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Advocacy Center

CDFA is the voice of development finance on Capitol Hill and with the federal Administration by providing leadership on policy decisions that impact the industry. CDFA is a bipartisan organization that supports sound public policy and the leadership involved in making important decisions affecting development finance.

Each year CDFA produces a Policy Agenda and works with legislators and federal officials to advance these initiatives. Additionally, CDFA holds briefings, trainings, and advises legislative and federal stakeholders on numerous topics.

Want regular updates on legislative and federal affairs? CDFA publishes the highly popular Legislative & Federal Affairs Update each month. This free newsletter features development finance news, resources, case studies, and the latest from Capitol Hill and the federal government.

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-Latest Developments

CDFA Sends Letter to Congress

Bond Financing for Infrastructure
CDFA Sends Letter to Congress Asking for Bond Finance Provisions in Infrastructure Bill
Sign CDFA's Letter to Congress and Show Your Support for Tax-Exempt Bonds

On June 24, 2021, CDFA and its coalition of partners sent a letter to Congress asking for several key tax-exempt bond finance provisions to be included in the infrastructure bill. If you haven't already, you still can sign our coalition letter and show your organization's support for including key tax-exempt bond provisions in the infrastructure bill.

Sign the Letter
View CDFA's Letter to Congress

Our coalition letter asked Congress to include the following measures in the infrastructure bill:
  • Include a Bond Finance Title in the Infrastructure Bill
    It is imperative that bonds be a primary financing mechanism for major infrastructure projects, as the comparatively low-cost capital offered by tax-exempt bonds cannot be replicated by other means of financing. Tax-exempt bonds are the foundation of public finance and must play a major role in financing the modernization and expansion of America’s infrastructure.

  • Modifications to Small Issue Manufacturing Bonds & Agricultural Bonds
    The six reforms contained in MAMBA will update the regulations for IDBs and Aggie Bonds to align with the needs of modern small manufacturers and agricultural producers. MAMBA will expand the capacity and usability of IDBs and Aggie bonds to help create American manufacturing and agricultural jobs immediately, both of which will contribute to the expansion of infrastructure.

  • Create a New Bond Category for Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
    The creation of a new exempt facility bond category for electric vehicle (EV) charging stations would accelerate the nationwide rollout and expansion of this green infrastructure, resulting in job creation while furthering the Biden Administration’s carbon emission reduction targets.

  • Reinstate Advance Refunding Bonds
    Reinstating tax-exempt advance refunding bonds would allow state and local governments to refinance or consolidate existing bond obligations, which will increase their debt capacity and make more capital available for infrastructure projects.
Including these necessary tax-exempt bond provisions in the infrastructure bill will expand development agencies’ access to low-cost financing for infrastructure projects, which will also lead to a faster economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic by creating jobs. CDFA originally made these recommendations in our Policy Priorities for the Biden-Harris Administration.

If you have any questions, please contact CDFA.

Development Finance Solutions

for Building Back Better
Development Finance Solutions for Building Back Better
Policy Priorities for the Biden-Harris Administration

Access to affordable, flexible, and efficient public and private capital remains the primary barrier to economic development in the United States. Over the past four decades, federal support for capital formation and capital access has shifted from a heavily subsidized system to one focused on leverage, credit enhancement, and the removal of financing barriers. Despite this migration to a risk-reduced approach, access to capital for numerous sectors – small business, entrepreneurs, manufacturing, clean energy, agriculture, rural infrastructure, urban revitalization – remains a significant challenge.

The ideas offered in this paper provide a roadmap for the Biden-Harris Administration to use development finance solutions for building back better. These recommendations have been carefully crafted to address the multiple, interconnected challenges facing the U.S. economy. They focus on four key policy considerations:
  • Restore Local Economies
  • Preserve Small Businesses
  • Invest in Our Communities
  • Protect Our Environment
CDFA is prepared to assist the Biden-Harris Administration with developing the recommendations and opportunities outlined in this paper. We believe enacting these development finance solutions will immediately unlock capital to fuel investment, create jobs, build infrastructure, and increase the quality of life for every American.

