On March 1, U.S. Representatives Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.) and Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.) announced the formation of the Congressional Municipal Finance Caucus. NACo has worked closely with these representatives in the past on efforts to educate congressional members and leadership on the importance of municipal bonds and the role they play in our nation’s infrastructure investment.
Over the past two sessions of Congress, the Representatives worked with NACo and other state and local government groups to send letters to House leadership requesting that they reject any effort to cap or eliminate the tax-exempt status of municipal bond interest. Each letter had more than 100 Representatives sign on in support.
According to Reps. Hultgren and Ruppersberger, the purpose of the caucus is to “act as a forum to discuss the opportunities and challenges for states and local governments to independently fund initiatives that will strengthen their communities, and to advocate for bipartisan policies that enhance their access to the capital markets. Key issues that merit strong consideration include: protecting the tax-exempt status of municipal debt, understanding how financial regulations treat such debt, and ensuring there is a robust market for municipal securities.”
NACo is currently working with staff in both offices on next steps for the Municipal Finance Caucus. NACo encourages counties to urge their Representatives to join the caucus and to continue stressing the critical role that municipal finance plays in our nation’s infrastructure.
While comprehensive tax reform will likely not happen this year, proposals that will substantially impact the tax-exempt status of municipal bonds continue to arise. Most recently, President Obama’s final budget request to Congress reiterated a proposal to place a 28 percent cap on the value of certain tax benefits, including tax-exempt interest on municipal bonds.
Contact: Mike Belarmino at email@example.com or 202.942.4254