Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 33.2. Highways and Other Surface Transportation Systems
Chapter 15. Transportation Funding

Article 1. Virginia Transportation Infrastructure Bank.

§ 33.2-1500. Legislative findings and purposes.

The General Assembly finds that there exists in the Commonwealth a critical need for additional sources of funding to finance the present and future needs of the Commonwealth for the design and construction of highways, including toll facilities; mass transit; freight, passenger and commuter rail, including rolling stock; and port, airport, and other transportation facilities. This need can be alleviated in part through the creation of a transportation infrastructure bank. The purpose of such bank is to encourage the investment of both public and private funds and to make loans and other financial assistance available to localities, private entities, and other eligible borrowers to finance eligible transportation projects. The General Assembly determines that the creation of a transportation infrastructure bank for this purpose is in the public interest, serves a public purpose, and will promote the health, safety, welfare, convenience, or prosperity of the people of the Commonwealth.

2011, cc. 830, 868, § 33.1-23.6; 2014, c. 805.

§ 33.2-1501. Definitions.

As used in this article, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Bank" means the Virginia Transportation Infrastructure Bank created in § 33.2-1502.

"Cost," as applied to any project financed under the provisions of this article, means the total of all costs, including the costs of planning, design, right-of-way acquisition, engineering, and construction, incurred by an eligible borrower or other project sponsor as reasonable and necessary for carrying out all works and undertakings necessary or incident to the accomplishment of any project. "Cost" also includes capitalized interest; reasonably required reserve funds; and financing, credit enhancement, and issuance costs.

"Credit enhancements" means surety bonds, insurance policies, letters of credit, guarantees, and other forms of collateral or security.

"Creditworthiness" means attributes such as revenue stability, debt service coverage, reserves, and other factors commonly considered in assessing the strength of the security for indebtedness.

"Eligible borrower" means any (i) private entity; (ii) governmental entity; (iii) instrumentality, corporation, or entity established by any of the foregoing pursuant to § 33.2-1505; or (iv) combination of two or more of the foregoing.

"Finance" and any variation of the term, when used in connection with a cost or a project, includes both the initial financing and any refinancing of the cost or project and any variation of such terms. "Finance" does not include a grant.

"Governmental entity" means any (i) locality; (ii) local, regional, state, or federal entity; transportation authority, planning district, commission, or political subdivision created by the General Assembly or pursuant to the Constitution and laws of the Commonwealth; or public transportation entity owned, operated, or controlled by one or more local entities; (iii) entity established by interstate compact; (iv) instrumentality, corporation, or entity established by any of the foregoing pursuant to § 33.2-1505; or (v) combination of two or more of the foregoing.

"Grant" means a transfer of moneys or property that does not impose any obligation or condition on the grantee to repay any amount to the transferor other than in connection with assuring that the transferred moneys or property will be spent or used in accordance with the governmental purpose of the transfer. "Grant" includes direct cash payments made to pay or reimburse all or a portion of interest payments made by a grantee on a debt obligation. As provided in §§ 33.2-1502 and 33.2-1503, only governmental entities may receive grants of moneys or property held in or for the credit of the Bank.

"Loan" means an obligation subject to repayment that is provided by the Bank to an eligible borrower to finance all or a part of the eligible cost of a project incurred by the eligible borrower or other project sponsor. A loan may be disbursed (i) in anticipation of reimbursement (including an advance or draw under a credit enhancement instrument), (ii) as direct payment of eligible costs, or (iii) to redeem or defease a prior obligation incurred by the eligible borrower or other project sponsor to finance the eligible costs of a project.

"Management agreement" means the memorandum of understanding or interagency agreement among the manager, the Secretary of Finance, and the Board as authorized under subsection B of § 33.2-1502.

"Manager" means the Virginia Resources Authority serving as the manager, administrator, and trustee of funds disbursed from the Bank in accordance with the provisions of this article and the management agreement.

"Other financial assistance" includes capital or debt reserves for bonds or debt instrument financing, provision of letters of credit and other forms of credit enhancement, and other lawful forms of financing and methods of leveraging funds that are approved by the manager.

"Private entity" means any private or nongovernmental entity that has executed an interim or comprehensive agreement to develop and construct a transportation infrastructure project pursuant to the Public-Private Transportation Act of 1995 (§ 33.2-1800 et seq.).

"Project" means (i) the construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or replacement of any interstate, state highway, toll road, tunnel, local street or road, or bridge; (ii) the construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or replacement of any (a) mass transit, (b) commuter, passenger, or freight rail, (c) port, (d) airport, or (e) commercial space flight facility; or (iii) the acquisition of any rolling stock, vehicle, or equipment to be used in conjunction with clause (i) or (ii).

"Project obligation" means any bond, note, debenture, interim certificate, grant or revenue anticipation note, lease or lease-purchase or installment sales agreement, or credit enhancements issued, incurred, or entered into by an eligible borrower to evidence a loan, or any financing agreements, reimbursement agreements, guarantees, or other evidences of an obligation of an eligible borrower or other project sponsor to pay or guarantee a loan.

