MBFA Lobbies Congress to Restore Advance Refundings & Increase Bank Qualified Limits

MBFA Lobbies Congress to Restore Advance Refundings & Increase Bank Qualified Limits

Last week, (June 14,2019) the Municipal Bonds for America (MBFA) Coalition canvased Capitol Hill in support of municipal finance for infrastructure development and the tax exemption through multiple events on Capitol Hill over a two-day period. MBFA Executive Chair Steve Benjamin, Mayor of Columbia, S.C. and current president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors presided over the events. You will find a recap of the events below.

Educational Seminar on Municipal Bonds  and Capitol Hill Lobby Day
On Thursday, June 13th, the MBFA Coalition held 23 meetings with key members of Congress and their staff that have influential positions on Congressional Committees with jurisdiction over tax and infrastructure issues. Coalition members advocated to protect the tax-exempt status of municipal bonds, argued for the full reinstatement of advance refunding bonds, and found support for small borrower bank-qualified tax-exempt obligations. Through direct Coalition engagement, the MBFA was able to add sponsors to the Investing in Our Communities Act (H.R. 2772), a bill to restore the tax-exemption for advance refunding bonds.
Additionally, on Friday, June 14th, the MBFA Coalition held an educational seminar on Capitol Hill for staff members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate on the importance of preserving tax-exempt financing for infrastructure development. The seminar was entitled, “The Municipal Bond Market: Building America’s Infrastructure,” and focused on the impact that municipal bonds play in our daily lives before an audience of 25 Congressional staff members on issues including: the economic efficiency of the municipal tax exemption; the important role that private activity bonds (PABs) and advance refundings play in America’s infrastructure investment; and, why Congress should set the bank qualified debt limit at $30 million to help small borrowers efficiently access the capital markets in a less costly manner.

Fundraiser for Terri Sewell (D-AL) – Vice Chair of the House Ways & Means Committee

The Coalition organized a fundraiser for the Vice Chair of the House Ways & Means Committee, Terri Sewell (D-AL). A former securities attorney with a penchant for public finance, Rep. Sewell has been a strong advocate for the municipal tax-exemption and for restoring advance refunding bonds. The fundraiser was cancelled due to the House of Representatives’ floor schedule that was dedicated to spending legislation on Thursday, June 13th. We will keep you updated once this event will be rescheduled.

Additional Information

Handouts from the seminar and Hill day featured the following:

  • Introduction of Advance Refunding Legislation (H.R. 2772) that can be viewed here.
  • The MBFA’s One-Pager on the Small Borrower Bank-Qualifed Tax-Exempt Obligations that can be viewed here.
  • The BDA’s primer on municipal bond finance – The Municipal Bond Market: Building America’s Infrastructure that can be viewed here.

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