Municipal Law and Finance

Municipal Law and Finance

With a proven record of success and a reputation for reliability, municipalities throughout Maine and New Hampshire turn to Preti Flaherty's Municipal Law and Finance Group to guide them through the legal concerns of municipal governance, providing trusted counsel in times of crisis.

Our attorneys provide a full suite of municipal legal services and insight on a broad spectrum of municipal issues, including:

  • Town Meetings and Elections
  • Municipal Charters, Ordinances, and Contracts
  • Appropriations, Municipal Bond Authorizations, and Budgetary Matters
  • Planning, Zoning, and Land Use
  • Publicly Financed Construction Projects and Eminent Domain
  • Code and Ordinance Enforcement
  • Regulatory Issues
  • Taxation of Real Estate
  • Labor Relations, Arbitrations, and Employment Law Issues
  • Educational Planning and Finance for Municipal and Regional School Units
  • Government Relations and Advocacy Before the Legislature
  • Freedom of Access Act (FOAA), Right-To-Know Law issues
  • Tort Claims Act Cases
  • Litigation

The Municipal Law and Finance Group is led by Stephen E. F. Langsdorf and Kristin M. Collins in Maine, and Mark H. Puffer in New Hampshire, and complemented by several preeminent municipal attorneys in both Maine and New Hampshire. Actively engaged in the municipal law community, we are regularly called upon to provide educational trainings and workshops to municipal leadership, department supervisors, and staff on a wide range of employment compliance, data security, and technology issues that impact municipalities. Members of our team frequently liaison with the media and assist with communications, providing necessary legal context in the midst of breaking municipal developments.

A Comprehensive Approach to Municipal Counsel

Our team understands that municipal law is not one-size-fits-all. Successfully serving public clients requires a comprehensive, versatile approach that acknowledges what makes each municipality unique. We currently serve as counsel to over 23 municipalities in Maine and New Hampshire, all with varying population size, geography, governance structure, potential legal obstacles, and development opportunities. All have access to a legal team on stand-by and ready to help successfully maneuver any challenge.

Our attorneys also focus on representing cities and towns on financing important municipal projects, providing strategic counsel to municipal leadership through every stage of each transaction. When tax increment projects involve the issuance of bonds, we serve as municipal bond counsel, assisting with bond transactions, and preparing and reviewing authorizing statutes, bond resolutions and indentures, official statements and disclosure, bond purchase contracts, SEC rule 15c2-12 continuing disclosure agreements, and other documents required for bond issues. Our finance attorneys routinely advise municipalities on all types of tax-driven real estate investments, including historic rehabilitation tax credit transactions, tax increment financing (TIF), tax-exempt lease transactions, Capital Fund Financing Program (HUD), real estate tax abatements, tax-exempt bond financing, letters of credit, liquidity facilities, and interest rate swaps.

We work closely with the firm's Municipal BroadbandLand Use and Permitting, Real Estate, Environmental, Legislative, Construction Law, Litigation, Employment Law, and Public Finance groups to provide a comprehensive approach to complex municipal issues when necessary.

Planning Today for Security Tomorrow

Our goal is to provide day-to-day counsel that our clients trust. We build relationships that will endure so that the people and institutions we serve can feel confident in the face of whatever challenges arise in the future.

Firm Highlights


Maine Law Amended to Require More Details When Public Employees Disciplined

Governor Mills recently signed a bill amending the public disclosure requirements for public employees who have been disciplined. Although widely reported as applying to police misconduct, the law applies to all government employees. The...


Maine Legislature (Again) Changes Process for Selling Tax-Acquired Properties (LD 2262)

On April 16, 2024, the Governor signed LD 2262, “An Act to Amend the Process for the Sale of Foreclosed Properties Due to Nonpayment of Taxes.”  In June 2023, in response to the United...


Maine Municipal Legislative Update

The second regular session of the 131st Maine Legislature has been particularly impactful for Maine’s municipalities, with further shrinking of home rule authority, new and onerous procedures for property tax sales, and many other...


Municipal Update: Maine Legislature Acts to Clarify Sales of Tax-Acquired Properties

Early this week, in response to the  United States Supreme Court’s recent decision in  Tyler v. Hennepin County, Minnesota  (598 U.S. (2023)) , the Maine Legislature passed emergency legislation establishing a new process for...


Supreme Court Rules Certain Impact Fees Unconstitutional

A recent Supreme Court ruling in  Sheetz v. County of El Dorado  makes it clear that impact fees adopted by a legislative body may work as an unconstitutional taking of property. The Issue: This...


Municipal Update: Effect of Recent Supreme Court Decision on Sale of Tax Foreclosed Properties

Yesterday, the United States Supreme Court issued its opinion in  Tyler v. Hennepin County, Minnesota  (598 U.S. _____ (2023)). The Supreme Court held that Hennepin County had violated the Fifth Amendment’s takings clause by...