Public Finance

Unstable economies, public scrutiny of expenditures and legislative changes increase construction costs, reduce tax benefits to bond owners and impede the ability of local agencies to raise new revenue and participate in real economic growth. Faced with these challenges, local agencies require creative strategies to obtain necessary funding for new projects and to resolve troubled borrowings when needed.
With more than 35 years of experience, Best Best & Krieger LLP’s nationally recognized Public Finance practice group has acted as bond, disclosure and underwriter’s counsel in financings for public agencies throughout California. Our firm has closed more than $1 billion a year in par value in recent years. We are California’s leading bond counsel, having handled more than 25 percent of all transactions in California for which bond counsel was used. We are renowned for creative public finance solutions for construction projects and acquiring new public infrastructure. We are also highly regarded for our success in restructuring troubled debt, enabling underperforming assets to achieve value and pay debt service.
Diverse Experience
BB&K attorneys advise on a wide range of public projects from idea inception through design, finance, construction, project completion and dispute resolution. Our Public Finance team can handle every detail relating to the authorization, sale and delivery of public securities. Whether for roads or highways, schools, parks and playgrounds, housing or water supply conservation or wastewater facilities, our attorneys have extensive experience in all types of financing structures, including short-term and long-term borrowing, fixed- or variable-rate obligations and derivatives.
We are also very experienced in financings under the Marks Roos and Mello Roos acts to optimize public finance opportunities.
Leaders in the Energy Sector
We serve as bond counsel for Western Riverside Council of Governments, which runs the HERO Program for energy-efficiency improvements and products for homes and businesses. We are well known for our work in negotiating, structuring and documenting tax-exempt and taxable financings for local agencies’ renewable energy projects. Additionally, we are bond counsel to two local public agencies issuing bonds under the Property Assessed Clean Energy Program. 
Backed by one of California’s largest and most experienced Municipal Law practices, we possess the comprehensive knowledge required to overcome the hurdles public agencies face and we have the experience necessary to assist them in meeting their public finance needs.

Areas of Focus: Education Law | Public Finance
Areas of Focus: Business Services & School Facilities | Municipal Law | Public Finance | School Finances, Developer Fees & Mitigation
Areas of Focus: Fees, Taxes & Assessments | General & Special Counsel | Municipal Law | Public Finance
Areas of Focus: Eminent Domain | Environmental Law & Natural Resources | Municipal Law | Public Agency Litigation | Public Finance
Areas of Focus: Business | Eminent Domain | Municipal Law | Real Estate | Special Districts | Trusts & Estates
Areas of Focus: Municipal Law | Ports | Public Finance
Areas of Focus: Public Finance
Areas of Focus: Fees, Taxes & Assessments | Public Finance | Special Districts
Areas of Focus: California Public Records Act | Election Law | Fees, Taxes & Assessments | Government Policy & Public Integrity | Municipal Law | Public Contracts & Construction
Event Apr 14, 2021

Rate Setting Under Propositions 218 and 26

California Special Districts Association Virtual Workshop

Press Releases Mar 31, 2021

BB&K Attorneys Recognized as 2021 San Diego Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

Congratulations to the Honorees

Event Feb 16, 2021

Government Utility Rate Setting and Propositions 218 and 26 in Times of Uncertainty

California Society of Municipal Finance Officers' 2021 Annual Conference

Legal Alerts Jan 05, 2021

New Public Agency Laws on Safety, Finance, Contracting and More

Part 1: New Laws Impacting California Public Agencies for 2021

Legal Alerts Dec 21, 2020

Special Taxes by Voter Initiative Only Require Majority Voter Approval

For the Second Time This Year, California Appellate Court Upholds Voting Requirement

Legal Alerts Oct 26, 2020

SLONs Authorization Extended for California Special Districts

Governor Approves AB 2107 to Allow for Securitized Limited Obligation Notes by Special Districts

Press Releases Oct 08, 2020

Public Finance Partner Lutfi Kharuf Recognized As One of San Diego’s 40 Under 40

SD Metro Magazine Honors Young Professionals

BB&K Webinar Sep 30, 2020

Disclosure Obligations of Issuers in Public Offerings

BB&K Free Webinar

BB&K Webinar Sep 17, 2020

Financing Options and Strategies for Groundwater Sustainability Plan Development

BB&K Free Webinar

Press Releases Sep 15, 2020

BB&K Receives High Ranks for Law Firm Diversity

Firm Leadership Renews Commitment to Supporting Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Legal Alerts Aug 06, 2020

