On June 14, GFOA joined several public issuer groups to express support for H.R. 6985, the Financing Lead Out of Water (FLOW) Act introduced by Rep. Dan Kildee (MI-5). The FLOW Act would amend the Internal Revenue Code and generally allow for public utilities to use tax-exempt bonds to pay for private-side lead service line replacement. In most cases, replacing lead service lines – a priority in particular for the current administration – consists of replacing a portion owned by a utility and a portion owned by a private homeowner. Thus, under current conditions if a water system tries to finance the replacement of both portions with tax-exempt bonds, they must undergo a lengthy administrative process to avoid violating private use rules.
It is currently estimated that roughly 10 million lead service lines still remain in use; providing this flexibility could lead to the ultimate goal of replacing all of these lines. GFOA encourages members to ask their Representatives to cosponsor the legislation. To read the letter, click here.