Development Finance Solutions for Building Back Better

View Press Release

MAMBA Introduced in House

Details of H.R. 2737
Reps. Murphy (D-FL) and LaHood (R-IL) Introduce Bipartisan H.R. 2737
Modernizing Agricultural and Manufacturing Bonds Act in U.S. House of Representatives

The Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA) is pleased to announce that Reps. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL) and Darin LaHood (R-IL) have introduced the Modernizing Agricultural and Manufacturing Bonds Act (MAMBA) in the U.S. House of Representatives as H.R. 2737. CDFA has worked closely with the offices of Representatives Murphy and LaHood over the past several years to secure the introduction and eventual passage of MAMBA in the U.S. House of Representatives.

MAMBA would modernize the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) as it relates to small issue bonds, specifically the private activity bond rules for first-time farmers and manufacturing bonds. MAMBA will reform small issue bonds by making six key changes to the tax code. Those changes include:
  • Expand the definition of “manufacturing facility”
  • Eliminate restrictions on “directly related and ancillary facilities”
  • Increase the maximum IDB size limitation from $10 million to $30 million
  • Increase the limitation on small issue bond proceeds for first-time farmers
  • Repeal the separate dollar limitation on the use of bond proceeds for depreciable property
  • Modify the definition of “substantial farmland”
Visit the CDFA MAMBA Page

-CDFA Policy Agenda

Restore Local Economies

Restore Local Economies

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed social and racial inequities and increasing income inequality in communities across the nation. In order to restore local economies, bedrock financing tools must be expanded and reformed to meet the needs of local governments to serve all residents and fuel local economic recovery. CDFA recommends:
  • Reforming Manufacturing and Agricultural Bonds - Passing the Modernizing Agricultural and Manufacturing Bonds Act will update the tax code's private activity bond rules for Industrial Development Bonds and Agricultural Bonds.

  • Creating Permanent Disaster Recovery Bonds - Create a permanent bond financing tool that can be accessed immediately after disaster strikes, and that can leverage private investment for longer-term redevelopment of essential infrastructure.

  • Reinstating Advance Refundings - Tax-exempt advance refunding bonds were used by local governments to refinance existing debt at lower interest rates - until they were removed by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. State and local governments need a low-cost option for refinancing their debt.

Preserve Small Businesses

Preserve Small Businesses

Small businesses have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly those that are owned by persons of color or those that are located in low-income neighborhoods. If enacted, several policies would assist in the preservation of small businesses through locally-driven financing initiatives. CDFA recommends:
  • Reauthorize the State Small Business Credit Initiative - Reauthorizing the SSBCI program is a practical, pragmatic, and proven solution for helping America’s small businesses access low-cost capital.

  • Create Local Economy Preservation Funds (LEPFs) - LEPFs would allow states, cities or regions to establish holding trusts to acquire struggling, but viable, businesses that face closure, contraction or external acquisition during the crisis.

  • Strengthen the SBA Microloan Program - Reform the SBA Microloan Program to meet the urgent lending needs of small businesses while addressing the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on minority-owned businesses.

  • Enact the RELIEF Act for Main Street - A Main Street Lending Program would provide funds to cities, counties, and states to seed and scale local small business relief funds that are flexible and can be tailored to meet local needs.

  • Enact the Farming Support to States Act - Provide funding to state departments of agriculture to support food and agriculture systems, enabling states to tailor their responses to meet the needs of their unique food systems.

Invest in Our Communities

Invest in Our Communities

Strong communities require investments in disadvantaged areas and sustainable infrastructure projects. Partnerships between the federal, state, and local governments must also exist. There are numerous policies that, if enacted, would ensure steady investment in communities that need it the most. CDFA recommends:
  • Reform Opportunity Zones - Conduct a thoughtful evaluation of how Opportunity Zones can be reformed to fulfill their promise of attracting long-term, patient capital to the places that need it most.

  • Permanently Authorize the New Markets Tax Credit - The New Markets Tax Credit program should be made permanent, as it is a vital tool to drive investment into communities struggling with unemployment, high poverty, and overall disinvestment.

