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Government Financing

Davis Wright Tremaine has an established national public finance practice providing public finance legal services in a variety of areas, including state and local governments, tribal governments, and the federal government. After many years of serving as bond counsel on almost every type of state and local obligation, over the past decade our lawyers have focused instead on representing lenders, 501(c)(3) borrowers, letter of credit banks, underwriters and trustees. The firm has been involved in governmental financings ranging from a few thousand dollars to several hundred million dollars. Our role as lender’s counsel provides us with experience with governmental financings in every state and experience with each state's unique approaches, enabling us to facilitate efficient transactions on behalf of our clients.

Our firm is also unique among public finance practices in that in addition to state and local finance, we also have expertise in federal leasing and assignment of federal receivables.

As a full-service law firm, we draw upon the combined resources of our tax-exempt organizations practice group, bankruptcy attorneys, securities lawyers, real estate attorneys, and others when issues arise that require knowledge that falls outside of the traditional public finance arena.

Our government finance group’s experience is exemplified by partner George Mardikes, who originally authored "The Fifty-State Survey" in 1986, and continues to serve as project coordinator for updates. "The Fifty State Survey," published by the Association for Governmental Leasing & Finance (AGLF), is a compilation of the authority of cities, counties and school districts to lease/purchase real and personal property.

Members of the firm have served as bond counsel on tax-exempt financings in Washington, Oregon, California, Alaska, Nevada, Missouri, and Kansas. Having served as bond counsel, we are able to better negotiate with bond counsel, and provide suggestions to structure around state law and tax issues raised by bond counsel.

Our experience with public finance projects includes:

  • General and limited tax obligation bonds
  • Revenue bonds
  • Traditional tax-exempt nonappropriation lease-purchase agreements, abatement leases and installment purchase agreements
  • Tax leases to federal agencies and state and local governments
  • Selling of lease streams and assignment of residuals
  • Purchase and sale of lease portfolios
  • Qualified zone academy bonds
  • Special assessment bonds
  • Tax increment financing bonds
  • Utility, airport and hospital revenue bonds
  • 501(c) entity tax-exempt financings and 63-20 financings
  • Defeased lease transactions
  • Advance refundings under federal tax law
  • Tax and revenue anticipation notes
  • Small issue manufacturing and processing industrial development financings
  • Real property financings, including construction management, site leases, deeds of trust and mortgages
  • Aircraft, including helicopters
  • Exempt facility bonds
  • Pooled certificates of participation financings and securitization of leases and other tax-exempt obligations
  • Fixed rate, variable rate and multi-modal obligations
  • Domestic and foreign letter of credit backed obligations
  • Insured and other guaranteed obligations
  • Interest rate swaps
  • Taxable obligations

We have worked on financings involving a variety of issuers in many states. These include federal entities, such as the GSA, the U.S. Senate, the FAA, Department of Defense, U.S. Postal Service, TVA, the IRS, and the CIA, as well as states, Indian tribes, cities, counties, school districts, community colleges, airport and transit authorities, public building authorities, housing authorities, irrigation districts, diking districts, water and sanitary districts, people’s utility districts, port authorities, and state railroad and development agencies.