Hurricane Katrina Forest Recovery

As we work together to tackle the historic challenge that Hurricane Katrina has presented to the forestry communities of Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama, we hope that this blog will be a valuable resource and tool.

Tuesday, May 9

Butler Snow Launches GO Zone Site

Information on federal and state programs to help rebuild the Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita is now available in one online location, Attorneys from the law firm of Butler, Snow, O'Mara, Stevens and Cannada, PLLC, who were actively involved in recovery efforts, created the Web site.

Portions of Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama compose the Gulf Opportunity Zone (GO Zone) and are eligible for federal benefits under the GO Zone Act of 2005, such as bonus depreciation, tax-exempt financing and five-year net operating loss carryback. The State of Mississippi also offers additional incentives to encourage capital investment if bond financing is utilized. provides an outline of these incentives plus news affecting investments in the zone, such as recent announcements by the governors of Mississippi and Alabama on guidelines for allocations of GO Zone bonds.

Butler Snow's GO Zone team has been involved in recovery efforts since the weather cleared. For example, attorney John England, with a practice in municipal finance, helped communities reconstitute their financial records and apply for bond money available from the Mississippi Development Bank. England's work was recognized by The American Lawyer magazine, which named him one of only 12 "Dealmakers of the Year" in the country.

"We're happy to share what we've learned," England said. "We want to see the Gulf Coast come back stronger than ever."

Butler Snow attorneys also created "The Gulf Opportunity Zone Act of 2005: Benefits Available to Businesses," a guidebook that explains the financial incentives for rebuilding, expanding or moving business operations into GO Zone. includes information from this booklet. Businesses may obtain a copy of the booklet by calling (601) 985- 4104, or by e-mailing to


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