Why Work With DTA?

Where authoritative understanding meets unparalleled service

DTA Adds Value At Every Step of The Process.

DTA is the leading expert in project financing strategies in both the public and private spheres—but we don’t just stop there. What makes us such a nationally trusted partner in urban economics is our ability to do the necessary footwork to get your project underway.

Here's What You Get When You Choose DTA:

  • We are the Experts

    DTA brings an unparalleled breadth of knowledge in public financing alternatives available at both the state and local agency levels.

  • We Understand Development Impacts

    We prepare fiscal and economic impact reports that evaluate local and regional impacts of greenfield or infill projects.

  • We are Cutting Edge

    At DTA, we seek to provide innovative tailor-made solutions while also constantly refining our work product to better serve and protect our clients.

  • We Know Regulations

    DTA is not only intimately familiar with governing legislation related to various types of special taxing districts, but also has extensive real-world experience with the application thereof grounded in a true understanding of each law.

  • We Share Our Experience

    Every DTA engagement is managed by at least one (1) senior-level staff member with 15+ years of industry experience.

Public Finance Program Strategies and Implementation

DTA Staff Is Experienced In The Preparation And Implementation Of Financing Strategies

and plans to fund public facilities and services for both existing land development and newly developing areas. Debt financing programs implemented by our firm range from bond issuances secured by a municipality’s General Fund to debt financings that are non-recourse to a municipality and are secured instead by a stream of special taxes, assessments, or enterprise fund revenues. DTA specializes in the creative use of non-recourse financing programs to maximize the availability of capital early in the development process and ensure the timely construction of public facilities wherever new development is occurring. This may include the use of builder bonds, senior/subordinate and variable interest rate debt instruments, bridge financings, sureties, impact fee revenue bonds, bond pools, and other alternative debt structuring techniques.

DTA's Financing Strategies Are Quantitative, Specific, and Prepared For Implementation.

In contrast, strategies prepared by other firms are often limited in scope and largely descriptive in nature. DTA provides detailed revenue projections from all available sources and matches feasible revenue streams with the costs for all public improvements and services projected to be required in future years. Since 1985, DTA has been involved in the formation of more than 2,000 public finance districts, with total bond authorizations exceeding $60 billion.

Public Financing Mechanisms Implemented by DTA

in recent years include the following:

  • Bridge and Thoroughfare Districts (California);
  • Business Improvement Districts (California, Arizona, and New Mexico);
  • Certificates of Participation (California and Arizona);
  • Community Facilities Districts (California, Arizona, Washington and Hawaii);
  • Community Services Districts (California);
  • County Service Areas (California);
  • Development Impact Fees (California);
  • General Obligation Bonds (California);
  • Infrastructure Financing Districts (California);
  • Integrated Financing Districts (California);
  • Local Improvement Districts (Nevada);
  • Landscaping and Lighting Districts (California);
  • Marks-Roos Bond Pools (California);
  • Property Assessed Clean Energy (“PACE”) Programs (California);
  • Public Improvement Districts (New Mexico and Texas);
  • Redevelopment Tax Allocation Bonds (California and Nevada);
  • Revenue Bonds (California);
  • Special Assessment Districts (California);
  • Special Service Areas (Illinois); and
  • Special Tax Districts (New Mexico and Texas).

Public - Private Partnerships

DTA staff has worked with clients to obtain funding for both private development and public infrastructure through a variety of private sector sources and from state and local funding programs that are discussed elsewhere on this website. Private sector funding has been provided through both equity investments and loans, with public infrastructure being conveyed to public agencies through long-term leases. Additionally, DTA has been active in the New Markets Tax Credit Program and prepared business plans and the economic development justification studies necessary to receive funding from this program.

DTA’s responsibilities related to Public-Private Partnerships include:

  • Determining which specific public finance programs best fit our clients’ project funding needs;
  • Preparing funding applications;
  • Structuring Public-Private Partnerships by combining a variety of funding sources;
  • Representing our clients’ interests when dealing with public agencies, including state and federal governments, joint powers authorities, conventional lenders, and land developers; and
  • For California, working with client advocacy consulting firms in Sacramento, with whom we have long standing relationships, to optimize our clients’ ability to obtain federal and state funding.
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Land-Secured Financing

Special Tax Consulting and Assessment Engineering Services

DTA is the Nation’s leader in the provision of special tax consulting and assessment services associated with the formation of land-secured financing districts.

