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Legislation: Federal Debt Financing Tools

Private Activity Bonds (PABs)

Federal Legislation

Section 11143 of Title XI of SAFETEA-LU amended Section 142 of the Internal Revenue Code to add highway and freight transfer facilities to the types of privately developed and operated projects for which private activity bonds (PABs) may be issued.

Public Law 109-59 (SAFETEA-LU) Title XI

August 10, 2005

§ 11143. Tax-Exempt Financing of Highway Projects and Rail-Truck Transfer Facilities

(a) Treatment as Exempt Facility Bond.--Subsection (a) of section 142 (relating to exempt facility bond) is amended by striking "or" at the end of paragraph (13), by striking the period at the end of paragraph (14) and inserting ", or", and by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

"(15) qualified highway or surface freight transfer facilities.".

(b) Qualified Highway or Surface Freight Transfer Facilities.-- Section 142 is amended by adding at the end the following:

"(m) Qualified Highway or Surface Freight Transfer Facilities.--

"(1) In general.--For purposes of subsection (a)(15), the term `qualified highway or surface freight transfer facilities' means--

"(A) any surface transportation project which receives Federal assistance under title 23, United States Code (as in effect on the date of the enactment of this subsection),
"(B) any project for an international bridge or tunnel for which an international entity authorized under Federal or State law is responsible and which receives Federal assistance under title 23, United States Code (as so in effect), or
"(C) any facility for the transfer of freight from truck to rail or rail to truck (including any temporary storage facilities directly related to such transfers) which receives Federal assistance under either title 23 or title 49, United States Code (as so in effect).

"(2) National limitation on amount of tax-exempt financing for facilities.--

"(A) National limitation.--The aggregate amount allocated by the Secretary of Transportation under subparagraph (C) shall not exceed $15,000,000,000.
"(B) Enforcement of national limitation.--An issue shall not be treated as an issue described in subsection (a)(15) if the aggregate face amount of bonds issued pursuant to such issue for any qualified highway or surface freight transfer facility (when added to the aggregate face amount of bonds previously so issued for such facility) exceeds the amount allocated to such facility under subparagraph (C).
"(C) Allocation by secretary of transportation.-- The Secretary of Transportation shall allocate the amount described in subparagraph (A) among qualified highway or surface freight transfer facilities in such manner as the Secretary determines appropriate.

"(3) Expenditure of proceeds.--An issue shall not be treated as an issue described in subsection (a)(15) unless at least 95 percent of the net proceeds of the issue is expended for qualified highway or surface freight transfer facilities within the 5-year period beginning on the date of issuance. If at least 95 percent of such net proceeds is not expended within such 5-year period, an issue shall be treated as continuing to meet the requirements of this paragraph if the issuer uses all unspent proceeds of the issue to redeem bonds of the issue within 90 days after the end of such 5-year period. The Secretary, at the request of the issuer, may extend such 5-year period if the issuer establishes that any failure to meet such period is due to circumstances beyond the control of the issuer.

"(4) Exception for current refunding bonds.--Paragraph (2) shall not apply to any bond (or series of bonds) issued to refund a bond issued under subsection (a)(15) if--

"(A) the average maturity date of the issue of which the refunding bond is a part is not later than the average maturity date of the bonds to be refunded by such issue,
"(B) the amount of the refunding bond does not exceed the outstanding amount of the refunded bond, and
"(C) the refunded bond is redeemed not later than 90 days after the date of the issuance of the refunding bond.

For purposes of subparagraph (A), average maturity shall be determined in accordance with section 147(b)(2)(A).".

(c) Exemption From General State Volume Caps.--Paragraph (3) of section 146(g) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (relating to exception for certain bonds) is amended by striking "or (14)" and all that follows through the end of the paragraph and inserting "(14), or (15) of section 142(a), and".

(d) <<NOTE: 26 USC 142 note.>> Effective Date.--The amendments made by this section apply to bonds issued after the date of the enactment of this Act.