NCPPP Member Spotlight: Michael J. Bradshaw
Michael J. Bradshaw, Jr., Attorney, Member of firm’s Public Finance and P3 Practice Groups, Butler Snow LLP.
Headquartered in Jackson, Miss. with offices throughout the United States and in London, Hong Kong and Singapore. Mr. Bradshaw works out of the Washington, D.C. and Memphis offices.
Describe your company’s work in P3s:
We counsel participants in public-private partnerships to develop, construct, finance, operate and/or maintain projects which provide essential services to communities, including transportation, telecommunications, water and wastewater, and energy (electric, gas and renewable) projects, hotels and convention centers, sports and recreational facilities, governmental infrastructure and health care, education and housing (affordable, senior, student and military) facilities. Butler Snow’s attorneys have participated in P3 transactions for more than 25 years, assisting clients with the development and financing of projects utilizing such financing incentives as tax-exempt private activity bonds (e.g., qualified highway bonds, airport bonds, solid waste facility bonds, multifamily housing bonds, 501(c)(3) bonds), special assessment bonds, tax increment financing, sales tax revenue bonds, lease revenue bonds and other lease financing arrangements, tax abatement and PILOT agreements and federal and state tax credits (new markets tax credits, historic rehabilitation tax credits, low-income housing tax credits and renewable energy tax credits).
Why did you join NCPPP and what benefits do you see in your association with the Council?
We joined NCPPP to keep up with the latest developments in the P3 industry and to interact with other P3 professionals, and in that regard, we have found our association with NCPPP to be extremely beneficial. We support NCPPP’s purpose of fostering public dialogue to increase knowledge of and participation in P3s, and we are happy to have helped NCPPP further this purpose and look forward to continuing to work with NCPPP in the future.
Do you have any thoughts on the current status of the P3 market and the types of opportunities or trends that are likely to emerge in the near future?
In the past, much of the focus of the P3 community in this country has been in the transportation sector, including roads, bridges, transit, ports and airports. However, in recent years, governmental entities have recognized the potential that P3s offer in connection with other sectors such as water and wastewater, energy and broadband. Governmental entities have also used P3s for general governmental infrastructure, such as court houses and administrative buildings. Many public universities have utilized P3s for student housing and other student services. As we are all aware, the infrastructure needs in this country are great, and with states and municipalities facing budgetary pressures and finding it more difficult to borrow, we believe that many states and municipalities will consider P3s for more types of projects.
What are the biggest challenges the P3 community faces and how should they be addressed?
I believe the biggest challenge facing P3s today is the inability and/or reluctance of many governmental entities even to consider utilizing a P3 for a project. In some instances, the governmental entity may not have any choice in the matter (e.g., it does not have the legal authority to enter into an arrangement with a private partner). In other instances, however, the governmental entity may be reluctant to consider a P3 simply because of the fact that it offers a different approach to the development of public infrastructure than what has traditionally been utilized in the past. Public officials serve many constituencies with varying interests and priorities, and convincing everyone that a partnership with a private entity is a good idea can be difficult, especially when such partnership will provide the private entity an investment return.
NCPPP is just one of many groups that is addressing this challenge through the education and training of all stakeholders as to the potential value of P3s, including specifically providing approaches and methodologies designed to allow a governmental entity to measure such potential value and to identify the major issues and pitfalls that can arise in a P3 procurement and afterwards.