Recognizing the inherent cross-over within our existing practice areas, and coupled with the need for specialists in financial legal services, Lozano Smith's Public Finance Group was formed by experienced attorneys specializing in public finance work, providing expert and objective legal advice on the validity of bonds, the tax treatment of interest on bonds, appropriate and adequate disclosure, post-issuance tax compliance, and record-keeping requirements. Lozano Smith also assists with legal services in related contexts such as bond elections, parcel taxes, developer fees, special taxes, special assessments, and special tax and assessment lien foreclosure.

Areas of Practice

  • Bond, Disclosure, Special and Issuer's Counsel
  • Proposition 39 General Obligation Bonds
  • Refunding Bonds
  • Revenue Bonds
  • Mello-Roos and Mark-Roos Bonds
  • Bond Anticipation Notes
  • Certificates of Participation
  • Lease and Lease-Purchase Financings
  • Tax and Revenue Anticipation Notes
  • Build America Bonds
  • Qualified Zone Academy Bonds
  • Parcel Taxes and Assessments
  • Developer Fees

Real World Applications

Our public finance attorneys are mindful both of the law governing bonds and of the historic customs and practices associated with public finance. Lozano Smith attorneys are nationally recognized as municipal bond counsel, as listed in the Bond Buyers' Municipal Marketplace Guide, commonly referred to as "The Red Book." Members of the firm have successfully delivered disclosure counsel services for a multitude of financings for a wide array of projects.

Combining bond counsel expertise with in-depth experience in school and community college district land acquisition, facilities planning, and construction, Lozano Smith public finance attorneys provide clients with a holistic approach - helping to take financing projects from conception of a facilities improvement plan through financing issuance and beyond.

Power to the People: California Court of Appeal Rules that Voter Tax Initiatives Are Not Subject to Super-Majority Vote

By:Daniel Maruccia, Shawn Gleizer -

September 2020Number 67In City & County of San Francisco v. All Persons Interested in the Matter of Proposition C (2020) 51 Cal.App.5th 703, California's First District Court of Appeal held that special taxes proposed by voter initiative require only a simple majority vote to pass, notwithstanding the provisions of Proposition 13 and Proposition 218, which would otherwise require a two-thirds approval of the voting electorate.BackgroundIn San Francisco's 2018 general election, 61% of vote...

Bond Election Countdown: Many Things Have Changed, but Election Deadlines Remain the Same

By:Jennifer Bradlee -

May 2020 Number 43 In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Governor has issued a series of executive orders, each addressing impacts of the pandemic. While striving to make sense of and comply with these orders and the countless local, state, and national public health orders and recommendations, it is easy for public agencies to lose sight of looming deadlines, especially when so many administrative timelines have been suspended or extended. Despite the pandemic-and maybe even as...

Federal Reserve Launches Municipal Liquidity Facility for Short Term Lending to Eligible States, Cities & Counties

By:Daniel Maruccia, Jennifer Bradlee -

April 2020Number 30The coronavirus global pandemic and the related shutdowns are causing far-reaching impacts on just about everyone and everything. As the economic toll continues to mount, state and local governments are seeing their tax revenue materially decline, due to decreases in both taxable sales transactions and taxable income. These declines are being compounded by delays, as many states, including California, have postponed their state tax filing deadlines, similar to the IRS' post...

CARES Act - Federal Funding for COVID-19 Prevention

By:Jenell Van Bindsbergen, Wesley Carlson -

April 2020Number 24In the midst of the emergency surrounding the novel coronavirus and its associated respiratory disease (COVID-19), the federal government passed a two trillion dollar spending bill. The bill, known as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, includes funding assistance in the form of direct tax rebate payments to individuals and couples, increased unemployment benefits, loans for small businesses, student loan payment deferral, and the expansion...

California Supreme Court Sides Against School Districts in State Mandates Case

By:Sloan Simmons, Nicholas Clair -

February 2020Number 11In California School Boards Association v. State of California (CSBA), the California Supreme Court has allowed the Legislature to avoid appropriating new funding to cover the costs of state mandated programs. Instead, the Legislature is now able to point to existing, unrestricted state funding to satisfy the Constitutional requirement that it identify funding for such programs. In light of the court's holding the Legislature may be incentivized to create new state manda...

State Allocation Board Adopts Developer Fee Increases For 2020

By:Harold Freiman, Kelly Rem, Peter Sumulong -

January 2020Number 9The State Allocation Board (SAB) has increased the amount of "Level 1" developer fees that school districts are authorized to collect to $4.08 per square foot of residential development and $0.66 per square foot of commercial development. The increase takes effect immediately, and may now be implemented by school districts through local action.The new rates, which the SAB approved on January 22, 2020, represent a 7.64 percent increase over the maximum amounts authorized as...

In An Historic Move, California Paves Way For Public Banks

By:Daniel Maruccia -

December 2019Number 86Effective January 1, 2020, local agencies will be allowed to create their own public banks. Assembly Bill (AB) 857, known as California's Public Banking Act, allows local agencies and/or joint powers associations to organize nonprofit mutual benefit corporations for the purpose of engaging in the banking business. The stated purpose of the Public Banking Act is achieving cost savings for local government entities, strengthening local economies, supporting local economic ...