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Indian Nations

Tribal Finance

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We assist tribes, tribally owned enterprises and tribally owned corporations in connection with conventional bank financing, government guaranteed or subsidized loans, taxable bonds and tax-exempt bonds under the federal Indian Tribal Government Tax Status Act.

Godfrey & Kahn’s long tradition of representing lending institutions, together with our knowledge of the special circumstances relating to Indian country, enable us to close complex transactions in a timely, cost-efficient manner. Our finance experience includes representation of tribes in connection with:

  • Tribal gaming facilities, hotels, conference centers and related recreational facilities, including expansion projects, through issuance of bank loans and tribal taxable bonds;
  • Tribal land acquisitions and government and other public facilities serving essential governmental functions through issuance of tax-exempt bonds under the Tribal Governmental Tax Status Act;
  • Tribal health clinics, roads and other government facilities through conventional bank financing and grants and low-interest loans under the United States Department of Agriculture’s Community Facilities program;
  • Tribal water and wastewater systems through grants and low interest loans under the United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service program; and
  • Affordable housing for tribal members using, in addition to federal block grants, funds provided through issuance of tax-exempt bonds, low-interest loans under the United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Rental Housing Program, low income housing tax credits and Federal Home Loan Bank Affordable Housing Program grants.

Godfrey & Kahn is a nationally recognized bond counsel firm with an active municipal securities practice. Data compiled by Securities Data Corporation has ranked Godfrey & Kahn among the top five bond counsel firms in the North Central States in total number of long-term tax-exempt issues. In addition to our Indian country finance activities, we provide a full range of legal services to local and regional units of government, as well as private sector and 501(c)(3) clients doing business with those entities. Typical public finance transactions include:

  • Debt financing for schools
  • Municipal projects such as streets, sewer and water improvements; county highways, courthouses and jails
  • Technical college buildings and equipment
  • Metropolitan sewerage district projects
  • Private manufacturing facilities
  • Hospital and health care facilities
  • Higher education facilities
  • Stadium financing (Green Bay Packers, $295 million renovation of Lambeau Field)

In addition to fulfilling the traditional bond counsel role, we have served as counsel to tribal governments, issuers, underwriters, banking institutions, private sector and 501(c)(3) borrowers, credit enhancers, and institutional investors. Our work in public finance and areas related to the public sector is varied and diverse and includes:

  • Bond counsel on traditional municipal debt financing, such as general obligation bonds and notes, water/sewer revenue bonds, cash flow borrowings, refundings, clean water fund loans and tax-exempt lease financing.
  • Bond counsel, underwriter’s counsel, issuer’s counsel, bank counsel, borrower’s counsel and credit enhancer’s counsel on tax-exempt financing for privately owned and 501(c)(3) projects including hospital/health care and higher education facilities.
  • Providing counsel to both public and private sector clients on tax increment financing issues.
  • Providing counsel to public bodies and broker/dealers regarding their obligations under, and compliance with, regulations promulgated by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board governing public finance transactions.
  • Providing legal services in areas related to public finance, such as real estate, environmental law, construction law, public bidding, open meeting/public records law, inter-governmental agreements, condemnation, election law, state and local regulatory matters, and general municipal/school law matters and land use.

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