The article, appearing in the most recent edition of the University of Richmond Law Review, was written by Andrew A. Painter, an associate at Walsh, Colucci, Lubeley, Emrich, and Walsh, P.C., and explores Community Development Authorities (“CDAs”), including an overview of their history, legal structure, process, and use across the Commonwealth. Virginia’s local governments are increasingly exploring alternative financing methods as a part of their overall financial and public services strategy.
First authorized in Virginia by the General Assembly in 1993, Community Development Authorities (“CDA”) exist as special taxing districts created by local governments that may be used to finance a broad range of infrastructure, including transportation improvements, public water/sanitary sewer lines, storm water management, parking, landscaping, and more. Where properly used, CDAs not only provide a way to shift certain capital infrastructure costs to the private sector, but also deliver key infrastructure projects faster than traditional methods and ultimately free up needed local revenue and debt capacity to pay for other critical services and projects. Establishing a new bond-issuing authority through a CDA only comes as the result of deliberative negotiations between private individuals and local government.