DTA has helped cities, counties, property owners, school districts, water districts, and other entities establish over 1,000 Mello-Roos Community Facilities Districts (“CFDs”) and numerous Assessment Districts (“ADs”), Public Improvement Districts, Special Assessment Areas, Landscaping and Lighting Districts (“LLDs”), and other types of land-secured financing districts. These special districts have required either property owner or registered voter elections and provided funding for all types of infrastructure improvements, public facilities, and public services. DTA has assisted both public and private sector clients in the formation of these districts and incorporated smaller development projects in California into the Statewide Communities Infrastructure Program (“SCIP”), which pools together a series of small ADs on a Statewide basis to achieve the economies of scale typically only enjoyed by larger stand-alone financing districts. SCIP is managed by the California Statewide Communities Development Authority (“CSCDA”).

Starting in 1990, DTA expanded its land-secured financing consulting work to eight other states, specifically Arizona, Hawaii, Illinois, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Texas, and Washington. DTA’s work in these states is focused on the development of special tax and special assessment apportionment formulas based on special benefit and other criteria, with the goal of maximizing funding capacity while at the same time ensuring equitable allocations of special tax or assessment burdens among future property owners. DTA’s special tax and special assessment formulas are based on a variety of methodologies that have withstood the test of time. Some have been in use since 1985, with the bonds actually being retired after reaching maturity in 2015. DTA has also developed many innovative strategies that have become standards in the municipal finance industry, including the use of backup taxes, state-of-the-art prepayment formulas, and the sizing of bond issues based on a variety of debt service and special tax cash flow structures. DTA’s special tax formulas have been utilized to provide debt service coverage for the sale of hundreds of land-secured bond issues and provided the firm with considerable experience working with public agencies, property owners, underwriters, bond counsels, and financial advisors to provide special tax and special assessment apportionment methods satisfactory to all parties.

Public Improvement Districts (New Mexico and Texas)

DTA is a diversified public finance consulting firm assisting developers and real estate investors with financial solutions for public infrastructure and services financing. Among its many activities, DTA is the Nation’s leading firm specializing in the use of Public Improvement Districts (“PIDs”) to finance public infrastructure, having advised developers in the use of this unique financial structure since 1985. A PID provides bond funding secured solely by special assessments levied on the land within the district. This debt is not a balance sheet or developer-guaranteed security and is non-recourse to the municipality issuing the bonds. Special assessment bond financing is a classic public-private partnership with the issuance of tax-exempt bonds to finance the public infrastructure necessary to serve new development. Today, special assessment financing is active in many states and total annual bond issuance is in excess of $1 billion.

In our opinion, PID financing has significant and measurable advantages in comparison to Municipal Utility Districts (“MUDs”). The advantages of PID financing from a developer’s perspective are summarized below.

One of the most important distinctions between a PID and a MUD is the type of improvements that can be financed. Unless granted road district powers, a MUD can only be used to finance water, sewer, and flood control facilities. Obviously, these improvements represent only a limited portion of the total improvement cost of a development. This limitation contrasts unfavorably with a PID, which can finance virtually every type of public improvement, including water, sewer, and flood control facilities, streets, sidewalks, street lighting, mass transit facilities, rights-of-way, libraries, and recreational amenities, such as public parks and landscaping.

Special District Administration

DTA offers comprehensive services to assist public agencies with the annual levy and collection of special taxes and assessments for a variety of financing districts. We are currently providing these services to more than 750 special districts. Our firm can provide our clients with a higher level of service at a lower cost than our competitors as a result of proprietary cloud-based special district administration software that we have developed over the past 10 years.

When providing special district administration consulting services, DTA takes responsibility for all data collection and compilation required to levy special taxes and assessments, as well as their enrollment with the County Auditor/Controller for inclusion on property tax bills. DTA also regularly tracks delinquent special taxes and assessments, implements collection programs, monitors bond accounts for compliance with bond indentures, performs arbitrage rebate calculations, and responds to taxpayer/property owner questions.