Local Utility Charges Cannot Be Challenged by Referendum

Calif. Supreme Court Decision in Wilde v. City of Dunsmuir

Press Releases Jul 31, 2020

San Diego Business Journal Top Law Firm 2020

BB&K Remains in the Top 25 of the Annual Ranking

Press Releases Jul 16, 2020

BB&K Supports the League of California Cities City Attorneys’ Department Committees

Nine BB&K Attorneys Serving on LCC City Attorney Committees

Legal Alerts Jul 14, 2020

Property Owners Must Participate in Public Hearing to Challenge BID Assessments

A “No” Vote is Not Enough, California Appellate Court Holds

Legal Alerts Jul 13, 2020

Special Taxes by Voter Initiative Not Restricted by Proposition 13 or Proposition 218

Court of Appeal Holds Only Simple Majority Needed to Impose Special Taxes by Initiative Power

Legal Alerts Jul 07, 2020

A Toll Increase for Toll Bridge is Not a Tax Increase

California Appellate Court Says Toll is a Fee to Use Government Property, Exempt from Tax Definition

Authored Articles & Publications May 20, 2020

Using Green Bonds to get Environmentally Driven Investors

Part 2 of a PublicCEO Series on Using Green Bonds to Advance Community Sustainability

Authored Articles & Publications May 19, 2020

How Public Agencies Can Use Green Bonds to Finance Projects

Part 1 of a PublicCEO Series on Using Green Bonds to Advance Community Sustainability

Event May 18, 2020

2020 Virtual Special Districts Legislative Days

California Special Districts Association

Legal Alerts May 07, 2020

SEC Leaders Release Statement on Disclosure by Issuers of Municipal Securities in Light of COVID-19

Municipal Issuers Urged to Consider Providing Voluntary Disclosure Regarding the Impacts of COVID-19 on Operations and Finances

Legal Alerts Apr 16, 2020

When is a Franchise Fee a Tax?

Franchise Fees Charged to Waste Hauler are Not a Tax if Reasonably Related to the Value of the Franchise

Press Releases Mar 10, 2020

Six BB&K Attorneys Named San Diego Top Lawyers 2020

San Diego Magazine’s Annual List

BB&K Webinar Mar 05, 2020

Using Green Bonds to Help Your Public Agency Further its Public Policy Goals

BB&K Free Webinar

Authored Articles & Publications Feb 12, 2020

PublicCEO: BB&K Municipal Law Team Discusses New Public Agency Laws - Part 1

Elections, Public Safety, Surplus Funds and More

Client Successes Feb 10, 2020

PACE Bond to Finance Temecula Hotel Construction

BB&K Served as Bond Counsel

Event Jan 28, 2020

2020 CSMFO Annual Conference

California Society of Municipal Finance Officers

Legal Alerts Jan 08, 2020

New Housing & Land Use, Local Government and Public Contracting Laws

Part 2: California Laws Impacting Public Agencies for 2020

Legal Alerts Jan 03, 2020

Only a Contracting Party May Sue Under Government Code Section 1092

Calif. Supreme Court: San Diegans for Open Government v. Public Facilities Financing Authority of the City of San Diego

Press Releases Jan 02, 2020

Eight BB&K Attorneys Promoted to Partner

Additional Changes at Firm Reflect Growth, Diversification

BB&K Event Oct 24, 2019

2019 California Rates 101 Workshop

Raftelis Workshop

Event Oct 09, 2019

67th Annual ACHD Meeting: Shaping Healthy Futures

Association of California Healthcare Districts

Event Jul 25, 2019

SGMA’s Next Phase

Sustainable Groundwater Planning in California

Legal Alerts Jul 09, 2019

Cities May Record Special Assessment Liens for Delinquent Fees

Calif. Appellate Court Holds These Liens Not Subject to Prop. 218

Press Releases Jul 08, 2019

BB&K Ranked No. 202 on NLJ Largest Law Firms

Growth Attributed to a Niche Public Law Focus and Great Results

Client Successes Jul 01, 2019

BB&K Contributes to Successful Rate Ordinance Defense

Partner Kelly Salt Represented Public Agencies as Amicus Curiae

Legal Alerts Jun 18, 2019

Resolution Adopting New Water Rates Not Subject to Referendum

Calif. Court of Appeal Holds that Referendum Power Not Applicable to Local Water Rate Resolutions

Press Releases May 28, 2019

BB&K Remains a Top 25 San Diego Law Firm

San Diego Business Journal’s 2019 Ranking

Event May 21, 2019

Special District Revenue Trials and Trends

California Special Districts Association

Press Releases May 20, 2019

BB&K Attorney Lutfi Kharuf a Top 40 Under 40 in San Diego

San Diego Daily Transcript Annual List of Rising Stars

Legal Alerts May 13, 2019

"Qualified Electors" Under Mello-Roos Community Facilities Act are Registered Voters, Not Landowners, Court Order Says

A California Superior Court Weighs-In on Who Can Vote in a CFD Election

Press Releases May 13, 2019

BB&K One of 200 Largest Law Firms in the U.S.