"Project sponsor" means any private entity or governmental entity that is involved in the planning, design, right-of-way acquisition, engineering, construction, maintenance, or financing of a project.

"Reliable repayment source" means any means by which an eligible borrower or other project sponsor generates funds that are dedicated to the purpose of retiring a project obligation.

"Substantial project completion" means the opening of a project for vehicular or passenger traffic or the handling of cargo and freight.

2011, cc. 830, 868, § 33.1-23.7; 2012, cc. 779, 817; 2014, c. 805; 2015, c. 684.

§ 33.2-1502. Creation of the Virginia Transportation Infrastructure Bank.

A. There is hereby created in the state treasury a special nonreverting, revolving loan fund, known as the Virginia Transportation Infrastructure Bank, that is a subfund of the Transportation Trust Fund established pursuant to § 33.2-1524.1. The Bank shall be established on the books of the Comptroller. The Bank shall be capitalized with (i) funds pursuant to subdivision B 3 of § 33.2-1524 and (ii) moneys appropriated by the General Assembly and credited to the Bank. Disbursements from the Bank shall be made by the State Treasurer on warrants issued by the Comptroller upon written request signed by the Commissioner of Highways or his designee. Payments on project obligations and interest earned on the moneys in the Bank shall be credited to the Bank. Any moneys remaining in the Bank, including interest thereon, at the end of each fiscal year shall not revert to the general fund but shall remain in the Bank. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary set forth in this article or in the management agreement, the Board will have the right to determine the projects for which loans or other financial assistance may be provided by the Bank. Moneys in the Bank shall be used solely for the purposes enumerated in subsection C.

B. The Board, the manager, and the Secretary of Finance are authorized to enter into a management agreement which may include provisions (i) setting forth the terms and conditions under which the manager will advise the Board on the financial propriety of providing particular loans or other financial assistance; (ii) setting forth the terms and conditions under which the substantive requirements of subsections C, D, and E and § 33.2-1505 will be applied and administered; and (iii) authorizing the manager to request the Board to disburse from the moneys in the Bank the reasonable costs and expenses the manager may incur in the management and administration of the Bank and a reasonable fee to be approved by the Board for the manager's management and administrative services.

C. 1. Moneys deposited in the Bank shall be used for the purpose of making loans and other financial assistance to finance projects.

2. Each project obligation shall be payable, in whole or in part, from reliable repayment sources pledged for such purpose.

3. The interest rate on a project obligation shall be determined by reference to the current market rates for comparable obligations, the nature of the project and the financing structure therefor, and the creditworthiness of the eligible borrower and other project sponsors.

4. The repayment schedule for each project obligation shall require (i) the amortization of principal beginning within five years following the later of substantial project completion or the date of incurrence of the project obligation and (ii) a final maturity date of not more than 35 years following substantial project completion.

D. The pledge of reliable repayment sources and other property securing any project obligation may be subordinate to the pledge securing any other senior debt obligations incurred to finance the project.

E. Notwithstanding subdivision C 4, the manager may at any time following substantial project completion defer payments on a project obligation if the project is unable to generate sufficient revenues to pay the scheduled payments.

F. No loan or other financial assistance may be provided or committed to be provided by the Bank in a manner that would cause such loan or other financial assistance to be tax-supported debt within the meaning of § 2.2-2713 or be deemed to constitute a debt of the Commonwealth or a pledge of the full faith and credit of the Commonwealth but shall be payable solely from legally available moneys held by the Bank.

G. Neither the Bank nor the manager is authorized or empowered to be or to constitute (i) a bank or trust company within the jurisdiction or under the control of the Commonwealth or an agency thereof or the Comptroller of Currency of the U.S. Treasury Department or (ii) a bank, banker, or dealer in securities within the meaning of, or subject to the provisions of, any securities, securities exchange, or securities dealers law of the United States or of the Commonwealth.

H. The Board or the manager may establish or direct the establishment of federal and state accounts or subaccounts as may be necessary to meet any applicable federal law requirements or desirable for the efficient administration of the Bank in accordance with this article.

2011, cc. 830, 868, § 33.1-23.8; 2014, c. 805; 2015, c. 684; 2020, cc. 1230, 1275.

§ 33.2-1503. Eligibility and project selection.

A. Any entity constituting an eligible borrower or other project sponsor is eligible to apply to the Board for project financing from the Bank.

B. All applicants for a loan or other financial assistance must file an application with the Board, which must include all items determined by the Board in consultation with the manager to be necessary and appropriate for the Board to determine whether or not to approve the loan, including the availability of reliable repayment sources to retire the project obligation as well as creditworthiness.

C. Each applicant for a loan or other financial assistance must demonstrate that the project is of local, regional, or statewide significance and meets the public interest identified in subsection A of § 33.2-214.1. Another criterion to be considered is whether or not the loan or other financial assistance will enable the project to be completed at an earlier date than would otherwise be feasible. The Board shall issue guidelines for scoring projects in accordance with subsection B of § 33.2-214.1 and any other criteria deemed necessary and appropriate for evaluating projects as determined by the Board in consultation with the manager and shall apply the scoring guidelines to each proposed project. Further, the Board shall promptly publish each proposed project and its score using the scoring guidelines.