Bond Disclosure and Dissemination Services

DTA can undertake an Issuer’s disclosure requirements under regulations promulgated by the Securities Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and California Debt and Investment Advisory Commission. In its role as the official “Dissemination Agent” for a bond issue, DTA prepares the Annual Report for the bond issue and disseminates the Annual Report to the Electronic Municipal Market Access (“EMMA”) system and appropriate state repositories. When performing this function, DTA is responsible for the collection, calculation, and/or preparation of all statutorily required information.

DTA can also assist property owners

with preparing their Annual Reports and disseminating them to EMMA.

Property Assessed Clean Energy (“PACE”) Programs

Property Assessed Clean Energy (“PACE”) Programs provide the opportunity for local municipalities to offer qualified property owners a mechanism to finance renewable energy, energy efficiency, and water conservation improvements for their properties. Public agencies act as the conduit for the sale of taxable bonds secured by special assessments placed on individual parcels participating in the program. As the Nation’s leading Special Tax Consultant/Assessment Engineer for the formation and sale of municipal bonds for landsecured financing districts since 1985, DTA has had the experience necessary to efficiently assist municipalities interested in providing opportunities for their residents and employers to fund “green” improvements for their properties through a PACE Program.

DTA currently serves as the Assessment Engineer for six PACE Programs that provide over 90% of PACE financing within the State of California. DTA has assisted all these clients in the successful creation and issuance of bonds for their PACE Programs and annual administration of these programs.

Fiscal or Economic Impact Analyses

Fiscal Impact Analyses

DTA staff has prepared over 700 Fiscal Impact Reports (“FIRs”)

estimating the recurring revenue and cost impacts of different land use decisions on cities, counties, and special districts. FIRs have been prepared by DTA in conjunction with specific plans, Environmental Impact Reports, incorporations and annexations, reuse studies, general plan amendments, Development Agreements, and general project proposals covering different types of residential, commercial/industrial, and mixed-use projects.

In addition to analyzing individual projects,

our firm’s FIRs may also include the fiscal analyses of land use/infrastructure alternatives, sensitivity analyses of alternative fiscal and land use assumptions, and fiscal analyses of annexation areas and subareas. DTA relies primarily on the Case Study Method of estimating impacts, which includes in-depth interviews with project proponents and public agency staff, combined with thorough analyses of public agency budgets. Additionally, DTA maintains a detailed Public Works Database that includes comparable local and regional parameters, including operations and maintenance costs, replacements and depletion costs, labor costs, staffing levels, etc., that can be applied to an individual project or model.

DTA can also propose financing solutions,

including special districts, endowment payments, and private sector funding options, to mitigate fiscal shortfalls.

Economic Impact Analyses

DTA has prepared over 250 Economic Impact Analyses (“EIAs”) to project the one-time and annual recurring economic impacts of a development project on a local economy. General economic impacts include additions to regional economic output (gross receipts or sales), earnings (the sum of wages and salaries, proprietors’ income, and other labor income), and employment (number of average annual full-time and part-time jobs created, as well as the impact on an area’s jobs/housing balance). DTA determines the indirect and induced economic impacts of a project by utilizing multipliers from reputable sources and applying them to on-site project employment estimates. DTA’s EIAs have been utilized by the State of California, local municipalities, redevelopment successor agencies, community development enterprises, landowners, and other parties to determine whether such impacts merit the granting of project entitlements or project subsidies to enable a project to move forward. They have also been used in successful applications for New Markets Tax Credits.

School Facilities Finance Services

Since its establishment in 1985, DTA has been at the forefront of establishing innovative solutions and methodologies to satisfy the facilities financing needs of over 250 school district clients throughout California.

During this period, our firm has helped dozens of school districts receive the highest possible mitigation payments by providing strategic, financial, and facilities planning support to both school district staff and legal counsel. As a result of our experience conducting developer negotiations and calculating school facility impacts based upon proven methodologies, DTA has been able to determine school district needs that have served as the foundation for our school district clients’ school impact fee programs and their negotiations with land developers and municipalities.

