Local Government Law

Sniffen & Spellman, P.A., represents local government entities, including counties, cities and special districts, in the area of local government law.  One of our attorneys is Board Certified by the Florida Bar as a specialist in City, County and Local Government Law, and one of the Firm’s partners was an Assistant City Attorney for the City of Tallahassee for five years.  The managing partner of the Firm is also Board Certified by the Florida Bar as a specialist in Labor and Employment Law, and is a Past Chairman of the Florida Commission on Ethics.

We provide general counsel services to a number of special districts in Florida and the Leon County Property Appraiser’s Office.  Our attorneys have extensive transactional and litigation experience in representing counties and cities in varies substantive areas, including public records, the sunshine law, state ethics law, procurement, labor and employment law, civil rights, property appraisal issues, ad valorem and other state taxation, contract drafting and negotiations, legislative and government affairs, grant and loan funding, and financing matters.

Water and Wastewater

Sniffen & Spellman, P.A., serves as general counsel to local government entities providing water and wastewater services to customers in various jurisdictions and locales in Florida.  This representation includes regulatory matters, compliance with public entity laws such as public records and meetings and ethics, contracts, legislative and government affairs, grant and loan funding, ratemaking, rulemaking, and real property.  The attorneys in the Firm also have experience related to contract drafting and negotiations involving public and private utility acquisitions and services.

Special Districts

Our attorneys have helped to establish various local government entities created by statute, including community development districts (Chapter 190) and authorities created pursuant to the Florida Interlocal Cooperation Act of 1969 (Chapter 163). These public entities are local units of special-purpose government that are limited to the performance of specialized functions authorized by statute and applicable interlocal agreements.  These government entities may perform a specific service or provide infrastructure to develop and support communities of all types and in various locales.  Different financing mechanisms, such as taxable and tax-exempt bonds, loans and public-private partnerships, may be used to fund infrastructure needs.  Such entities typically generate revenue by levying taxes and assessments or setting rates to repay debt and maintain and operate infrastructure improvements.  We also provide general counsel services for these clients in a variety of areas, including public records and meetings, ethics, public finance, grant and loan funding, rulemaking, assessments, ratemaking, contracts, real property dedications, conveyances and regulatory compliance.

Property Taxation

The Firm serves as General Counsel to the Leon County Property Appraiser’s Office. In that capacity, the Firm provides advice and guidance to the LCPA with regard to property appraisal issues, ad valorem taxation, its preparation of the tax roll, and its administration of all exemptions in accordance with Florida Statutes and the Rules and Regulations of the Florida Department of Revenue. The Firm also represents the LCPA in Value Adjustment Board proceedings and in litigation, and provides transactional advice and assistance to the LCPA with respect to its day-to-day operations.