Bonds are the bedrock of public development finance. They have been used to help build roads, bridges, sewers, dams, and thousand of other public and private projects. Bonds are issued and sold to the investing public by governmental entities to finance both governmental activities and the development of physical infrastructure and local economies.
There are two types of bonds: Government Bonds (GOs) and Private Activity Bonds (PABs). GOs may be used for many public purposes (e.g., highways, schools, bridges, sewers, jails, parks, government equipment and buildings, etc.). Private entities may not significantly use, operate, control, or own the facilities that are being financed. GOs benefit the general public, while PABs benefit private entities. PABs are the development finance mechanisms that drive projects involving both the public and private sector.
The CDFA Bond Finance Resource Center contains development finance tools that can be used to better understand the essentials of bond finance. Over 50,000 individual governments and authorities around the country issue bonds and the Bond Finance Resource Center is a comprehensive clearinghouse of information, case studies, and educational materials on the uses and function of bonds.
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Bonds are the bedrock of public development finance and serve as the primary source for financing many types of projects, including infrastructure, industrial development, and urban development. This section contains resources on understanding the basics of bond financing.
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Bonds as a Bedrock of Development FinanceMembers only Login
Bond financing remains the bedrock development finance tool for economic development. Seth Crone with The Bank of New York Mellon and Lee McCormick with Community Development Associates discuss how this long-standing tool can be used today to provide a significant portion of a project’s capital stack with a special focus on bond financing programs in Texas. Presenters from bond agencies and capital market firms will walk through bond deals and explore strategies for maximizing the tool throughout the state.
Project Finance: Leveraging the Capital Stack
Financing economic development projects through bonds and a combination of other development finance tools is discussed by Jason Rittenberg in this cover story from Development Finance Perspectives, Issue 1 | 2012. The article features project photos submitted by CDFA members.
California Rural Infrastructure Finance Guidebook
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CALED knows from its work supporting economic development throughout California that infrastructure financing is a challenge for many rural communities. CALED collaborated with CDFA to develop this guidebook to meet the need for a resource to help build capacity in those areas, as well as move economic development projects forward.
Development Bond Finance Reference Guide
The Development Bond Finance Reference Guide provides practitioners with a solid foundation for understanding the use of tax-exempt bonds, with an emphasis on small issue industrial development bonds and 501(C)(3) bonds. With numerous examples of sample bond transactions and a glossary of municipal finance terms, this guide covers the essential elements of private activity bonds and the issuance process.
Advanced Bond Finance Reference Guide
The Advanced Bond Finance Reference Guide is written for professionals who already have an understanding of tax-exempt financing and seek detailed instruction on complex financing techniques, including the application of financial derivatives, advance refundings, how to spot arbitrage issues, and investing bond proceeds. Also included are seven case studies of proven state and city bond guaranty programs.
Practitioner's Guide to Economic Development Finance
The Practitioner's Guide to Economic Development Finance 2nd Edition is the only comprehensive resource dedicated to building and utilizing the development finance toolbox. The Practitioner's Guide provides the insight and practical information needed to critically understand how economic development is financed and the tools, strategies and techniques used to build strong communities. From bonds, tax increment finance and special districts to tax credits, seed & venture capital, revolving loan funds and much more, this Guide outlines the financing tools required for succeeding in today's competitive economic development climate.
Unlocking Capital: A Handbook for Becoming a High Performing Development Finance Agency
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Unlocking Capital: A Handbook for Becoming a High Performing Development Finance Agency (Handbook) serves as a companion to the Practitioner’s Guide to help illuminate the structures of development finance agencies (DFAs), essential conduits to access development finance tools. The Handbook provides an overview of DFAs and their myriad roles in various development efforts. Included in this discussion is a comprehensive look at over a dozen high-performing DFAs throughout the country. The Handbook is designed to be a starting point for local leaders to engage in the creation or acceleration of a DFA to build and utilize the development finance toolbox.
CDFA Virtual Summer School
August 3-13, 2020
Daily: 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM Eastern
CDFA Virtual Summer School is a two-week-long series of courses presented by the CDFA Training Institute. These courses qualify for the CDFA Training Institute's Development Finance Certified Professional (DFCP) Program. Participants may register for up to four courses during CDFA Virtual Summer School. Complete three courses, and you will have fulfilled half of the requirements for the DFCP Program.
Intro Bond Finance Course
August 5-6, 2020
Daily: 12:00 - 5:00 PM Eastern
The Intro Bond Finance Course addresses the basic requirements for issuing a bond, the rules and regulations that govern tax-exempt and taxable bonds, the major players involved in a bond transaction, and the roles and responsibilities of both public and private sector participants. Plus, learn about the tax-exempt bond market, the ratings process, how to buy and sell bonds, and ongoing continuing disclosure.
Advanced Bond Finance Course
August 12-13, 2020
Daily: 12:00 - 5:00 PM Eastern
The Advanced Bond Finance Course is designed for professionals who already have an understanding of tax-exempt financing and seek detailed instruction on complex financing techniques, including the application of financial derivatives, advance refundings, investing bond proceeds and how to spot arbitrage issues.
Intro Infrastructure Finance WebCourse
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September 23-24, 2020
Daily: 12:00 - 5:00 PM Eastern
The Intro Infrastructure Finance WebCourse will help communities understand the fundamental concepts behind infrastructure projects with a focus on raising capital to achieve local and regional needs.
COVID-19 Weekly Briefing - State of the Bond Issuers
During the May 15, 2020 Weekly COVID-19 Development Finance Briefing, three top bond issuers discussed how issuers are faring during the COVID-19 crisis, the state of issuers' portfolios, issuers' concern about default risk, and how issuing authorities are managing long-term economic concerns related to state and local government budgets as well as their own budgets.
COVID-19 Weekly Briefing - Latest Movements in the Capital Markets
During the April 17, 2020 Weekly COVID-19 Development Finance Briefing, panelists discussed the latest movements in the capital markets. Speakers included Mike Decker with the Bond Dealers of America, Eric Kazatsky with Bloomberg Intelligence, Tom Jacobs of Moody's, and Ken Neighbors from McGuireWoods.
COVID-19 Weekly Briefing - Strategies for Catalyzing Investment in Communities
During the April 10, 2020 Weekly COVID-19 Development Finance Briefing, Bruce Katz from Drexel University, Rachel Reilly from the Economic Innovation Group, and Katie Kramer from CDFA examined relief efforts run by local governments, philanthropic organizations, chambers, and other local entities to support main street.
CDFA Legislative Briefing - April 2020 (Free Recording)
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During this Legislative Briefing, we discussed the latest information about the next stimulus act (Phase 4) from Congress and the urgent actions development finance agencies should take. We examined legislative reactions to the CARES Act, what we expect in Stimulus 4 provisions, legislative actions on tax-exempt bonds and small business access to capital, and more.