  • Create Qualified Infrastructure Bonds - Qualified Infrastructure Bonds would allow municipalities to issue taxable bonds and receive a direct subsidy from the federal government equal to a percentage of the bond’s interest.

  • Create an Infrastructure Pre-Development Fund - A federal Infrastructure Pre-Development Fund would address long-term financing gaps while catalyzing public-private partnerships to support resilient, community-led infrastructure projects.

  • Create a Federal TIF Bond Guarantee Program - To overcome the challenge of issuing Tax Increment Finance (TIF) bonds, we advocate the creation of a federal bond credit enhancement program for bonds secured with revenue generated by a qualified TIF district.

  • Permanently Authorize the EB-5 Program - Permanently authorize the EB-5 Program to continue its success as a catalyst for direct foreign investment in American job-generating projects.

Protect Our Environment

Protect Our Environment

Climate change is rapidly accelerating and the wide-reaching impacts are being felt by all Americans. Several financing reforms must be immediately enacted in order to protect our environment and leave our planet in a better state for the future. CDFA recommends:
  • Enact the Investing in Competitive Clean Energy Act - The Investing in Competitive Clean Energy (ICCE) Act would be an efficient means of attracting significant private investment to clean energy.

  • Create a Bond Category for Electric Vehicle Charging Stations - The creation of a new Exempt Facility Bond category for vehicle recharging stations would complement existing federal programs by making bonds available for the rapid expansion of this type of clean energy infrastructure.

  • Make the Investment and Production Tax Credits Permanent - The Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) and Renewable Electricity Production Tax Credit (PTC) should be made permanent to ensure continued investment in clean, renewable energy technologies.

  • Remove Volume Cap from Water and Sewer Bonds - Water and sewer private activity bonds should be removed from state volume cap requirements to allow for more water and sewer infrastructure projects to be financed by bonds than is currently possible.

-Legislation Tracker

CDFA tracks economic development legislation in Congress. Below you can see legislation relevant to development finance in the current Congress. Click on a legislative item to see a brief summary and learn more about it.

-H.R. 2737 - The Modernizing Agricultural and Manufacturing Bonds Act (MAMBA)



Learn more about MAMBA
    MAMBA modifies Small Issue Industrial Development Bonds and Agricultural Bonds by:
  • Expanding the definition of “manufacturing facility”
  • Eliminating restrictions on “directly related & ancillary facilities”
  • Increasing the maximum IDB size limitation to $30 million
  • Increasing the limitation on small issue bond proceeds for first-time farmers
  • Repealing the separate dollar limitation on the use of small issue bond proceeds for depreciable property
  • Modifying the definition of “substantial farmland”

-H.R. 1319 - The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021



View a Section-by-Section Summary
View the Final Text
View H.R. 1319 on Congress.gov
The American Rescue Plan is the Biden Administration's $1.9 trillion COVID relief package. It includes a wide range of provisions related to economic development, including:
  • Reauthorization of SSBCI with $10 billion
  • $219 billion for States, territories, and Tribal Governments
  • $130 billion to Local Governments
  • Modifications to the PPP and EIDL programs
  • $7.25 billion in additional PPP funding
  • $15 billion in additional EIDL funding
  • Creates a $25 billion Restaurant Revitalizataion Fund at SBA
  • Appropriates $3.6 billion to the USDA to support the food supply chain
  • Appropriates $50 billion to FEMA
  • Appropriates $3 billion to the EDA
  • Provides $30 billion in Federal Transit Administration grants
  • Provides $8 billion in relief for Airports
  • $5 billion for homelessness assistance and supportive services
  • $100 million for Emergency Assistance for Rural Housing
  • $750 million for Housing Assistance for Native Americans

-S. 258 - Small Business Access to Capital Act



View S. 258 on Congress.gov
Learn More about SSBCI
The Small Business Access to Capital Act – which Peters and Stabenow previously introduced in 2020 – builds on the initial program's success by providing $10 billion of new funding split into two categories: $5 billion in formula funds to all states and an additional $5 billion pool of competitive funding.

