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.

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, Ryan Harrison, Sr. -

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 ...

AB 48 Increases Bonding Capacity, Provides Facilities Funding At Multiple Levels, Prioritizes Small School Districts, And Reduces Available Developer Fees For School Districts … But Only Applies If Voters Approve A School Facilities Bond In March

By:Harold Freiman, Daniel Maruccia, Deepika Thompson, James McCann -

October 2019Number 62The California Legislature recently passed, and on October 7 Governor Newsom signed, Assembly Bill (AB) 48, known as the "Public Preschool, K-12, and College Health and Safety Bond Act of 2020."AB 48 places a $15 billion statewide K-12 school and college facilities general obligation bond on the March 3, 2020 ballot.Contingent on voter approval of the statewide bond measure at the Presidential Primary election on March 3, 2020, AB 48 would introduce a slew of significant ...

Legislature Takes Another Run At Bond Measure Ballot Language Requirements

By:Daniel Maruccia -

October 2019Number 42UPDATE: Governor Newsom vetoed SB 268 on October 13, citing concern that the bill, as crafted, would “reduce transparency for local tax and bond measures.” As a result, existing ballot language requirements, including those added by AB 809 and AB 195, will remain in effect for the 2020 elections, and beyond, unless and until the Legislature revisits the issue again in the future.In an ongoing saga that began with the passage of Assembly Bill (AB) 809 in 2015, the Legi...

SEC: Bank Loans and Other Private Placements to Trigger 10-Day Continuing Disclosure Reporting

By:Daniel Maruccia, Kate Holding -

November 2018 Number 82 The Securities Exchange Commission's (SEC) Rule 15c2-12 requires that an issuer of publicly offered municipal securities, such as bonds or certificates of participation, commit to disclosing certain material events that occur while those securities are outstanding. Now, the SEC has added two new items to the list of events requiring disclosure. They are: (1) an incurrence of a material financial obligation, or an agreement to events of default, remedies, priority r...

Tax Bill Eliminates Advance Refunding Opportunities

By:Daniel Maruccia -

January 2018 Number 1 On December 22, 2017, President Donald J. Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, putting into place the most sweeping tax reform seen in three decades, including significant cuts to corporate and individual tax rates. The new law also effectively eliminates a critical tool local agencies have long used to save taxpayers money. The tax bill eliminated the tax-exempt status of advance refunding bonds, effectively ending their use by local government agencie...