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WHAT WE DO
 
We are business lawyers, and have found success in solving tax and development challenges by pursuing business-based solutions.
 
Property and State Tax Management for Energy and Industrial Facilities
One of the most significant barriers to construction and operation of large, capital intensive projects is the very high cost and payment uncertainty surrounding local property taxes. We assist developers and owners of such facilities with respect to management of that operating cost and creation of payment certainty by negotiated agreement. Whether negotiating a new agreement or extending an existing agreement, our objective is always to take advantage of available exemptions, manage the size of the tax obligation, and create payment certainty over as long a period of time as possible. Assessment litigation often provides an unsuitable solution to the problem because it can be very expensive, creates too much uncertainty in the context of new development, often takes years to resolve, and is unable to provide long-term certainty regarding tax treatment. Where it becomes necessary, however, we work with involved assessment litigators to promote settlement.

We perform tax management services for the highest stakes property taxpayers energy generation and transportation facilities, including a significant number of nuclear power plants, most of the utility scale commercial wind projects developed and under development in New York, and many other large industrial facilities with actual or potentially sizeable tax burdens. Our experience includes representing an interstate natural gas pipeline project and two interstate submarine electric transmission cable projects.

We use state and local economic development benefit systems to optimize the economics of owning and operating such facilities, which often includes obtaining sales tax and mortgage recording tax exemptions in addition to long-term property tax reduction, and working with clients to set up the documentation and protocols necessary to take maximal advantage of assistance and to secure exemptions for financing, equity participation, and asset purchase and sale transactions.
 
Pursuing Business-based Solutions
We are business lawyers, not litigators, and have found success in negotiations with taxing authorities by developing creative solutions that address the interests of all stakeholders. Our approach builds trust and forges positive and cooperative long-term relationships between taxpayers and taxing authorities. Our experience base has created a thorough exposure to the range of issues faced by large facility taxpayers, shown us the effective approaches to the common issues, resulted in a deep industry knowledge, supported development of sophisticated modeling tools, and permitted informed analysis.
 
Assisting Project Development 
We support companies pursuing development of energy and industrial facilities, and in that capacity we have, in addition to tax management services, negotiated development agreements, road use agreements, water and sewage usage agreements, host community agreements, and a variety of other development related agreements. In addition, we have worked with developers in relation to compliance with and application of local siting ordinances. We support development projects as they move through procurement of construction and permanent financing, equity investment transactions, and asset purchases and sales.
 
Securing Local Approvals
We assist developers and owners of existing facilities in identifying and obtaining necessary approvals from local authorities. The approvals may arise in connection with tax management services or in relation to development agreements.
 
Representing Energy and Industrial Project Lenders and Investors
We represent bank and investor interests as they lend to or provide investment for energy and industrial facilities. We help shape project development agreements, tax management agreements, and financing or investment documents.
 
Local Counsel Transactional Work
We act as local counsel supporting transaction counsel and in-house departments in connection with purchase and sale transactions for energy and industrial facilities, and advise on issues surrounding property tax, transfer tax, mortgage recording tax, sales tax, and a variety of project development agreements.
 
 
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