(a) In General.–
(1) Agreements.–Subject to paragraphs (2) and (3), the Secretary may enter into agreements with 1 or more obligors to make secured loans, the proceeds of which shall be used–
(A) to finance eligible project costs of any project selected under section 602;
(B) to refinance interim construction financing of eligible project costs of any project selected under section 602;
(C) to refinance existing Federal credit instruments for rural infrastructure projects; or
(D) to refinance long-term project obligations or Federal credit instruments, if the refinancing provides additional funding capacity for the completion, enhancement, or expansion of any project that–
(i) is selected under section 602; or
(ii) otherwise meets the requirements of section 602.
(2) Limitation on refinancing of interim construction financing.–A loan under paragraph (1) shall not refinance interim construction financing under paragraph (1)(B)–
(A) if the maturity of such interim construction financing is later than 1 year after the substantial completion of the project; and
(B) later than 1 year after the date of substantial completion of the project.
(3) Risk assessment.–Before entering into an agreement under this subsection, the Secretary, in consultation with the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, shall determine an appropriate capital reserve subsidy amount for each secured loan, taking into account each rating letter provided by an agency under section 602(b)(3)(B).
Terms Used In 23 USC 603
- Bankruptcy: Refers to statutes and judicial proceedings involving persons or businesses that cannot pay their debts and seek the assistance of the court in getting a fresh start. Under the protection of the bankruptcy court, debtors may discharge their debts, perhaps by paying a portion of each debt. Bankruptcy judges preside over these proceedings.
- Interest rate: The amount paid by a borrower to a lender in exchange for the use of the lender's money for a certain period of time. Interest is paid on loans or on debt instruments, such as notes or bonds, either at regular intervals or as part of a lump sum payment when the issue matures. Source: OCC
- Lien: A claim against real or personal property in satisfaction of a debt.
- Partnership: A voluntary contract between two or more persons to pool some or all of their assets into a business, with the agreement that there will be a proportional sharing of profits and losses.
- Remainder: An interest in property that takes effect in the future at a specified time or after the occurrence of some event, such as the death of a life tenant.
- User fees: Fees charged to users of goods or services provided by the government. In levying or authorizing these fees, the legislature determines whether the revenue should go into the treasury or should be available to the agency providing the goods or services.
(b) Terms and Limitations.–
(1) In general.–A secured loan under this section with respect to a project shall be on such terms and conditions and contain such covenants, representations, warranties, and requirements (including requirements for audits) as the Secretary determines to be appropriate.
(2) Maximum amount.–
(A) In general.–Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the amount of a secured loan under this section shall not exceed the lesser of 49 percent of the reasonably anticipated eligible project costs or if the secured loan does not receive an investment grade rating, the amount of the senior project obligations.
(B) Rural projects fund.–In the case of a project capitalizing a rural projects fund, the maximum amount of a secured loan made to a State infrastructure bank shall be determined in accordance with section 602(a)(5)(B)(iii).
(3) Payment.–A secured loan under this section–
(i) be payable, in whole or in part, from–
(II) user fees;
(III) payments owing to the obligor under a public-private partnership;
(IV) other dedicated revenue sources that also secure the senior project obligations; or
(V) in the case of a secured loan for a project capitalizing a rural projects fund, any other dedicated revenue sources available to a State infrastructure bank, including repayments from loans made by the bank for rural infrastructure projects; and
(ii) include a rate covenant, coverage requirement, or similar security feature supporting the project obligations; and
(B) may have a lien on revenues described in subparagraph (A), subject to any lien securing project obligations.
(4) Interest rate.–
(A) In general.–Except as provided in subparagraphs (B) and (C), the interest rate on a secured loan under this section shall be not less than the yield on United States Treasury securities of a similar maturity to the maturity of the secured loan on the date of execution of the loan agreement.
(B) Rural infrastructure projects.–
(i) In general.–The interest rate of a loan offered to a rural infrastructure project or a rural projects fund under the TIFIA program shall be at ½ of the Treasury Rate in effect on the date of execution of the loan agreement.
(ii) Application.–The rate described in clause (i) shall only apply to any portion of a loan the subsidy cost of which is funded by amounts set aside for rural infrastructure projects and rural project funds under section 608(a)(3)(A).
(C) Limited buydowns.–The interest rate of a secured loan under this section may not be lowered by more than the lower of–
(i) 1½ percentage points (150 basis points); or
(ii) the amount of the increase in the interest rate.
(5) Maturity date.–
(A) In general.–Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the final maturity date of the secured loan shall be the lesser of–
(i) 35 years after the date of substantial completion of the project; and
(ii) if the useful life of the capital asset being financed is of a lesser period, the useful life of the asset.
(B) Rural projects fund.–In the case of a project capitalizing a rural projects fund, the final maturity date of the secured loan shall not exceed 35 years after the date on which the secured loan is obligated.
