Tax Incentives & Grants

The government always plays an essential role in economic development -- both regulatory and financial. One of the most important ways it can promote development is by offering tax incentives. Simply put, many important projects simply would not happen without tax incentives -- particularly in harsh economic times.

It’s not as simple as “give them incentives, and they will build.” Knowing what types of incentives will work for a given project, and knowing how they will benefit all players involved, is of the utmost importance. This is the Clark Hill difference. Our team gathers professionals in the financial, legal and government relations arenas, giving our clients the ability to immediately access the expertise they require. Because of our 360 degree approach to legal services, our clients always have the right professionals at their fingertips, available to clarify even the most complex issues quickly and effectively.

Bringing together the various parties, taking a healthy step back and examining the project from all sides is a crucial step that almost always pays off for clients. Making an informed decision as to which incentives to take advantage of (local, county, state, federal) can mean a difference of millions of dollars. Some will cancel each other out. Some can be blended to create additional incentives, enabling a non-profit to take advantage of tax credits originally intended for for-profit companies, for example.

To assess the impact of all available incentives, it’s important to begin discussions during the initial structuring stage. A broad look at the overall package will help determine which types of incentives will be the most effective. Our clients may be able to take advantage of competition between municipalities or other government entities to maximize the number of incentives or tax breaks their project can receive.

On the government side, it’s also important for municipalities to take advantage of the tools available to them: Incentives need to net municipalities the benefits they bargained for to protect their assets. Companies who receive incentives need to be held accountable through ongoing benchmarks and compliance. Incentive programs should be structured with long-term relationships in mind. Also, we can help local and state governments access and integrate federal programs and resources.

For past and current economic development projects, we have:

  • Worked to ensure the successful passage of specific legislation that fast-tracked a brownfield exemption, enabling a project to proceed
  • Enabled non-profit entities to take advantage of tax credits originally meant for for-profit companies without losing their non-profit status
  • Enabled a client to acquire $200 million of additional incentives, on top of incentives they had already accessed, for a specific project
  • Worked with governments at the local, county and state levels to create new tax incentives for specific projects, or to pass credits from one project to another
  • Helped craft and implement federal affairs strategy that netted more than $1.3 billion in federal grants for vehicle electrification

We work to bring groups together, federal, state, and city governments, economic development groups, and historic preservationists, to agree on the package of credits or incentives offered. Our team will expertly guide clients through the process, enabling them to make an educated decision that best suits their needs and the needs of the project as a whole.


Redevelopment of the iconic Argonaut Building in Detroit, Michigan at a project cost in excess of $150,000,000 through a multi-layered tax credit transaction involving State and Federal Historic Tax Credits, New Market Tax 

Represented and counseled a not for profit developer in the establishment of a development joint venture in the construction of a 96 unit Section 42 federal tax credit low income senior housing facility

Represented commercial development client in the development of over 200,000 square feet of commercial retail strip centers located in the Chicago metropolitan area. Responsible for land acquisition, site planning/design; government entitlements; (zoning/incentives); analysis and procurement of project financing, and construction management. Utilized various economic development tools to improve profitability such as real estate tax rebates (class 8) and tax increment financing

Represented local municipality in the creation of a not for profit development entity to facilitate the development of a $500 million dollar comprehensive redevelopment plan to accommodate the acquisition and development of land for a multi carrier cargo development plan

Represented investment group structure in the investment and assisted in raising $3,000,000 in capital to facilitate the acquisition of a community based financial institution

Represented development joint venture consisting of private equity firm and real estate developer for the development and construction of quick service restaurants throughout the United States

Represented a local municipality and economic development group in obtaining the first State of Illinois single community Redevelopment Authority with bonding authority of $200 million dollars

Acquisition and Development of Large Urban Housing Project. Representation of a national developer in connection with (i) negotiating and drafting documentation in connection with site acquisition, formation of single-asset limited partnership, project development, project development financing, construction management and contracting, construction and permanent financing including financing from government lenders, and property management; (ii) assisting developer in obtaining zoning/permitting/approvals needed to develop the project; (iii) providing counsel in connection with environmental issues; (iv) assisting developer in obtaining historic tax credits and a conservation easement; and (v) assisting developer in obtaining bridge financing for such easement and credits.
Acquisition and Development of Urban Office Building. Representation of a national developer in connection with (i) negotiating and drafting of documentation with respect to site acquisition, formation of single-asset limited partnership (the entity that owns and operates the project), development, construction contracting, and construction and permanent financing including multiple governmental loans and grants; (ii) assisting developer in obtaining zoning/permitting/approvals needed to develop project; and (iii) providing counsel in connection with environmental issues involving the site which was a "brownfield" site.