Municipalities, school districts and other governmental entities in Pennsylvania may want to sell or lease their assets for a variety of reasons. Governmental entities facing financial distress may sell or lease assets to generate a substantial upfront payment that can be used for a variety of purposes, including paying down debts resulting from labor and personnel costs, pension and other retirement benefits, or a costly litigation judgment.
A governmental entity may also sell assets if it owns unused or underused public buildings that were constructed at a time of rosy growth projections that failed to materialize. Or, it may simply have no further need of an asset and wish to remove the insurance, maintenance and other costs associated with it.
If a governmental entity intends to sell or lease its assets, one of the first steps that should be taken is to evaluate the proposed transaction from a federal income tax perspective. I recently authored an article about the issues that often arise in such transactions, which was published in the September 22nd edition of The Legal Intelligencer. Read more here.