Public Finance/Municipal Finance
Pepper Hamilton LLP
is a nationally recognized bond counsel firm. Pepper’s Public Finance Group provides, among other things, legal services involving the financing and development of major capital projects.
We represent state and local governments and agencies as issuers of revenue bonds and general obligation bonds for financing the development, construction and operation of capital projects ranging from alleyways to zoos. We have handled the temporary and permanent financing or refinancing of:
- recreation, public school and other municipal improvements
- public and quasi-public utility capital facilities
- electric cogeneration facilities
- solid-waste resource-recovery facilities
- highway and bridge improvements
- water and sewer projects
- public housing
- health care facilities
- higher education institutions
- stadiums and arenas
- prisons and jails
- parking facilities
- industrial and office parks
- manufacturing facilities
- malls and shopping centers.
Pepper also acts as underwriter’s and special tax counsel for major investment banks in the underwriting of tax-exempt and taxable bonds, and serves municipalities as special counsel in administrative agency and appellate court proceedings. For example, we represented municipalities in successfully defending the constitutionality of hotel room rental taxes used to support bonds issued to construct a municipal convention center and a municipal arena. We also represent financial institutions as trustee’s counsel in revenue bond matters.
Our lawyers help clients secure federal, state and local governmental funding and credit support from government programs that promote or encourage economic development, energy development, infrastructure development or pollution abatement. We also help clients secure loans from investment and commercial banks and other sources.
The following projects reflect innovative concepts that we have implemented and that are representative of our practice. We have:
- structured a financing package combining an advance refunding, a current refunding and the current funding of a new capital project, in each case to minimize tax-law penalties and to maximize savings
- participated in structuring a financing transaction that uniquely combined a federal governmental loan guarantee with a revenue bond financing, providing for the guaranty of the full and timely payment of bond principal and interest
- worked with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture in the creation and implementation of its Long-Term Installment Purchase Program, which provides a tax-exempt financing vehicle for the sale and purchase of agricultural conservation easements
- acted as bond counsel and developer’s counsel in connection with taxable and tax-exempt bond issues for the development of regional malls and shopping centers, using pledge revenues under the Pennsylvania Tax Increment Financing Act, the Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance Act and the Business Improvement District Act
- on behalf of the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania, served as note counsel to 22 Pennsylvania counties which, since 1992, have issued more than $4 billion in TRAN borrowings for an intergovernmental transfer (IGT) program, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in additional federal Medicaid payments to the more than 600 long-term-care providers in Pennsylvania.
Our experience includes every variety of financing technique, from revenue anticipation loans to variable-rate, multi-modal credit-enhanced transactions.
Pepper’s services to public finance clients include:
- representation before governmental agencies and in the courts on municipal law issues and construction contract and other disputes
- drafting of legislation and participation by our government relations lawyers in achieving its enactment into law
- identification of possible government funding sources and subsequent assistance with the application and approval process
- participation in educational programs and professional association activities of governmental entities.
We have been instrumental in structuring financing techniques for long- and short-term, fixed- and variable-interest rate, revenue-supported and credit-enhanced, tax-exempt and taxable debt issues that provided financing for projects by a variety of municipalities and special-purpose agencies. Many projects included multiple municipalities and agencies, with a variety of relationships among them, established by intergovernmental agreement or joint utility-agency sponsorship, binding them together in support of the project.
We have participated in a variety of health-care-related financings, including acute care and rehabilitation facilities, nursing homes, congregate care, continuing care and life care facilities, alcohol and substance abuse facilities, ambulatory care facilities and hospital joint ventures to finance MRI and other stand-alone or mobile facilities.
Pepper’s public finance lawyers turn to their colleagues as needed for help and advice in other practice areas, including tax, construction (contract negotiation and litigation), environmental law (state and federal), utility regulation and government relations.
With our dedicated staff, which includes paralegals with many years of experience in the public finance area, and relevant knowledge and experience in municipal law and finance, Pepper provides efficient, cost effective legal services.