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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 SSBCI Letter to U.S. Treasury

CDFA Sends Letter to Treasury Secretary Yellen Regarding SSBCI Calls for Immediate Deployment of Funds

The SSBCI program was reauthorized and enhanced 13 months ago through the American Rescue Plan Act to provide near- and long-term support to small businesses. To date, Treasury has not allocated a single dollar to Eligible Governments or TA providers to fund small business financing and TA programs.

All eligible states, U.S. Territories, and the District of Columbia met the February 2022 deadline for submitting Capital Program applications. Nearly 60 days later, Treasury has yet to approve a single application, and in many cases, has yet to provide feedback to applicants. The application period for Tribal Governments remains open through June 2022, and if Treasury continues at the same pace, most will not likely receive SSBCI allocations this year.

The application process for all Eligible Governments has been made more difficult due to incomplete program guidance issued by Treasury. In November 2021, guidance pertaining to Capital Programs was issued. However, Eligible Governments have not received full guidance on reporting requirements, and guidance on the program’s TA component has not been released.

As a result, Eligible Governments are currently not authorized to deploy SSBCI capital that has already been allocated on a formula basis. Eligible Governments have been required to put all necessary programming, partnerships, and private financing in place in order to prepare for expected SSBCI funds. However, nearly $10 billion in appropriated capital for the program remains unobligated.

To preserve the reputation of the SSBCI program and more than a year’s worth of work from Eligible Governments, CDFA and the SSBCI Coalition strongly urge Treasury to do the following:
  • Immediately provide all Eligible Governments a status update on their application as well as pertinent feedback regarding the SSBCI strategies proposed.

  • Deploy the first tranche of capital to all Eligible Governments that have submitted an SSBCI application to-date.

  • Immediately issue full guidance pertaining to reporting requirements and TA, as well as make reasonable adjustments to the Interim Final Rule on Demographic-Related Reporting Requirements based on stakeholder feedback.

  • Make available the TA application by the first week of May 2022 to allow for an adequate stakeholder response by the June 30, 2022 application deadline.

  • Execute allocation agreements with Tribal Governments within 30 days of receiving complete Capital Program applications.

Read Letter

Add Your Signature to the Letter

Community Development Finance Tools and Pillar II

CDFA Coalition Sends Letter to Treasury Secretary Yellen Regarding OECD Pillar II Model Rules
Warns of Disastrous Effects on Several Community Development Finance Tools

CDFA and a coalition of 30 trade associations representing thousands of state and local governments, non-profit organizations, and businesses engaged in community development finance delivered an urgent letter to Treasury Secretary Yellen to warn of the impact that the new OECD Pillar II Model Rules could have on vulnerable and distressed communities and populations. The letter calls on Treasury to work with the OECD to ensure that longstanding, bipartisan and successful tax policies for spurring community development in the United States are protected for the long-term in its implementation of the new global minimum tax rules.

A longstanding tenet of federal tax policy is to use tools such as the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC), the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC), the Historic Tax Credit (HTC), and tax-exempt bonds to provide affordable homes to people in need, critical investments in our nation’s infrastructure, and jobs to support economically thriving communities. These tools have broad bi-partisan support and Administrations from both political parties, including the Biden Administration, have recognized their importance through a variety of different legislative actions and federal programs.

The OECD Pillar II Model Rules could have disastrous effects on these catalytic financing tools beginning immediately, as major investors in these projects could be forced to significantly alter their investments past, present, and future regardless of the Pillar II implementation timeline. At a time when costs are rising and low-income families and communities are being hit the hardest, the nation cannot afford to lose these critical investment tools.

Read Letter

Global Tax Deal Could Have ‘Disastrous Effects,’ Community Development Groups Say
Global Tax Rate May Hurt Muni Demand, Biden Floats Vague Fix
Learn More About Pillar II

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

-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.

-Federal News

-Legislative News

-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.

CDFA National Sponsors

  • BNY Mellon
  • Bricker & Eckler LLP
  • Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
  • Business Oregon
  • Cirrus Secure
  • CohnReznick
  • Frost Brown Todd LLC
  • Hawkins Delafield & Wood LLP
  • Ice Miller LLP
  • KeyBanc Capital Markets
  • Kutak Rock LLP
  • McGuireWoods
  • MuniCap, Inc.
  • NW Financial Group, LLC
  • PGAV Planners, LLC
  • Raza Development Fund
  • SB Friedman Development Advisors
  • Stern Brothers
  • Stifel Nicolaus
  • U.S. Bank
  • Wells Fargo Securities
  • Z. The Bond Buyer
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