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The issuance and disclosure of tax allocation bond (TAB) debt since the dissolution of redevelopment has brought challenges to communities throughout California, ranging from difficulty obtaining accurate project area information to lack of guidance regarding important issues like tax increment limitations. To aid city and county staff who are at the front lines of bond issues, the California Redevelopment Association (CRA) presented training workshops in Southern and Northern California, led by leading experts and practitioners, to provide an in-depth look at TAB bond administration, refunding and continuing disclosure issues.

David McEwen, partner at Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth, led the first panel: “Existing Bonds: Fitting the Square Peg into a Round Hole,” featuring presentations by Barbara Boswell, Finance Director for the City of Lancaster, and Seifel Consulting President Libby Seifel. Their session presented recommended best practices regarding how to assure sufficient revenues are available to meet bond obligations through the ROPS process, legal requirements for the use of existing bond proceeds, and what to do when the IRS comes knocking.

Other issues covered during the workshop included:

  • How State legislation has impacted tax allocation bonds and how these new legal requirements apply at the local level
  • What it takes to market tax allocation bonds in this changing environment
  • How the State Department of Finance and County Auditor Controllers evaluate bond obligations
  • How to prepare necessary technical reports including fiscal consultant and disclosure reports
  • What are the current bond disclosure policies and consequences of reporting failure, particularly given recent SEC scrutiny
  • What are the pros and cons of bond refunding

Workshop luncheon speaker Brent Hawkins, Partner at Best Best & Krieger LLP provided an update on the latest developments on State legislation and pending legal cases related to redevelopment. Joseph (Joe) Coomes and Libby Seifel also presented the findings from ULI’s upcoming publication on new tools and strategies to promote economic development and build sustainable communities.


The Urban Land Institute (ULI) recognized its San Francisco District Council for providing six successful training sessions that taught the basics of real estate finance and development, how to structure successful public-private partnerships and strategies to accomplish new projects in a post redevelopment world to a broad range of San Francisco staff. As Jon Lau, Project Manager for SF OEWD, summarized of the impact of ULI’s training,

“The sessions were packed with critical information. As participants, we are developing a better understanding of the building blocks necessary to evaluate project feasibility and gaining exposure to criteria relied upon for marketplace decision making, and it is valuable to gain insight on the thought process directly from developers.”

The sessions achieved the two key purposes of the ULI Innovation Grant that helped fund the training:
1) provide tools to public agency staff to elicit the best quality from the private sector and 2) help strengthen relationships and collaboration across City departments. 

Libby Seifel in collaboration with Landon Browning of Lennar Corporation developed the training materials and taught the first three sessions on the basics of real estate finance and development.