Public Finance

Butler Snow offers a comprehensive and diverse public finance practice ranging from all forms of state and municipal bonds and obligations to the full complement of techniques available to finance and/or refinance governmental as well as industrial/economic development, default/workouts, public and private educational institutions, higher education, school financing, and other developments.  With more than 40 attorneys practicing full-time in our Public Finance, Tax Incentives and Credit Markets Group, we have one of the largest and most successful public finance practices in the country.

Specifically within the firm’s public finance practice, our attorneys handle a range of matters including:

Industrial Development Bonds

Our group represents numerous economic development agencies and authorities.  We close tax-exempt and taxable bond financing transactions for projects connected to manufacturing and processing facilities, warehouses and distribution centers, hospitals, medical office buildings and other healthcare facilities, energy projects including electric power plants, natural gas pipelines, refineries and renewable energy facilities, colleges and universities, senior housing and assisted living facilities, primary and secondary schools, and not-for-profit facilities. We also serve as bond counsel, underwriters’ counsel, trustee’s counsel and credit facility counsel on issuances of industrial development bonds.


Our team is experienced in post-issuance matters involving defaults and workouts of outstanding municipal bond issues, including representation of corporate trustees, credit enhancers, swap counterparties and issuers. Our attorneys are also well-versed in working with governments utilizing Chapter 9 bankruptcy proceedings.

Public Education

Our team has significant expertise in working on public education financing and financing 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 to support school districts. We also represent charter schools in obtaining public financing, tax credits and other incentives to support capital projects. We also have experience working with charter school projects.  We have a unique perspective on public education financing as our attorneys have served as general counsel for public school district.  Our lawyers assist school districts with the conduct of referendums, including sales tax for education elections and bond elections. In addition, we advise our school district clients on complying with the limitations on spending public funds to advocate for the passage of referendum questions.  We also draft and monitor state and federal legislation that impact school district and charter school financing and advise school district clients on compliance issues with the local government public works construction law.

Higher Education

Our group serves as bond counsel, disclosure counsel and underwriter’s counsel in connection with issuance of tax-exempt and taxable bonds to support universities, colleges and community colleges located through the country.  We regularly represent both private institutions of higher education, public universities and community colleges. We are a recognized leader utilizing innovated financing structures to support higher education projects.  In addition to traditional fixed rate public finance transactions, we structure transactions to utilize a wide range of variable rate structures (including synthetic fixed rate structures utilizing interest rate swaps), lease revenue bonds, certificates of participation, taxable/tax-exempt bond combination to support sports facilities, 501(c)(3) bonds to provide for student housing, and new markets tax credits.

Economic Development

Our attorneys focus on all types of tax and financing incentives offered by state and local government to encourage economic development. We have a network of close working relationships with and access to state and local governmental officials and economic development professionals, and we are familiar with local practices and requirements with respect to local incentives. We represent manufacturing, processing, distribution, warehousing and other clients in site acquisition, state and local financing programs, tax incentives and other financing transactions. We structure transactions to take advantage of numerous economic development incentives, including both taxable and tax-exempt industrial development bonds (IDBs), sales, use and contractors’ tax exemptions on construction costs, local ad valorem tax exemptions and payments in lieu of taxes (PILOT) agreements, state income tax credits, state sales tax rebate incentive programs, and other incentives for new or expanding businesses. Our team has significant experience structuring complex financing transactions in connection with a broad range of financing programs implemented through state financing corporations, local economic development authorities and cities and counties. We are well-versed in federal and state bond statutes and various economic development incentive tax and financing program statutes.

Governmental Bonds

We serve as bond counsel and disclosure counsel to issuers of state and municipal bonds and obligations, including states, their political subdivisions, special districts and authorities. We have extensive experience utilizing innovative financing techniques in the governmental bond area including, special obligation conduit bonds issued by state entities, taxable/tax-exempt bond combinations, senior/subordinate lien revenue bonds, forward bond purchase agreements, refundings and restructurings including synthetic fixed rate refinancings and crossover refunding, lease revenue bonds, certificates of participation, variable rate or adjustable rate bonds, interest rate swaps, commodity swaps, letters of credit, standby purchase agreements and other credit facilities, urban renewal bonds, tax increment financing bonds, special assessment bonds, commercial paper programs, mortgage revenue bonds, student loan bonds, working capital financings, bond financing to provide for gas and electricity prepayments, post-issuance continuing disclosure and post-issuance federal tax rebate compliance.


Our team has significant experience in advising clients with respect to compliance requirements under the state and federal securities laws associated with municipal bonds.  We serve as disclosure counsel to states, cities, counties, school districts, higher education institutions, utility districts, education building corporations and other governmental units. As disclosure counsel, we assist clients in the preparation of securities offering documents to be used in the offering and sale of bonds.  We also assist issuers with compliance requirements under Securities and Exchange Commission Rule 15c2-12, including continuing disclosure requirements of the Rule.  We also regularly represent investment banking firms as underwriters’ counsel advising them as to responsibilities under state and federal securities laws and in the preparation of Official Statements.  We monitor proposed legislation, and related rules and regulations that may impact disclosure requirements under state and federal securities laws.

103 Tax Services

Butler Snow has a dedicated team of highly skilled public finance and tax lawyers specializing in the complex tax matters pertaining to tax-exempt and tax-advantaged bonds.  Our tax lawyers have collectively participated in nearly every type of authorized municipal financing transaction and have the skills to navigate our clients through the myriad of tax issues presented in tax-exempt and tax-advantaged bond financings to ensure compliance with the Internal Revenue Code.