(A) In general.–Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the secured loan shall not be subordinated to the claims of any holder of project obligations in the event of bankruptcy, insolvency, or liquidation of the obligor.
(B) Preexisting indenture.–
(i) In general.–The Secretary shall waive the requirement under subparagraph (A) for a public agency borrower that is financing ongoing capital programs and has outstanding senior bonds under a preexisting indenture, if–
(I) the secured loan is rated in the A category or higher;
(II) the secured loan is secured and payable from pledged revenues not affected by project performance, such as a tax-backed revenue pledge or a system-backed pledge of project revenues; and
(III) the TIFIA program share of eligible project costs is 33 percent or less.
(ii) Limitation.–If the Secretary waives the nonsubordination requirement under this subparagraph–
(I) the maximum credit subsidy to be paid by the Federal Government shall be not more than 10 percent of the principal amount of the secured loan; and
(II) the obligor shall be responsible for paying the remainder of the subsidy cost, if any.
(7) Fees.–The Secretary may establish fees at a level sufficient to cover all or a portion of the costs to the Federal Government of making a secured loan under this section.
(8) Non-federal share.–The proceeds of a secured loan under the TIFIA program may be used for any non-Federal share of project costs required under this title or chapter 53 of title 49, if the loan is repayable from non-Federal funds.
(9) Maximum federal involvement.–
(A) In general.–The total Federal assistance provided for a project receiving a loan under the TIFIA program shall not exceed 80 percent of the total project cost.
(B) Rural projects fund.–A project capitalizing a rural projects fund shall satisfy subparagraph (A) through compliance with the Federal share requirement described in section 610(e)(3)(B).
(1) Schedule.–The Secretary shall establish a repayment schedule for each secured loan under this section based on–
(A) the projected cash flow from project revenues and other repayment sources; and
(B) the useful life of the project.
(2) Commencement.–Scheduled loan repayments of principal or interest on a secured loan under this section shall commence not later than 5 years after the date of substantial completion of the project.
(3) Deferred payments.–
(A) In general.–If, at any time after the date of substantial completion of the project, the project is unable to generate sufficient revenues to pay the scheduled loan repayments of principal and interest on the secured loan, the Secretary may, subject to subparagraph (C), allow the obligor to add unpaid principal and interest to the outstanding balance of the secured loan.
(B) Interest.–Any payment deferred under subparagraph (A) shall–
(i) continue to accrue interest in accordance with subsection (b)(4) until fully repaid; and
(ii) be scheduled to be amortized over the remaining term of the loan.
(i) In general.–Any payment deferral under subparagraph (A) shall be contingent on the project meeting criteria established by the Secretary.
(ii) Repayment standards.–The criteria established pursuant to clause (i) shall include standards for reasonable assurance of repayment.
(A) Use of excess revenues.–Any excess revenues that remain after satisfying scheduled debt service requirements on the project obligations and secured loan and all deposit requirements under the terms of any trust agreement, bond resolution, or similar agreement securing project obligations may be applied annually to prepay the secured loan without penalty.
(B) Use of proceeds of refinancing.–The secured loan may be prepaid at any time without penalty from the proceeds of refinancing from non-Federal funding sources.
(d) Sale of Secured Loans.–
(1) In general.–Subject to paragraph (2), as soon as practicable after substantial completion of a project and after notifying the obligor, the Secretary may sell to another entity or reoffer into the capital markets a secured loan for the project if the Secretary determines that the sale or reoffering can be made on favorable terms.
(2) Consent of obligor.–In making a sale or reoffering under paragraph (1), the Secretary may not change the original terms and conditions of the secured loan without the written consent of the obligor.
(e) Loan Guarantees.–
(1) In general.–The Secretary may provide a loan guarantee to a lender in lieu of making a secured loan under this section if the Secretary determines that the budgetary cost of the loan guarantee is substantially the same as that of a secured loan.
(2) Terms.–The terms of a loan guarantee under paragraph (1) shall be consistent with the terms required under this section for a secured loan, except that the rate on the guaranteed loan and any prepayment features shall be negotiated between the obligor and the lender, with the consent of the Secretary.
(f) Streamlined Application Process.–
(1) In general.–Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of the FAST Act, the Secretary shall make available an expedited application process or processes available at the request of entities seeking secured loans under the TIFIA program that use a set or sets of conventional terms established pursuant to this section.
(2) Terms.–In establishing the streamlined application process required by this subsection, the Secretary may include terms commonly included in prior credit agreements and allow for an expedited application period, including–
(A) the secured loan is in an amount of not greater than $100,000,000;
(B) the secured loan is secured and payable from pledged revenues not affected by project performance, such as a tax-backed revenue pledge, tax increment financing, or a system-backed pledge of project revenues; and
(C) repayment of the loan commences not later than 5 years after disbursement.