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APPA joins in op-ed making case against taxing municipal bonds


From the December 10, 2012 issue of Public Power Daily

Originally published December 10, 2012

APPA joined 19 other state and local governmental associations in signing an op-ed in the Dec. 5 Politico in defense of the current tax treatment of municipal bonds. The op-ed by Timothy Firestine, the chief administrative officer, Montgomery County, Md., makes the case that taxing municipal bonds would overturn a century of precedent and increase the cost of critical infrastructure investments—a cost that can be paid only with increased state and local property taxes, sales taxes, income taxes and utility rates. 

"Repealing, replacing or limiting the tax-exemption on municipal bond interest would cause governments—and taxpayers—to pay more for their infrastructure needs," the op-ed said. "This would result in higher taxes and fees, which translates into less infrastructure investment, fewer jobs and higher costs to states and localities that are already under fiscal stress." 

Hurricane Sandy was "a blunt reminder about the critical role of tax-exempt financing in rebuilding our communities and a painful warning to 'do no harm' to this essential infrastructure financing tool," the opinion piece said. The associations urged Congress "to strengthen, not weaken, the tax-exempt bond market because of its essential role in financing our nation’s infrastructure needs."

The op-ed is available online.

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