Johnny Hutchinson focuses on tax issues arising in state and local debt transactions. He also represents issuers and private borrowers of municipal debt before the IRS on a range of tax-related issues, including IRS examinations and closing agreements.
I focus my practice on tax-advantaged state and local debt of all types, including governmental financings, financings for 501(c)(3) organizations, and other private activity bond financings for airport and other transportation facilities, as well as solid waste disposal facility and sewage facility financings for large utilities and industrial operations.
I have worked on large governmental financings for some of the largest issuers and projects in the country. For example, we currently provide comprehensive tax advice to the Long Island Power Authority and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in New York, and we recently did the tax work on the financing for the new Tennessee Titans football stadium in Nashville.
I am recognized as a “go-to” lawyer in the area of tax-advantaged airport bond financings. For example, I served as bond counsel to Empire State Development (ESD) (through the New York Transportation Development Corporation (an ESD-related entity)) in the approximately $2.4 billion P3 bond financing for the redevelopment of Terminal B at LaGuardia Airport in New York City, which was awarded the Bond Buyer’s Regional Deal of the Year award in 2016 . I also served as lead tax counsel on the two subsequent bond issuances to transform the other two main passenger terminals at LaGuardia, totaling over $3 billion. Likewise, I have been heavily involved in the comparable efforts to redevelop John F. Kennedy International Airport, serving as lead tax counsel on billions of dollars of new money and refunding bonds. I also provided lead tax advice to the Pittsburgh International Airport on their Terminal Modernization Program, involving multiple financings totaling over $1 billion. I served as lead tax lawyer to the airport bond issuers responsible for San Francisco International Airport, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, Ronald Reagan National Airport, Dulles International Airport, and Fort Lauderdale International Airport.
I have significant experience in other transportation financings. For example, I served as first-chair tax lawyer for the over $1 billion taxable and tax-exempt (under Section 142(m) of the Internal Revenue Code) bond financing for the northern extension of the I-495 Express Lanes in the Washington D.C. metro area, which is owned and operated by Transurban Group, an international operator of toll road facilities. The deal was recently named “North American PPP Deal of the Year” for 2022 by Proximo Infra news and data service.
In addition to helping clients structure and close deals, I help clients who have already issued their bonds with “post-issuance” tax concerns. I frequently defend issuers and borrowers of tax-advantaged debt from Internal Revenue Service audits, and I have significant experience with the IRS Voluntary Closing Agreement Program and other post-issuance resolution tools.
Finally, I help investment bankers as they structure and present tax-exempt transactions to potential issuer and borrower clients to ensure that the proposed project fits within federal guidelines.
As prevailing interest rates have climbed over recent levels, clients will need creative and knowledgeable counsel to help control borrowing costs while complying with the federal tax rules. In addition, as state and local governments continue to examine ways to provide infrastructure and services to their constituents more efficiently, they may increasingly turn to public-private partnerships. These arrangements create challenges for federally tax-advantaged financings, requiring sophisticated experience.
New York City Project Finance & Public Finance partner Johnny Hutchinson is quoted in this article discussing the future of refinancing in the municipal market and how the market has adapted to the elimination of the tax-exempt advance refunding in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Johnny discusses the previous rules and challenges in developing new legislation.
New York City Project Finance & Public Finance partner Johnny Hutchinson contributed this article discussing a recent IRS private letter ruling that allows tax-exempt long-term working capital financing for utility costs related to Winter Storm Uri, and what this could mean for state and local governments when faced with a natural disaster.
This article covers Metro Nashville and the state of Tennessee securing $1.2 billion to finance a new stadium for the Tennessee Titans and mentions NP for serving as special tax counsel in the bond sale. The NP team involved in the deal includes Project Finance & Public Finance partners Mitch Rapaport of Washington, DC and Johnny Hutchinson of New York City.
This article covering an IRS finding that a $55 million bond issuance in Jefferson County, Texas, is taxable, quotes New York City Project Finance & Public Finance partner Johnny Hutchinson on how expectations and reality can be complicated by myriad reasons behind spending delays.
This article, which covers an IRS examination of nearly $340 million in bond issues by the Clark County School District in Nevada, quotes New York City Project Finance & Public Finance partner Johnny Hutchinson on why the audit appears to be random and not targeted.
New York City Project Finance & Public Finance partner Johnny Hutchinson is quoted in this article, which features reactions from the public finance community to the US Treasury Department’s lack of tax-exempt bond guidance in its General Explanations of the Administration’s Fiscal Year 2024 Revenue Proposals, also knows as the Green Book. Johnny explains why the Green Book, which provides details on federal revenue and tax policy proposals, doesn’t necessarily dictate Congressional action and that there may be a silver lining with the lack of guidance.
New York City Project Finance & Public Finance partner Johnny Hutchinson is quoted in this article, which outlines tax policy expectations and potential legal challenges in the municipal bond market in 2023. Johnny explains how the IRS’ plan to hire more people, with or without funding from the Inflation Reduction Act, will likely increase the number of bond audits that are issued.
This article on the IRS modernizing its business systems quotes New York City Project Finance & Public Finance partner Johnny Hutchinson on the agency’s use of a new messaging platform to communicate securely with issuers and borrowers, and Boston partner and Cybersecurity & Privacy practice leader Jason Kravitz on cybersecurity vulnerabilities resulting from the agency using dated software.
New York City Project Finance & Public Finance partner Johnny Hutchinson provides thought leadership throughout this article about issuers needing to update disclosure statements due to the Inflation Reduction Act’s implication for tax exemption on municipal bonds. The article also mentions NP as co-bond counsel for Cook County, Illinois, which had to supplement its official statement to explain how the new law could affect potential buyers. The Cook County team includes Chicago partner Julie Seymour, San Francisco partner Travis Gibbs, Chicago counsel Sharone Levy, and San Francisco associate Janelle Walker, all of the Project Finance & Public Finance practice.
The following coverage highlights the arrival of New York City partner Johnny Hutchinson to the firm’s Project Finance & Public Finance practice, noting his deep experience with public-finance tax issues. Johnny is quoted throughout the Law360 article, which also mentions his previous work on financing for the renovation of New York’s LaGuardia International Airport alongside New York City Project Finance & Public Finance partners Roddy Devlin and Chris Reitzel.
The following coverage highlights the arrival of New York City partner Johnny Hutchinson to the firm’s Project Finance & Public Finance practice, noting his deep experience with public-finance tax issues. The Bond Buyer article also quotes Project Finance & Public Finance practice group leader Virginia Wong and New York City office managing partner Ilana Kameros.
Case Western Reserve University, J.D., magna cum laude
Florida State University, B.A. and B.S., summa cum laude
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