Maximizing options, minimizing costs
The most innovative clients: developers, nonprofits, operating businesses, government entities, lenders and financial institutions, trust Butler Snow, a leader in structured finance transactions across the nation. Traditional finance is no longer the norm as projects have become more and more reliant on combining a variety of sources to complete a viable capital stack. While no two projects are the same, we take the time to understand all relevant information for a transaction, including how such sources may or may not work in combination, various legal and regulatory restrictions tied to each, and how the project objectives may be preserved within these complicated frameworks. Our clients benefit from our experience in hundreds of previous structured finance projects. Our goal is to help clients efficiently avoid the common pitfalls, while maximizing the benefit from the use of the various federal and state incentive programs.
Butler Snow is the go-to firm for structured finance transactions for three main reasons:
- Our extensive relationships developed over more than a decade working with all types of transactions, in both private, nonprofit and public sectors, and at all levels of government. We use our extensive knowledge, deep experience and contacts to expediently bring transactions to close, while resolving the complex legal, tax and regulatory issues that inevitably arise in structured finance transactions.
- Our innovative approach to marrying different incentives to maximize benefits. In today’s challenging development environment, clients often need to use more than one incentive program to bridge financing gaps, which can quickly result in becoming bogged down in a myriad of differing regulations. Our team has the experience and wide-ranging background to quickly alleviate any confusion and provide actionable solutions.
- Our team approach, an integral part of our firm’s culture, allows us to quickly assemble a custom team of specialist attorneys to answer the wide variety of complicated questions that arise in every structured finance transaction. Due to our experience with nearly every type of incentive and project, we can draw on the most experienced and efficient teams for all varieties of structured finance questions, including tax, real estate, environmental, regulatory and construction.
Responsive problem solvers
When our firm is involved, no matter which seat at the closing table, the parties know they can expect a timely closing without any excess costs. For example, in the New Markets Tax Credit arena, our team frequently helps developers, nonprofits and other borrowers move from initial structuring and other predevelopment questions to negotiating term sheets with lenders, community development entities and/or investors, all the way through to the final closing process in approximately 90 to 120 days.
We also offer flexible fee arrangements, which provide our clients with cost predictability. Our extensive experience with all types of incentive programs allows us to establish flat-fee arrangements, where appropriate, which helps clients budget more easily.
Some common examples of the types of incentive programs include:
The newest incentive program, which is currently flourishing across the nation, was created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. It is the Opportunity Zone program, designed to provide tax incentives to investors who fund businesses in underserved communities. These zones are designated by the individual states and certified by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. While Opportunity Zones bring new opportunities, they also bring tremendous partnership tax questions that can quickly become extremely complicated. Additionally, continuing—and still changing—guidance from the IRS must be studied as it is released to capitalize on Opportunity Zone programs. Our team is dedicated to developing best practices for our clients. Visit our interactive maps to see the location of Opportunity Zones in Georgia and Mississippi.
New Markets Tax Credits
Butler Snow has been actively involved in both federal and multiple state New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) programs nationwide since their respective adoptions, and we provide proven turnkey solutions that address the complexity of challenging deals. We have represented developers, nonprofits, governmental entities, operating businesses, community development entities, tax credit investors, leverage lenders and other third-party debt providers in connection with the structuring and closing of NTMC transactions, guiding them through the underlying tax, structuring and business issues of the NMTC program, while focusing on their business objectives. We offer the full range of legal services required to complete NMTC transactions successfully, including: evaluating the project and determining the optimal legal structure, working to leverage all sources of funds available, negotiating the best terms and conditions with chosen NMTC participants, and identifying all other available private and public sector benefits.
Historic Tax Credits
Our tax credits team is widely recognized for our expertise across the full range of legal issues that HTC projects involve. We represent investors and developers with respect to historic rehabilitation projects, as well as owners, developers, investors and lenders on projects that rely upon both federal and state historic tax credits as an integral part of their financing structure.
Federal programs and combination financing
Our attorneys also work closely with HUD’s local offices to close HUD-insured financing projects nationwide. We work on projects that successfully leverage first mortgage financing guaranteed by the USDA and Section 1603 Energy Grants, requiring close work with USDA lenders and key USDA personnel involving complex regulatory issues under the USDA, Section 1603 and the New Markets Tax Credit rules and regulations. Additionally, we help clients combine NMTCs with other capital sources to design financing particularly suited to the needs of specific projects. We help package New Markets Tax Credits with many other sources, such as taxable and/or tax-exempt bond financing, CDBG funds, New Orleans Redevelopment Authority funding, USDA guaranteed loans, HUD guaranteed loans, state and local grant and loan programs, charitable grants and loans, historic rehabilitation tax credits, energy tax credits and grants, bridge loans, and private capital.
Affordable housing/low-income housing tax credits
Our affordable housing team has extensive experience working with clients involved in low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) syndications, HUD programs and tax-exempt bond-financed development projects. At the federal level, we help clients prepare credit applications; draft and negotiate acquisition and partnership agreements, offering memoranda, financing documents, and construction and investment agreements; and render opinions with respect to all aspects of the development process. We also work closely with state housing authorities, as well as state and local bond issuers to accomplish our clients’ goals.
Our expansive affordable housing practice serves as bond counsel, underwriter’s counsel or borrower’s counsel for all types of projects, including tax-exempt and taxable student housing financings, as well as independent living, assisted living/memory care and continuing care retirement communities throughout the country.