Law360 Annual Ranking Reflects Firm’s Continued Recent Growth

Press Releases Mar 21, 2019

BB&K Attorneys Serving on LCC City Attorneys Committees

Including Cannabis Regulation, Legal Advocacy and Municipal Finance

Press Releases Mar 18, 2019

Six BB&K Attorneys Named Top Lawyers in San Diego

Annual List Based on Martindale-Hubbell Ratings

BB&K In the News Feb 27, 2019

American Lawyer Discusses BB&K Growth Last Year

Firm Expands to Meet Client Demand

Legal Alerts Feb 19, 2019

Uniform Application of Parcel Tax Does Not Require Uniform Effect on Taxpayers

California Appellate Court Upholds Los Angeles County Parcel Tax

Legal Alerts Feb 06, 2019

New Disclosure Requirements for Municipal Debt Issuers

Take Effect this Month

Legal Alerts Jan 09, 2019

New Year, New Laws Impacting Public Agencies in California – Part I

2019 Brings Changes to Election, Revenue, Conflict of Interest, Property and Public Safety Laws… and More

Press Releases Dec 19, 2018

Cities’ Struggles to Meet Obligations Are Real — BB&K Municipal Law Team Grows to Help

New and Expanded Services and More Attorneys and Staff Added in 2018

Client Successes Dec 07, 2018

Water and Wastewater Bond Deal

BB&K Attorneys Served as Bond Counsel

Event Nov 27, 2018

ACWA 2018 Fall Conference & Exhibition

Association of California Water Agencies

Press Releases Oct 16, 2018

Best Best & Krieger Marks 25 Years in San Diego

Proud to Serve, and Grow With, Its Community

Legal Alerts Oct 04, 2018

Statutory Authority to Adopt Fees Negates Any Potential State Mandate Funding

California Appellate Court Finds There is No State Mandate When a Public Agency Has The Statutory Authority to Levy Fees

Legal Alerts Oct 02, 2018

AB 2035: New Tax Increment Financing for Shelters and Affordable Housing

California Lawmakers Continue to Address Housing Crisis

Event Sep 24, 2018

CSDA 2018 Annual Conference

California Special Districts Association

Event Sep 06, 2018

Land-Secured Financing: Legislative and Legal Updates

California Debt and Investment Advisory Commission

Legal Alerts Aug 27, 2018

Transfer of Electric Utility Revenues to City’s General Fund is not a Tax Under Proposition 26

Supreme Court Reverses Court of Appeal

Legal Alerts Jun 29, 2018

Ballot Initiative Withdrawn, Leaving Intact Local Authority to Impose Taxes, Fees and Charges

Last-Minute Deal to Withdraw Includes Moratorium on Certain New Taxes in California

Event Jun 11, 2018

California Water Law & Policy Conference

Argent Communications Group

BB&K In the News Jun 01, 2018

Brent Collinson Admitted to U.S. Supreme Court Bar

Attorney Recently Merged Firm with BB&K, Sierra Sun Reports

Event May 30, 2018

Proposition 26, Proposition 218 and Rate Setting (Orange County)

California Special Districts Association

Event May 23, 2018

Special Districts Revenue Legislation

CSDA Legislative Days

Legal Alerts May 17, 2018

City’s Electric Utility Fund Transfer to General Fund Upheld by Court

California Appellate Court Interprets Term “Increase” and Statute of Limitations

Event Mar 13, 2018

Proposition 26, Proposition 218 and Rate Setting (Isla Vista)

California Special Districts Association

Event Feb 20, 2018

California Society of Municipal Finance Officers

Annual Conference

Event Feb 05, 2018

Sustainable Groundwater Planning in California

Law Seminars International

Legal Alerts Jan 09, 2018

2018 California Public Agency Laws – Part I

Elections, Public Records Act, Revenue and Conflicts of Interest

Press Releases Jan 02, 2018

Five Attorneys Named to Partnership

BB&K Announces Promotions

Legal Alerts Dec 04, 2017

California Supreme Court Holds Groundwater Pumping Charges Are Not Property-Related Charges Subject to Proposition 218

