WASHINGTON -- Mitchell Rapaport, a lawyer with the firm of Perkins Coie in Seattle and a former Internal Revenue Service assistant branch chief who dealt with tax-exempt bonds, has been named to succeed David A. Walton as the Treasury Department's attorney-adviser for tax-exempt bonds.
Mr. Rapaport confirmed the appointment yesterday and said he expects to assume his new post in July.
Mr. Walton will leave Treasury next week to join the law firm of Jones Hall Hill & White in San Francisco this summer.
At Treasury, Mr. Rapaport will be responsible for helping to draft and review congressional testimony and legislative proposals in the bond area. He also will work with Internal Revenue Service officials on regulations and rulings.
He joins Treasury as the department and the IRS have embarked on an ambitious plan to rewrite and simplify the arbitrage rules before next summer.
The two agencies have also committed to several other regulatory projects, such as publishing new revenue procedures on management contracts and the extent to which they trigger private use concerns for tax-exempt bond issues; issuing revisions to information reporting requirements so that issuers can consolidate tax-exempt issues under $100,000 on one form annually; and issuing guidance detailing when changes in the use of bond-financed property or facilities will jeopardize the tax-exempt status of the bonds.
IRS officials said yesterday that they welcome Mr. Rapaport to the Treasury post.
"I look forward to working closely and effectively with him to continue our efforts to simplify the arbitrage rules to the fullest extent possible," said John J. Cross 3d, counsel to the assistant chief counsel for financial institutions and products.
Mr. Rapaport joined Perkins Coie a year ago after four years with the law firm of Mudge Rose Guthrie Alexander & Ferdon in New York. Before that, he spent five years at the IRS where he was assistant branch chief in the office of the chief counsel. In that post, he dealt with municipal bond legislation and regulations and worked under Fred T. Goldberg, who was then IRS chief counsel and is now the Treasury's assistant secretary for tax policy.
Mr. Rapaport has been an active member of the National Association of Bond Lawyers. He currently chairs the association's general tax matters committee. He helped draft a NABL position paper on what the IRS's position should be on the Supreme Court's Cottage Savings decision last year. He also helped write NABL's comments on the IRS's rules on the two-year rebate relief law, which were issued in February.