MBFA Chair Contributes Op-Ed in The Hill

Today, Steve Benjamin, Mayor of Columbia, S.C., and Chair of the Municipal Bonds for America (MBFA) Coalition, contributed an op-ed in The Hill, which can be read here. The article focuses on how those faced with the devastation left behind by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma can look to the traditional bond market to rebuild stronger, smarter and more resilient communities.

Specifically, the Op-Ed Highlights:

  • How the city of Columbia, S.C., can be a blueprint for cities and communities to rebuild using tax-exempt municipal bonds after being faced with an historic flood in October 2015
  • What the impact to state and local governments would be if the municipal tax-exemption is capped or removed altogether
  • That members of Congress and the administration should support the tax-exemption of municipal bonds as they consider infrastructure and tax reform proposals in their upcoming debates

New York Times Rebuttal: Private Activity Bonds Support Job Creation & Economic Development

–Flawed, Inaccurate New York Times Article Debunked–

Toby Rittner, President & CEO, Council of Development Finance Agencies

The New York Times article, A Stealth Tax Subsidy for Business Faces New Scrutiny, is riddled with inaccuracies and misinterpretations of one of the nation’s most important economic development tools: qualified private activity bonds (PABs). The story, sensational and misleading throughout, highlights perceived misuses and infers abuses of the U.S. tax code, all the while ignoring the essential public purpose that these bonds serve. PABs are exactly as they sound, a bond instrument, supported and endorsed by the United States Congress since 1914, that catalyze private investment in projects and industries that may otherwise not receive conventional financing. PABs are one of the oldest tax policies on record and were included in our Nation’s first formal tax code. Continue reading

Summary Report on Jefferson County, AL, Chapter 9 Proceedings

A memorandum prepared for BDA firms by Nixon Peabody telling the story of Jefferson County. The preliminary skirmishes in JeffCo are now behind us, but its future path is still hard to map out. However, with each ruling issuers and purchasers of municipal debt gain valuable guidance about how various types of municipal debt might be treated in a municipal chapter 9 case. The discussion about the possibility of the municipal issuer becoming the debtor in a chapter 9 case is likely to become more robust in future public disclosure documents and the purchasers of municipal debt are likely to be able to make more informed decisions.

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