DTA can provide financial consulting services to its school district clients on both an ongoing and an issue-specific basis. For a specific bond or Certificates of Participation issue, DTA can help the school district in its selection of a finance team, an appropriate financing mechanism, and the proper structuring of such a mechanism. DTA utilizes current financial, land use, and demographic data to customize each financing mechanism so that it meets the specific needs of its school district clients. DTA has provided such services to school districts for several hundred bond issuances, including Community Facilities Districts (“CFDs”), General Obligation and School Facilities Improvement District Bonds, and Certificates of Participation. DTA is particularly known for our specialized expertise in the formation and implementation of CFDs. Our firm is also experienced in preparing school fee justification studies that satisfy the requirements of AB 1600 and other regulatory statutes and have survived legal challenge. In addition, DTA provides services to school districts on an ongoing basis. These services include the annual levy of CFD special taxes, arbitrage rebate compliance, continuing disclosure, and assistance with the refunding of existing bond issues.

Property Tax Management And Analyses

Property Tax Management

DTA provides property tax management consulting services to public agencies, developers, and homebuilders, including:

  • Property tax liability review, reporting, and payment;
  • Preparation of new construction exclusion applications;
  • Cash flow projections of developer/builder property tax liabilities through project build-out;
  • Projection of effective property tax rates and preparation of sample tax bills for prospective homeowners; and
  • Preparation of special tax and assessment disclosure documents.

DTA builds a property tax database for each project,

starting with the County-secured tax roll. Project, tract, lot, building, tax bill, home closing, and property tax pro ration data are added. Records are maintained for every lot, including common areas, private streets, etc. Property tax assessments are compared with closing statements to identify errors. New construction exclusion applications are filed where applicable. Property tax liability reports can easily be printed directly from the database and grouped by county, project, tract, etc.

DTA's property tax analyses are predicated on a detailed review

of the relevant project and property tax documentation. Every analysis begins with a thorough review of the project assumptions and underlying property tax liens. Property tax liens are identified through a review of title reports, including exceptions, and contact with the applicable public agencies.

Property Tax Due Diligence Evaluations

DTA assists land developers and home builders in their due diligence efforts prior to the purchase of undeveloped lots. DTA determines property tax obligations by identifying all sitespecific payments, including supplemental ad valorem taxes, standby charges, special taxes and assessments, and other public liens. This process requires close scrutiny of title reports (for both active and inactive property tax liens) and contact with the applicable public agencies.

DTA utilizes its expertise to quantify the tax obligations for various development scenarios as home sizes, lot sizes, and home prices can vary. Moreover, tax obligations are projected in accordance with both the maximum allowable tax rates and tax levies that are anticipated based on projections that can be substantially less than the maximum rates. DTA also identifies the key events triggering reassessments or changes in special tax levels and any other issues the developer must consider as a result of the assessment/special tax apportionment methodologies.

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Other Public Finance Techniques

Development Impact Fee and Rate Studies

DTA prepares Development Impact Fee (“DIF”) justification studies to determine and support the impact fee levels

needed to pay for municipal facilities and improvements required by new development. These studies have ensured that a municipality’s DIFs are sufficient to cover the full capital costs of each type of public facility required as a result of new development and that the fees comply with all “nexus” requirements pursuant to California's Assembly Bill 1600 or similar statutes in other states. To date, DTA has assisted more than 500 municipalities in preparing fee studies to fund a variety of public facilities. DTA has also reviewed numerous municipalities’ existing fee programs to determine the adequacy of a public agency’s existing infrastructure financing policies and their compliance with statutory nexus requirements.

DTA also prepares water and sewer rate studies

to determine the monthly rates necessary to support the cost of operations, maintenance, replacements, debt service, and “payasyougo” financing of facilities. DTA’s rate studies also consider rate stabilization and debt service reserve funds, as well as other funds necessary to meet the requirements of rate covenants established at bond issuance.

General Obligation Bonds, Revenue Bonds, Certificates of Participation

DTA staff has assisted clients in the structuring and preparation of debt service analyses and property tax projections required for the issuance of General Obligation (“GO”) Bonds, sewer, water, and parking structure revenue bonds, and Certificates of Participation for all levels of local government, including cities, counties, water districts, school districts, and other special districts. Our firm’s services include the preparation of cost/revenue models to estimate the amount and timing of bond proceeds and overlapping debt and other tables required for bond offering documents.

