Economic Development Law is a multidisciplinary approach that leverages experience from several practice areas including real estate, tax, environmental, government relations, and construction. Attorneys representing companies in the economic development arena help businesses find the best location among the communities vying for their projects and assist those businesses secure and document economic incentives for job creation and capital investment. Attorneys representing governmental agencies assist their clients in structuring incentive packages and complying with public reporting, open meetings, and other governmental laws in this pursuit. Attorneys must have a thorough knowledge of the complex economic incentives available, which may include Payment in Lieu of Tax (PILOT) agreements, tax abatements, capital credit agreements, tax increment financing, tax-sharing agreements, and grants of all types. Real estate law frequently comes in to play for economic development attorneys as they facilitate large land assemblies for industrial parks, develop mega-site programs, and handle all aspects of permitting, entitlements, annexation, and land use.
From helping businesses and communities draft and respond to request for proposals, site selection to ground breaking and completion, economic development law encompasses incentives, public finance, site acquisition, insuring the provision of adequate utilities to sites, project construction, off-site improvements, equipment acquisition, and effective collaboration with local and state agencies.
The availability of financial incentives to help persuade decisions regarding choice of location and capital investments plays an integral part of successful economic development efforts. Each community will develop and offer a variety of financial incentives designed to support their growth objectives. These incentives can be financial or non-financial in nature and may include tax credits, infrastructure improvements, and work force training to name a few. Communities frequently incorporate performance-based measurements to ensure that their economic incentive investment results in the expected creation of new jobs and wages.
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