Case May Impact Groundwater Pumping Charges Authorized Under SGMA

Event Nov 28, 2017

ACWA Legal Affairs Committee CLE Workshop

Association of California Water Agencies

Legal Alerts Nov 02, 2017

Tax Bill Impacts

Immediate, Critical Impacts on State and Local Governments

Nov 01, 2017

[WEBINAR] Tax Reform: What D.C.'s Actions Could Mean for Public Agencies

BB&K Webinar

BB&K Event Nov 01, 2017

Tax Reform: What D.C.'s Actions Could Mean for Public Agencies

BB&K Free Webinar

Authored Articles & Publications Nov 01, 2017

The Proposed Tax Plan: What Public Agencies Should Know

By John Freshman and Ana Schwab

Press Releases Oct 30, 2017

Nora O’Brien Honored by Women in Public Finance

BB&K Attorney Receives Rising Star Award

Event Oct 13, 2017

Cannabis Law Forum

2017 CMRTA Annual Conference

Event Sep 26, 2017

Growth: The Leadership Conference for Special Districts

2017 CSDA Annual Conference

Authored Articles & Publications Sep 20, 2017

The Little Hoover Commission Issues Report on Special Districts

By Whitney Blackhurst

Client Successes Aug 14, 2017

RCTC Secures TIFIA Funds for Important Highway Infrastructure Project

BB&K Advised on $152.2 Million TIFIA Loan

Legal Alerts Jul 05, 2017

Surcharge on Utility Users Imposed Under a Franchise Agreement is Not a Tax

California Supreme Court Holds Surcharge for Franchise Rights Not Subject to Voter Approval if Reasonably Related to Value of Franchise

Legal Alerts Jun 19, 2017

No Mandatory Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies for Proposition 218 Challenge

California Court of Appeal Allows Challenge to Prop. 218 Without Public Protest

Legal Alerts Jun 16, 2017

Non-Property Owners in Cities and Counties May Now Sue for Wasteful Government Spending

California Supreme Court Decision Widens Potential Claimant Pool

Legal Alerts Jun 14, 2017

New Filing Deadline for JPAs Approaches

JPAs Providing Municipal Services Must File with LAFCOs by July 1

Legal Alerts May 31, 2017

U.S. Supreme Court Declines to Review a Legal Challenge to Mello-Roos Special Taxes

Funding Mechanism for “Additional Services” for New Development Remains

Press Releases May 25, 2017

Partners Michelle Ouellette and Kelly Salt Named Top Women Lawyers

Daily Journal’s Annual List of California’s Best Female Attorneys

Legal Alerts Apr 10, 2017

School Districts not Exempt from Paying Assessments to Fund Flood Control Services

California Appellate Court Finds Constitutional Mandate Supersedes Statutory Exemption

Event Mar 15, 2017

Proposition 26, Proposition 218 and Rate Setting (Oakland)

California Special Districts Association

Legal Alerts Dec 14, 2016

Transient Occupancy (Hotel) Taxes May be Limited by Ruling

Online Booking Rates Addressed by California Supreme Court

Videos Nov 18, 2016

Kimberly A. Byrens Video Bio


Videos Nov 18, 2016

William J. Priest Video Bio

Of Counsel

BB&K In the News Nov 17, 2016

Drought Policies, Price of Water Lands in Court

Hillsborough, Represented by BB&K Attorney Kimberly Hood, Faces Suit from Residents

Authored Articles & Publications Nov 08, 2016

New Laws of 2017 Series Part I: Parcel Taxes and Property Related Fees

CSDA Series Kicks Off With Analysis by BB&K Attorney Lutfi Kharuf

Event Nov 02, 2016

Intro Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Finance Course

Council of Development Finance Agencies Training Institute

BB&K In the News Oct 26, 2016

In Yorba Linda, the Race for Water District Board is Getting Ugly

KPCC Interviews BB&K Partner Kelly Salt on Water Agency Issues

Legal Alerts Oct 24, 2016

Financing Increased Demand On Pre-Existing Services Constitutes “Additional Services”

California Court Decision Rules on Mello-Roos Community Facilities Act of 1982

Event Oct 10, 2016

California Special Districts Association

Annual Conference

Press Releases Oct 05, 2016

Two BB&K Partners Named Among 100 Influential Leaders in San Diego

Partners Warren B. Diven and Shawn D. Hagerty Recognized by The Daily Transcript

Legal Alerts Sep 22, 2016

New Legislation Impacts Special Parcel Taxes, Community Facilities Districts, and Notices for Property-Related Fees

Public Agencies Must Comply Beginning Jan. 1

Legal Alerts Sep 14, 2016

Legislation Establishes New Reporting Requirements for State and Local Debt Obligations

Annual Reports Filed with the California Debt and Investment Advisory Commission Must Include Additional Information

Legal Alerts Sep 12, 2016

Bill Addresses Excessive Water Use by Some California Urban Retail Water Purveyors

Tiered Water Rates and Surcharges Among Tools Agencies Can Use During Water Shortages

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