Economic Development Incentives
Balch & Bingham has represented new industries locating in the southeastern United States for over 30 years. Since 1990, we have been involved in some capacity in every major economic development project locating in Alabama during that period, save one. Our practice in this area can be divided into three categories: Incentive Legislation, Public Sector Representation, and Private Sector Representation.
We believe that our experience in economic development in the past decade has been broader and more consistent than any other law firm in the region.
Balch attorneys have either drafted or co-drafted virtually every piece of significant economic development incentive legislation currently in effect in Alabama. Specifically, our attorneys drafted the Tax Incentive Reform Act of 1992, providing for our current system of sales and ad valorem tax abatements. We co-drafted the Capital Credit Legislation found in Alabama Code Sections 40-18-190 et. seq., under which qualifying industries are entitled to a capital credit against their state income tax. We also drafted the legislation in the early 1990s, which became known as the "Mercedes Act," and the legislation and regulations governing Alabama’s system for allocating state volume cap applicable to tax-exempt bonds.
Public Sector Representation
Balch has extensive experience representing the "public sector" in economic development projects. Most notably, we represented the State of Alabama in the negotiations which led to the location of the Mercedes assembly plant in Vance, Alabama. Our lawyers also represented the State and The Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, Inc. (a private non-profit organization dedicated to Alabama’s economic development) in the negotiation of the project agreement under which Honda Motor Company located its automobile assembly plant in Lincoln, Alabama. Balch again represented the State and The Economic Development Partnership in project negotiations with The Boeing Company relating to Boeing’s Delta IV Rocket Booster Assembly Plant in Decatur, Alabama. Finally, the Firm represented The Economic Development Partnership in negotiating portions of the project agreement with Ipsco Steel pursuant to which Ipsco located its steel fabrication facility in Mobile, Alabama. The Firm now represents Boeing on a continuing basis in connection with various matters at the Delta IV Rocket Booster Plant and its operations in Huntsville, Alabama.
Private Sector Representation
Most recently, the Firm was selected by Toyota Motor Manufacturing of North America, Inc. to represent that company in its negotiations with the State of Alabama leading to the construction of an engine assembly plant in Huntsville, Alabama. The Firm was awarded this representation after an interview process which included most of the other major firms in Alabama. In the course of that representation, the Firm provided a full range of legal services, including the negotiation of the project agreement as well as all related tax, corporate, real estate, environmental permitting and utility issues. We are now assisting Toyota in the implementation and achievement of the various incentives negotiated in the project agreement.
Balch is well-qualified to assist clients with their site location needs in the southeast. Our experience in representing both the public and private sectors, and our familiarity with the principal public officials involved in the decision-making process, both gained during the course of many projects, have provided us with unique insights and sensitivity with respect to the balancing act that is often required to accommodate the desires of industry with the resources and limitations of state and local entities. Subsequent to the site selection process and initial project construction, we also can provide the full range of legal services (environmental, labor, employment, tax, litigation, etc.) commonly needed in the on-going business of the company.