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Public Finance

Miles & Stockbridge is home to one of the leading public finance practices in Maryland and the mid-Atlantic region. For over 35 years, the firm has been included in The Bond Buyer's Municipal Marketplace as a firm whose opinions are generally accepted in the field of municipal finance. We have represented the State of Maryland, its various agencies, political subdivisions and municipalities for more than 40 years. We have also handled bond transactions in Washington, D.C., Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania and other states.

Our focus in every public finance transaction is to close the deal, solving problems with innovation and flexibility, while staying within complex applicable tax laws and state law restrictions. We skillfully structure and restructure transactions that enhance value for the borrower and reduce lender risk and taxes. One of our greatest strengths is coordinating complex transactions within tight time-frames, concluding in an organized closing.

Our public finance representation includes roles as bond counsel, special tax counsel and counsel to issuers, underwriters, borrowers, lenders, credit enhancers, purchasers and trustees, involving all types of municipal bond transactions, including:

  • General obligation bonds
  • Governmental revenue bonds
  • Special assessment bonds and tax, revenue, grant and bond anticipation notes
  • College and university bonds
  • Private school bonds
  • Qualified small issue bonds for manufacturing facilities
  • Hospital, continuing care retirement facility and nursing home revenue bonds and other qualified 501(c)(3) bonds
  • Recovery zone facility bonds
  • Build America Bonds (BABs)
  • Tax increment financing (TIF) bonds
  • Special taxing district bonds
  • Solid waste disposal facility bonds
  • Single and multi-family housing revenue bonds
  • Certificates of participation in lease-purchase and installment purchase obligations
  • Derivative products

The primary areas of our transactional work include:

  • Private Activity Bonds: Private activity bonds for health care institutions, colleges, secondary schools and other 501(c)(3) organizations; single and multifamily housing, airports and other exempt facilities; and manufacturing facilities. Among these issues of private activity bonds, we have participated in financings for many private and religious secondary schools and specialty schools in the greater Baltimore area, as well as several area colleges.
  • General Obligation and Governmental Revenue Bonds: General obligation and governmental revenue bonds to finance infrastructure improvements, including roads, water and sewer projects, solid waste disposal, fire and police equipment, parking facilities, transportation and recreational facilities, prisons and schools. In addition to the State of Maryland, our past and present clients include 5 Maryland counties and more than 20 municipalities in the state.
  • Certificates of Participation and Lease/Purchase Obligations: Certificates of participation and lease/purchase obligations to finance essential governmental needs, including municipal capital projects, municipal buildings and equipment.
  • Governmental Bonds: Governmental bonds for recreational facilities for innovative economic development projects for state-owned conference center/golf course resorts. These transactions typically include complex leases, revenue streams and management contracts.
  • Land Preservation Programs: Land preservation programs that allow political subdivisions to acquire development rights to agricultural land in order to preserve it for farming or open space.
  • Special Taxing District Programs: Special taxing district programs that allow political subdivisions to issue bonds to finance special infrastructure with the bonds being paid back by special taxes levied on the users.
  • Public Finance Innovation: In addition to our transactional skills, Miles & Stockbridge is a consistent public finance innovator. Our lawyers have drafted proposed legislation authorizing special taxing districts for Maryland municipalities to finance infrastructure required for new developments through special taxing district bonds that shift infrastructure cost onto the end users who most directly benefit. This legislation has consistently been used as the model for special taxing districts for counties in Maryland and Delaware. Miles & Stockbridge acted as bond counsel in Delaware's first two special taxing district transactions and  helped create the agricultural land preservation program, which is used by various counties in Maryland to finance the public purchase of development rights of open space and farmland.

We craft transactions that make sense for current market conditions and for the individual needs of our clients. Our decades of public finance experience have shown us that advance preparation and effective communication with our clients are crucial to successfully closing transactions, especially the most challenging deals.

Miles & Stockbridge is nationally recognized for its strength in federal tax issues relating to public finance. We work with transaction participants to structure the financing up front so that it is beneficial to the parties, satisfies tax law requirements and avoids surprises. This flexibility and willingness to work with the parties to a transaction are a hallmark of our practice. In addition, we are well versed in disclosure standards and practices for municipal finance transactions, assisting our clients in both initial and continuing disclosure.

Over the last several years, our tax lawyers have represented issuers in various audits of tax-exempt bonds relating to arbitrage yield-burning, use-of-proceeds disputes, compliance with set-aside requirements for multifamily housing transactions, capital expenditure limitations for qualified small-issue transactions, arbitrate rebate compliance and other matters. We are prepared to handle all aspects of tax controversy matters relating to public finance transactions, and our tax lawyers have a longstanding and cordial working relationship with IRS bond auditing agents.