D. All projects for which a loan or other financial assistance is provided must meet and remain in compliance with the policies and guidelines established by the Board and the manager.

2011, cc. 830, 868, § 33.1-23.9; 2014, c. 805; 2015, c. 684.

§ 33.2-1504. Grants from the Commonwealth Transportation Board.

The Board may make grants of money or property to the Bank for the purpose of enabling it to carry out its corporate purposes and for the exercise of its powers. This section shall not be construed to limit any other power the Board may have to make grants to the Bank.

2011, cc. 830, 868, § 33.1-23.10; 2014, c. 805.

§ 33.2-1505. Project obligations.

A. Subject to the terms determined by the manager in accordance with the management agreement, each loan or other financial assistance shall be evidenced or guaranteed by project obligations provided to finance the costs of any project. The manager may also sell any project obligations so acquired and apply the proceeds of such a sale to the making of additional loans and the provision of other financial assistance for financing the cost of any project or for any other corporate purpose of the Bank.

B. The manager may require, as a condition to provision of a loan or other financial assistance and the acquisition of any project obligations, that the eligible borrower or any other project sponsor covenant to perform any of the following:

1. Establish and collect tolls, rents, rates, fees, and other charges to produce revenue sufficient to pay all or a specified portion of (i) the costs of operation, maintenance, replacement, renewal, and repairs of the project; (ii) any outstanding indebtedness incurred for the purposes of the project, including the principal of and premium, if any, and interest on the project obligations; and (iii) any amounts necessary to create and maintain any required reserve, including any rate stabilization fund deemed necessary or appropriate by the manager to offset the need, in whole or part, for future increases in tolls, rents, rates, fees, or charges;

2. Create and maintain a special fund or funds as security for or the source of the scheduled payments on the project obligations or for the operation, maintenance, repair, or replacement of the project or any portions thereof or other property of the eligible borrower or any other project sponsor and deposit into any fund or funds amounts sufficient to make any payments as they become due and payable;

3. Create and maintain other special funds as required by the manager; and

4. Perform other acts, including the conveyance or mortgaging of real and personal property together with all right, title, and interest therein to secure project obligations, or take other actions as may be deemed necessary or desirable by the manager to secure payment of the project obligations and to provide for remedies in the event of any default or nonpayment by the eligible borrower or any other project sponsor, including any of the following:

a. The procurement of credit enhancements or liquidity arrangements for project obligations from any source, public or private, and the payment therefor of premiums, fees, or other charges.

b. The combination of one or more projects, or the combination of one or more projects with one or more other undertakings, facilities, or systems, for the purpose of operations and financing, and the pledging of the revenues from such combined projects, undertakings, facilities, and systems to secure project obligations issued in connection with such combination or any part or parts thereof.

c. The payment of such fees and charges in connection with the acquisition of the project obligations as may be determined by the manager.

C. All eligible borrowers and other project sponsors, including any governmental entities, providing project obligations to the Bank are authorized to perform any acts, take any action, adopt any proceedings, and make and carry out any contracts with the Bank, the manager, or the Board that are contemplated by this article. Such contracts need not be identical among all eligible borrowers or other project sponsors, but may be structured as determined by the manager according to the needs of the contracting eligible borrowers and other project sponsors and the purposes of the Bank.

In addition, subject to the approval of the manager, any project sponsor is authorized to establish and contract with a special purpose or limited purpose instrumentality, corporation, or other entity for the purpose of having such entity serve as the eligible borrower with respect to a particular project.

2011, cc. 830, 868, § 33.1-23.11; 2014, c. 805; 2015, c. 684.

§ 33.2-1506. Exemption from taxation; exemption from Virginia Public Procurement Act.

A. The Bank will be performing an essential governmental function in the exercise of the powers conferred upon it by this article. Accordingly, the Bank shall not be required to pay any taxes or assessments to the Commonwealth or its localities or any political subdivision thereof upon any capital, moneys or any property or upon any operations of the Bank or the income therefrom, or any taxes or assessments upon any project or any property or project obligation acquired by the Bank under the provisions of this article or upon the income therefrom.

B. The provisions of the Virginia Public Procurement Act (§ 2.2-4300 et seq.) shall not apply to the Bank in the exercise of any power conferred under this article.

2011, cc. 830, 868, § 33.1-23.12; 2014, c. 805.

§ 33.2-1507. Reporting requirement.

A. No loan or other financial assistance shall be awarded from the Bank until the Secretary has provided copies of the management agreement and related criteria and guidelines to the Chairmen of the House Committees on Appropriations, Finance, and Transportation and the Senate Committees on Finance and Appropriations and on Transportation.

B. Within 30 days after each six-month period ending June 30 and December 31, the manager shall provide a report to the Chairmen of the House Committees on Appropriations, Finance, and Transportation and the Senate Committees on Finance and Appropriations and on Transportation, which shall include the amounts of loans and other financial assistance provided by the Bank and the projects for which the loans and other financial assistance were provided.

2011, cc. 830, 868, § 33.1-23.13; 2014, c. 805.