With the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Congress created a new investment strategy to spur economic growth in neglected areas of the country that desperately need capital. Qualified Opportunity Zone (QOZ) projects offer attractive tax break potential, particularly for individuals and businesses who redeploy eligible capital gains via investments in certain rural and low-income urban communities. Investments in QOZ projects can be made directly in QOZ property or through a Qualified Opportunity Fund.
West Virginia, for example, has designated 55 census tracts in 30 counties as opportunity zones, covering a significant portion of the entire state, including in small towns and large cities alike. QOZ projects provide potential for hundreds of investment opportunities in West Virginia and across the country. To view a map of Qualified Opportunity Zones, click here.
Bowles Rice’s experienced team includes attorneys with tax, project finance, securities, real estate, entity formation, government relations and construction experience. Our team was among the first in West Virginia to assist clients with the creation of Qualified Opportunity Funds and evaluation of QOZ projects. If you have capital gains to redeploy, or development projects that require funding, we can prepare and structure the transactions necessary to meet your objectives.
The team is led by two attorneys with vast experience in those practices: Roger Hunter and Marc Monteleone.
Roger Hunter has worked extensively in matters involving the capital markets, including large financings and bond issues. From 2011 to 2014, he served as General Counsel to The Greenbrier, James C. Justice Companies, Inc., and many of its affiliates. Roger is a member of the Board of Trustees for the West Virginia Investment Management Board.
Marc Monteleone possesses real world experience and legal acumen ideally suited for the O-Zone team. His practice includes federal and state taxation, mergers and acquisitions, commercial law and real estate development. He regularly assists businesses in all types of matters, from formation through dissolution.
The team is rounded out by the following attorneys, including Thomas Heywood, the firm's Managing Partner.
Thomas Heywood is the Managing Partner of Bowles Rice. A former Chief of Staff to former Governor Gaston Caperton, Tom is the leader of the firm’s Government Relations Team. He has extensive experience in working with government officials at the local, state and federal levels. He regularly assists businesses in the strategic planning process.
David DeJarnett practices in the area of private client services, with a concentration in estate and trust planning, estate and trust administration, business and tax planning and tax controversies. His business planning services encompass forming a new business or expanding an existing business, focusing initially on the business and tax comparisons between operation as a C corporation, an S corporation, a limited liability company, a partnership, or some other entity.
Charles Dollison has over 20 years of experience in commercial real estate, land development and electric power and gas power project development. His practice also focuses on coal, oil and gas law.
Christine Fisher focuses her work on business and corporate matters with special interests in entity formation, corporate governance and public funding. She also has experience in the areas of real estate and estate planning.
Bob Kiss practices in the areas of tax, estate planning and commercial law. He is a former Finance Chairman and Speaker of the West Virginia House of Delegates. From 2013 to 2016, Bob served as Cabinet Secretary of the Department of Revenue, where he oversaw 10 state agencies, including the State Tax Division.
Emily Lambright represents individuals and businesses by counseling them on income and estate tax issues, business succession planning, entity formation and selection, federal taxation and transactional tax matters. She is also a certified public accountant.
Peter Markham focuses his practice on government relations, civil litigation and appeals, and general business advising. He served as General Counsel and Deputy Chief of Staff to former West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin. He also served as chairman of the West Virginia Infrastructure and Jobs Development Council.
Tom Pearcy focuses his practice in commercial and financial law, and has significant experience in public finance and municipal bonds, mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, commercial lending, private offerings, contract negotiation, creditors’ rights issues and securities regulation and compliance matters.
Floyd "Kin" Sayre concentrates his practice in the areas of tax, commercial and finance law, municipal law, government relations, real estate, gaming and hospitality and small business development, representing businesses and individuals throughout the quad-state region and beyond. Kin is also a certified public accountant.
Alexandra Shulz practices in the area of commercial and financial services, with a focus on business and corporate matters and transactions.
Camden Siegrist concentrates his work on municipal bonds and related governmental financings, securities and commercial transactions. Also a certified public accountant, he has served as bond counsel on numerous bond-related matters – both new money and refunding issues, and tax-exempt and taxable bonds – for a wide variety of projects.
Nicola Smith concentrates her work on business, corporate and tax law. Her experience includes commercial transactions and litigation, business reorganization and restructuring, business formation, appellate litigation and representation of financial institutions.
Amy Tawney focuses her practice on banking law, mergers and acquisitions, securities law and regulatory matters. She also provides general corporate services to all sizes of businesses, including assistance with business formation, commercial lease and contract review, and venture capital and other private financing.
Seth Wilson practices in the areas of energy and real estate development, commercial business and real estate law, tax and estate planning. He is the leader of the firm's Energy and Real Estate practice groups. Seth’s commercial and general business practice includes structuring, negotiating and closing mergers, corporate reorganization and stock and asset purchase transactions.
Presentations & Events
- Presentation: Financing Tools in the Economic Development Toolkit by Roger D. Hunter and Robert S. KissTown of MatewanMatewan, West Virginia, April 30, 2019