Public Facilities and Finance Program Construction Management

DTA staff has more than 34 years of experience managing public works construction projects

throughout the State, including major roadway projects such as the construction of State Route 41 in Fresno County and State Route 71 in San Bernardino County. Led by Steve Runk, DTA's Vice President of Engineering Services, our staff can assist public and private sector clients in the management of public works construction projects being funded through a public financing district or bond program.

In performing this function, DTA generally undertakes the following tasks:

  • Review all pertinent project documents,

    including Funding and Acquisition Agreements, project plans and specifications, subcontractor contracts and change orders, and reimbursement requests and project status reports.

  • Attend job site progress meetings

    with other construction managers, contractors, and public inspectors to discuss progress payments, construction schedules, subcontractor bid analyses, claims resolutions, and change order requests.

  • Review and approve reimbursement requests

    and instruct the trustee or public agency to disperse the approved amounts. This requires certification by DTA of the completion of the work and review and approval of all submittals, including change orders, subcontracts, proof of payment, and lien releases.

  • Request closeout of all appropriate accounts

    and prepare all files for archives at the point at which improvements are substantially complete.

Affordable Housing Programs

The retention of existing inclusionary housing

is currently a major political and social issue. DTA staff has assisted the County of Santa Barbara in developing policies for the retention of its existing inclusionary housing within the County. In 2003, our company developed an Affordable Housing In-Lieu Fee Program currently being implemented in the City of Irvine.

DTA staff's ability to determine appropriate levels of affordable housing in-lieu fees is based directly on our firm's vast experience preparing financial feasibility studies of prospective residential projects on behalf of private developers, landowners and lenders, as well as for redevelopment and other public agencies.

DTA staff has considerable experience establishing inclusionary housing programs

for large residential developments and preparing policies for and/or implementing affordable housing programs in cities and counties in California. This has included the development of policies and incentives to encourage the construction of new and protection of existing workforce housing, calculation of home price and rent limits to make housing accessible for working class residents, and monitoring of existing affordable housing programs to ensure that they are being successfully implemented.

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Project Feasibility Studies

DTA staff has performed numerous financial feasibility studies

for property owners, and for redevelopment agencies, and other public agencies covering residential, commercial/industrial, and mixed-use projects.

These studies have included the following:

  • Preparation of proforma and dynamic cash flow models for land development and investment;
  • Linkage of proforma analyses to the evaluation of public financing opportunities; and
  • Coordination of development scheduling, including project planning, processing, and construction.

DTA has determined financial feasibility using multiple financial indicators,

including aftertax internal rates of return, net present values, and, for sale/lease decisions, cashoncash ratios. Feasibility determinations have been further scrutinized for sensitivity to changes in construction costs, lease rates, equity shares, and other economic and financial assumptions.

Feasibility evaluations are facilitated by DTA staff's extensive

experience with project management and the development entitlement process, including environmental, infrastructure, and business planning requirements. DTA staff is also knowledgeable about financing and ownership/partnership options and marketing and planning opportunities and constraints.

Tax Increment Financing

Prior to the demise of redevelopment in California in 2011, DTA’s tax increment work focused on the preparation of Fiscal Consultant Reports, which involve the preparation of detailed tax increment projections and the associated certifications necessary to support the issuance of tax allocation bonds and Certificates of Participation by California redevelopment agencies. These projections, which were prepared on behalf of numerous redevelopment agencies, counties, cities, school districts, community college districts, and other public agencies, were the basis for the sale of over $1 billion in redevelopment agency tax allocation bonds. In addition, DTA provided redevelopment consulting services related to redevelopment impact analyses, Fiscal Impact Reports (“FIRs”), economic blight analyses, project financing plans, and development feasibility analyses.

Since 2011, DTA has continued its involvement in tax increment financing by working on bond districts formed in New Mexico [Tax Increment Development Districts (“TIDDs”)], Texas [Tax Increment Reinvestment Zones (“TIRZs”)], and Nevada. In addition, the firm has recently established two Enhanced Infrastructure Financing Districts (“EIFDs”) in California. An EIFD is California’s current tax increment replacement for redevelopment that allows the use of increment for a portion of property tax revenues and Vehicle License Fee (“VLF”) in-lieu revenues that is more limited in magnitude than the increment previously authorized under California’s redevelopment laws.