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The Idaho Supreme Court Decision on Municipal Leasing and Finance

Added by Hawley Troxell in Articles & Publications, News on January 12, 2016

The Idaho Supreme Court recently made a monumental decision in the area of municipal leasing and finance. The Court held in Greater Boise Auditorium District v. Frazier, No. 43074, 2015 WL 6080521 (Idaho Oct., 2015) that annual appropriation leases are not debt under the state constitution, which dramatically improves the legal climate for financing equipment and capital projects for municipalities and political subdivisions. Having this holding by the Idaho Supreme court eliminates the requirement of seeking a judicial validation that a lease is constitutional. Assuming the lease is structured to comply with Greater Boise, specifically that the lease has a genuine “nonappropriation” provision, bond counsel will be able to issue an unqualified opinion that the lease is valid under current Idaho law. This will reduce the time and costs of lease financing and will enable public entities certainty that their routine leases for such things as copiers and other equipment are enforceable.

As qualified bond counsel, Hawley Troxell is able to assist in structuring leases and utilizing this new financing tool. Please contact any member of our Municipal Finance Department for further information or a fact specific analysis.