-S. 831: EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2021



View S. 831 on Congress.gov
Full Text of S. 831
Section-by-Section Summary
Sign on to the Coalition to Save & Create Jobs (CSCJ) to support the future of EB-5. CSCJ is working with Congress to reauthorize EB-5 before the June 30, 2021 sunset date and to save the tens of thousands of American jobs and billions of dollars in economic development funds that would be lost if the Program sunsets. Join the Coalition today or contact info@saveandcreatejobs.org for more information.
  • Reauthorizes the EB-5 Program through 2026
  • Requires Regional Centers to provide annual statements to DHS and to their investors accounting for investor capital and certifying compliance with program requirements
  • Requires Regional Centers to utilize a fund administrator or commission an independent annual audit to prevent the misuse of investor funds
  • Provides additional protections for investors who were defrauded
  • Seeks to address processing times by commissioning a fee study within a year of passage

-H.R. 1321 and S. 456 - New Markets Tax Credit Extension Act of 2021



View H.R. 1321 on Congress.gov
View S. 456 on Congress.gov
View the Full Text
  • Permanently extends the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC)
  • Authorizes the NMTC at $5 billion in annual credit authority
  • Adjusts the amount for inflation in future years
  • Exempts NMTC investments from the Alternative Minimum Tax

-S. 1136 and H.R. 2573 - Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2021



View H.R. 2573 on Congress.gov
View S. 1136 on Congress.gov
View the Full Text
Learn More
  • lower the financed-by threshold for private activity bonds (50% test) from 50% to 25% starting in 2022;
  • increase 9% LIHTC authority by 25% in 2021 and 2022;
  • extend the discretionary 30% basis boost for 9% LIHTC properties to PAB-financed properties
  • provide a 30% basis boost for properties in rural and Native American areas;

-H.R. 848 - GREEN Act



Section-by-Section Summary
Full Text
  • Extends the 30% ITC for solar and geothermal through the end of 2025, before beginning a phasedown
  • The Section 179D energy-efficient commercial buildings deduction would increase from $1.80 to $3 per square foot starting in 2022
  • Section 45L new energy-efficient home credit would be extended through 2026
  • Extends the PTC for wind energy at the current level of 60% through the end of 2026
  • Extends PTC for landfill gas, trash, qualified hydropower, and marine and hydrokinetic renewable energy facilities

-S. 203 - Healthy Food Access for All Americans Act



Section-by-Section Summary
Full Text
  • Create a 15% tax credit for new grocery store construction in a food desert
  • Create a 10% tax credit for companies that retrofit an existing store’s healthy food section in a food desert
  • Create a grant for 15% of construction costs for certified food banks that build new permanent structures in food deserts
  • Create a grant for 10% of annual operating costs for nonprofit certified temporary access markets, such as farmers markets, mobile markets and some food banks, that operate in a food desert.

-H.R. 970 - Opportunity Zone Extension Act of 2021



View H.R. 970 on Congress.gov
  • extends the Opportunity Zones elective period until December 31, 2028;
  • extends the Opportunity Zones deferral period until December 31, 2028;

-S. 98 - Neighborhood Homes Investment Act



View S. 98 on Congress.gov
View the Full Text
  • creates a federal tax credit that covers the cost between building or renovating a home in these areas and the price at which they can be sold;
  • requires that homes constructed or revitalized under the program must be sold to homeowners making less than 140 percent of the area median income;
  • The maximum credit amount is the lesser of 35% of total development costs (property acquisition plus construction and/or rehabilitation cost) or 80% of the national median home sale price;
  • credits are awarded to project sponsors—developers, lenders, or local governments—through a competitive statewide application process administered by each state’s housing finance agency;
  • State agencies would have annual allocation of either $6 per capita or $8 million, whichever is higher.

