GFOA Leads PFN Hill Briefing on Municipal Bonds
On Monday, September 19, GFOA led a Public Finance Network (PFN) briefing on Capitol Hill for congressional staffers on municipal bond modernization. This was the first in-person briefing since the start of the pandemic, and it was a collaborative effort between GFOA, the National Association of Counties (NACo), and the National League of Cities (NLC). Respectively representing each group were: Kendel Taylor, Director of Finance, Alexandria, VA; Jason Carini, Treasurer, Rogers County, OK; and, Mayor Mark Shepherd, Clearfield City, UT. The panel used the briefing as an opportunity to highlight the importance of municipal bonds to their communities, and to discuss what Congress could do to further enhance this vital finance tool.
Among the improvements discussed by the panelists were the longstanding GFOA priorities of:
- Increasing the bank-qualified cap to $30 million from $10 million, tie any future increases to inflation, and permanently modify the small issuer exception to apply the cap at the individual borrower level; and
- Restore tax-exempt advance refunding bonds which were eliminated in the 2017 tax reform effort.
Although the odds either provision will advance further in the final weeks of the 117th Congress are fairly low, both provisions have seen the most progress during this session. The briefing was a good way to build off of that momentum and at a minimum, lay the foundation for the legislative push when the 118th gavels in next January.