Last week, the Municipal Bonds for America (MBFA) Coalition increased its advocacy efforts for the support of municipal finance and the tax exemption on Capitol Hill. In addition to its annual educational seminar for Hill staff, the coalition also held discussions with staff at the National Economic Council (NEC), and hosted a fundraiser for Representative Richard Neal of Massachusetts.
On Monday, September 24th, the MBFA Coalition held two educational seminars on Capitol Hill for House and Senate staff, and other interested parties on the importance of preserving the tax-exemption for municipal bonds. MBFA Executive Chair Steve Benjamin, Mayor of Columbia, S.C., and current president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors presided over the events to highlight the benefits of the municipal bond market, the tax-exemption, and the importance to restore advanced refundings.
The seminar featured two panels of executives and practitioners ready to defend municipal bonds, including:
- Steve Benjamin, Mayor – Columbia, S.C. & MBFA Executive Chair
- Kevin Burke, President & CEO – Airports Council International – North America
- Clarence Anthony, CEO & Executive Director – National League of Cities
- Alex Wallace, Head of Public Finance – U.S. Bank
- John Godfrey, Senior Government Affairs Director – American Public Power Association
- Steve Winterstein, Managing Director & Chief Municipal Fixed Income Strategist – Wilmington Trust
- Liz Clark, Senior Director of Federal Affairs – National Association of College and University Business Officers
- Pat Luby, Senior Municipal Strategist – CreditSites
- Matt Letourneau, Dulles District Supervisor – Loudon County, VA
- Lisa Fedeli, Director of Capital Finance and Debt Management – Port of Portland, OR
- Marc Farmer, General Manager – Clatskanie People’s Public Utility District, OR
- Matt Posner, CEO – Impact Coalition
The panelists focused on the impact that municipal bonds play in our daily lives, the economic efficiency of the municipal exemption, and the important role that private activity bonds (PABs) and advance refundings play in America’s infrastructure investment.
MBFA Lobby Day and White House Meeting
In addition to holding the educational seminar, the MBFA coalition held over 40 meetings on Tuesday, September 25th, with key members of congress and their staffs that have influential voices on tax and infrastructure issues. Members of the MBFA’s Executive Committee and legislative task force also visited the Deputy Assistant to the President for Financial Policy for the National Economic Council (NEC) at the White House to advocate to maintain the current law status of the municipal bond tax-exemption and to restore advance refundings. The delegation highlighted that municipal bonds are the original public-private partnership and tax-exempt bonds are used for core local government infrastructure that is the foundation for our nation’s economy.
Fundraiser for Richard Neal (D-MA) – Ranking Member of the House Ways & Means Committee
The MBFA Coalition capped the two-day event with a fundraiser for Congressman Richard Neal who is projected to become the next Chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee if his party recaptures majority control of the House this fall. A strong advocate for municipal bonds, the former mayor of Springfield, MA, reaffirmed his support of MBFA priorities for protecting the tax-exempt status of municipal bonds and the reinstatement of advance refundings.
Handouts from the seminar and Hill day featured the BDA’s recent release of the primer on municipal bond finance: The Municipal Bond Market: Building America’s Infrastructure.
- You can view a copy of it online here.