-H.R. 1799 - Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Extension Act



Full Text
  • Extends the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) by two months, through May 31, 2021
  • Small businesses will have two additional months to submit an application for a PPP loan
  • The SBA will have until June 30, 2021 to close any pending applications

-S.479 - LOCAL Infrastructure Act



View S. 479 on Congress.gov
Learn More at GFOA
  • Reinstates Advance Refunding Bonds

-S. 1403 - Move America Act



Section-by-Section Summary
Full Text
View on Congress.gov
  • Move America Bonds – Allows states to issue tax-exempt bonds in partnership with private entities, lowering their overall borrowing cost
    • States wishing to expand a variety of infrastructure projects would be provided with the option to use Move America Bonds
    • Each state would receive a bond allocation, based on population size
  • Move America Credits – Allows smaller states hesitant to issue more debt, or who are looking to leverage more private equity, the ability to trade in some or all of their bond allocation for federal tax credits at a 25 percent rate
    • Credits are available for direct investment in a project, reducing capital costs and expanding the potential investment pool
    • States can elect to use the credits to capitalize state infrastructure banks or other infrastructure revolving funds, allowing greater usage of the credit on non-revenue projects
    • Move America Credits can be used in conjunction with Move America Bonds or other federal grant or credit assistance programs, like TIFIA

-H.R. 3633 - Greener Transportation for Communities Act



Learn More
View on Congress.gov
  • Allows electric charging and hydrogen refueling infrastructure to qualify for exemptions within the federal tax code, which allows state and local governments to use tax-exempt bonds to finance certain private projects.
  • Allow this infrastructure to qualify as tax exempt if it is installed as part of larger projects built with private activity bonds as part of major infrastructure projects like airports, affordable housing, docks, green buildings and other infrastructure.

-H.R.1396 - Public Buildings Renewal Act of 2021



View on Congress.gov
View the Full Text
  • Allows tax-exempt financing of certain government-owned buildings by expanding the definition of exempt facility bond to include bonds used for qualified government buildings.
  • A qualified government building is a government-owned building or facility that consists of one or more of the following:
    • an elementary or secondary school;
    • facilities of a state college or university used for educational purposes;
    • a public library;
    • a court;
    • hospital, health care, laboratory, or research facilities;
    • public safety facilities; or
    • offices for government employees.
  • Excludes buildings or facilities that include specified recreational equipment or are used for the primary purpose of providing retail food and beverage services, recreation, or entertainment.
  • Establishes a $5 billion limit on the amount of tax-exempt financing which may be provided for government buildings
  • Establishes procedures for allocating and applying for the financing of a building, including a certification that the project owner will use reasonable efforts to ensure against job losses
  • Allows an exemption from the volume cap for private activity bonds used to finance government buildings.

-H.R.806 - Clean Energy and Sustainability Accelerator Act



Learn More
Full Text
  • Establish an independent non-profit capitalized with $50 billion initially, and then with an additional $10 billion every year for five years.
  • Provide financing to eligible regional, state and local green banks, make investments directly into projects that reduce carbon emissions, support workers and communities negatively impacted by the climate transition, and provide technical assistance for the start up of new green banks around the United States.
  • Require that 40 percent of all investments be directed into disadvantaged communities facing climate impacts.

-S.1308 - American Infrastructure Bonds Act of 2021



View S. 1308 on Congress.gov
One-Page Summary
Full Text
  • AIBs would allow state and local governments to issue taxable bonds for any public purpose expenditure that is eligible to be financed with tax-exempt bonds.
  • AIBs would be modeled as a “direct-pay” taxable bond. The Treasury Department would make direct payments to the issuer of the bonds at a rate of 28 percent.
  • Improving upon BABs, AIBs would be available to all state and local governments to use as they determine what is best for them.
  • Unlike BABs, AIBs would be exempt from sequestration and the bonds would be available for additional uses in addition to capital improvements.
  • AIBs could be used for any expenditure that is eligible to be financed with tax-exempt bonds

-S.1931 - Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act of 2021



Section-by-Section Summary
View on Congress.gov
Analysis from NACo
  • The bill authorizes $303.5 billion over five years to upgrade highways, roads, and bridges with a new focus on addressing climate change, improving safety, and lifting up all Americans
  • Authorizes $18 billion in climate programs, including $6.4 billion for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and $8.7 billion to increase resilience to climate change and extreme weather
  • Includes $2.5 billion to create alternative fuel corridors along the National Highway System and build out electric vehicle charging infrastructure in communities across the country
  • Establishes a $500 million pilot program to help reconnect and revitalize areas divided by highway construction that pose barriers to economic development and opportunity.

-Legislative News

-Federal News


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