel in connection with the issuance of tax-exempt bonds for public and private universities in Georgia.
    • Served as underwriter’s counsel for University of Colorado, University Enterprise Revenue Bonds, Series 2018B.
    • Served as underwriter’s counsel for Adams State University, Institutional Enterprise Revenue Refunding Bonds, Series 2019.
  • Representation of public school districts with public education financing and the financing of public education facilities. We serve as bond counsel, disclosure counsel or underwriter’s counsel in connection with general obligation bond financing, lease-purchase transactions, Qualified Zone Academy Bond issues and other public financings. Representative Matters include:
    • Rankin County School District, Rankin County, Miss. – $5.7M General Obligation Limited – Tax Notes.
    • Gulfport School District, Gulfport, Miss.-$9.7M General Obligation Refunding Bonds
    • Oxford School District, Oxford, Miss. – $5M General Obligation Refunding Bonds
    • Boulder Valley School District, Boulder, Colorado, disclosure counsel for the District for multiple bond issues from 2016 through 2019 for $576,520,000 of General Obligation Bonds used to update, renovate and remodel every school within the District.
    • Cherry Creek School District, Arapahoe County, Colorado, bond and disclosure counsel for $250,000,000 of General Obligation Bonds issued in two series in 2017 to implement innovative educational learning centers and opportunities, and provide state-of-the art technology for its students.
    • Denver Public Schools, Denver, Colorado, $572,000,000 of General Obligation Bonds issued in 2017 and 2018 to modernize, update, renovate and improve almost every school in the District.
    • Jefferson County School District, Colorado, underwriter’s counsel for $341,420,000 General Obligation Bonds, Series 2018, used to construct new schools and update existing facilities.
  • Represented issuers on a variety of structures, including general obligation bonds supported with pledged revenues, general obligation bonds, revenue bonds, commercial paper, auction rate securities, tax increment financings.
    • Southshore Metropolitan District, Colorado – three series of bonds totaling approximately $33,000,000, including Limited Tax Convertible to Unlimited Tax General Obligation Bonds, General Obligation Limited Tax Convertible to Unlimited Tax Convertible to Unlimited Tax Capital Appreciation Bonds, and General Obligation (Subordinate Limited Tax Convertible to Unlimited Tax) Convertible Capital Appreciation Bonds.
    • North Park Metropolitan District, Colorado, $65,000,000 Special Revenue Bonds secured with a pledge of a limited tax mill levy, specific ownership tax revenue, and property tax increment revenue.
  • Represented the City of Vicksburg, Miss., in connection with the issuance of $22.4M of Mississippi Development Bank Special Obligation Bonds for the construction of a community sports complex.
  • Represented the City of Columbus, Miss., in connection with the issuance of $6.4M of Mississippi Electricity System Revenue Refunding Bonds. (Hairston)
  • Represented the State of Mississippi in the issuance of $200M of Gaming Tax Revenue Bonds.
  • Represented the City of Meridian, Miss., in connection with the issuance of $20M of Mississippi Development Bank Special Obligation Bonds for the construction of the Mississippi Arts & Entertainment Center.