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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 nonprofit 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 that 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 nonprofit entities to take advantage of tax credits originally meant for for-profit companies without losing their nonprofit 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.