James R. Eustis, Jr.

Partner

New York
t: 212.820.9450
f: 212.820.9666
jeustis@hawkins.com
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James R. Eustis, Jr.
Jay specializes in different aspects of federal income taxation with greatest emphasis on financial transactions and products, especially in the municipal sector.

Jay is actively engaged in meeting the challenges of a dynamic tax practice.   For many years Jay worked with investor-owned utilities in connection with pollution control and local furnishing financings, and at all times to present, with municipally-owned utilities in various parts of the country.

Jay has provided tax support for bonds issued by states, cities and their authorities to finance all manner of projects and has served as special counsel to several 501(c)(3) institutions.  Since 2002, he has been on the tax side of almost every transaction that involves the securitization of tobacco settlement revenues or sales tax receipts in which Hawkins has acted as transaction or bond counsel.  Jay was responsible for formulating the tax approach that supported the issuance of billions of dollars of notes and bonds in 2001 and 2002 as part of an effort to normalize the energy markets in the State of California.

When tentative tax solutions test conventional wisdom, Jay has found it necessary to “collaborate” with the IRS by invoking the private letter ruling process.  By way of example, in one situation the IRS ruled that the costs associated with the vitrification of high-level radioactive wastes were capital in nature, notwithstanding that the cost of waste remediation is generally treated as an item of expense; in another, Jay obtained a favorable ruling to the effect that the demolition of a generating plant, which included bond-financed property, was not a disqualifying change, thereby insuring the continued exemption of interest on bonds that remained outstanding and neutralizing the negative implications of an earlier letter ruling.  Jay was instrumental in securing favorable tax rulings that resulted in the “municipalization” of the transmission and distribution facilities of a large, investor-owned utility.  He has obtained favorable tax rulings on non-conforming management contracts, and was further able to persuade the IRS that a percentage of the upgrade costs of a hydroelectric facility, determined by reference to the amount of the facility’s capacity and annual output which, after taking account of historic water flows, unique plant configurations, patterns of usage of output and overriding legislative considerations, was likely to be set aside for and sold to states and municipal entities, could be financed on a tax-exempt basis.

Jay has been a contributor to reports relating to tax-exempt finance submitted by the American and New York State Bar Associations.  He has also been a speaker or panelist at events sponsored by the American Bar Association and the National Association of Bond Lawyers with respect to a wide range of topics involving tax-exempt obligations.

Professional Memberships

  • American Bar Association
  • National Association of Bond Lawyers
  • New York State Bar Association

Practice

Industries

Education

  • Williams College, B.A.
  • Vanderbilt University, J.D.
  • New York University, LL.M., Taxation

Bar Admission

  • New York

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