Are you interested in public policy? Do you want to help NABL staff educate federal policy makers and their staff on the importance of tax-advantaged bonds? Join NABL's Governmental Affairs Committee!

The NABL Office of Governmental Affairs represents NABL before the federal government, tracks federal legislative and regulatory developments, works with other professional associations, and informs members through NABLNET Alerts and the Weekly Wrap.

The Office of Governmental Affairs works with NABL leadership and committees to submit comment letters to federal agencies and to prepare position statements. Visit the RESEARCH section of the website to search for a particular comment letter or position statement.

If you have any questions or comments or need assistance finding a document, email or call Jessica Giroux, Director of Governmental Affairs.

Restoration of Tax-Exempt Advance Refunding Bonds

House:

The Investing in our Communities Act

The Investing in Our Communities Act, introduced March 29, 2021 by Reps. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD), and Steve Stivers (R-OH) would restore advance refunding bonds.

The “Investing in Our Communities Act” enables governments to refinance outstanding bonds for projects such as new roads, schools, hospitals and fire stations, reducing their borrowing costs and freeing up resources for other community improvements.

The legislation reverses changes made under the tax reform law of 2017, restoring the tax-exemption for advance refunding bonds, which are often used by municipalities to pay off another, outstanding bond. The change enables governments to take advantage of lower interest rates, similar to homeowners refinancing their mortgages. The use of tax-exempt advance refunding bonds saves taxpayers an estimated $2.35 billion a year.

Find a press release here.

Find an advocacy template here.

Senate:

LOCAL Infrastructure Act

Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) introduced the Lifting Our Communities through Advance Liquidity for Infrastructure (LOCAL Infrastructure) Act of 2021 on February 25, 2021.

The legislation would amend the federal tax code to restore state and local governments’ ability to use advance refunding to manage bond debt and reduce borrowing costs for public projects. This initiative could provide a boost to local communities across the nation as the U.S. deals with the economic effects of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Among other organizations, the senators’ legislation is supported by several municipal industry leaders, including the National Association of Bond Lawyers.

Find a one-pager of the legislation here.

Find the legislative text here.

Find an advocacy template here.

Direct-Pay Bonds

Senate

Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) have introduced the American Infrastructure Bonds Act, legislation that would create a new class of "direct-pay" taxable municipal bonds. 

The use of this tool will help to expand the investor base to include entities that are not traditionally interested in tax-exempt bonds because they are not subject to federal income tax, such as pension funds and foreign investors. The competition among these additional investors lowers the costs of infrastructure financed with the bonds – both to the issuers of the bonds and to the federal government. This results in more investment in public infrastructure and a big achievement in our current pandemic environment.

This is an important legislative step and NABL members can further support this effort. 

Find legislative text here.

Find a one-pager here.

Find an advocacy template here.

Municipal Bond Package: Restoration of Tax-Exempt Advance Refunding Bonds, Introduction of a Direct-Pay Bond Model, and Expansion of Bank Qualified Bonds

House

The Local Infrastructure Financing Tools (LIFT) Act was introduced April 16, 2021 by House Ways and Means Committee member Terri A. Sewell (D-AL).  This legislation would provide a number of flexible financing tools that meet the unique needs of communities across the country, including transportation, public health facilities, schools, and other infrastructure and economic development projects. 

The bill would:

  • Restore the ability of states and localities to refinance existing debt through advance refunding bonds;
  • Authorize American infrastructure bonds, which are taxable direct-pay bonds;
  • Raise the annual issuance limit for bank-qualified bonds from $10 million to $30 million and apply the limit at the borrower level instead of aggregating the bonds of specific conduit issuers.

Find a press release here.

Find the legislative text here.

Find an advocacy template here.

 

 

 

  • April 28, 2021: The White House introduces the American Families Plan. 
    • Find the fact sheet here.
  • April 23, 2021: The Problem Solvers Caucus unveils "Rebuilding America's Infrastructure." 
    • Read the report here
  • March 31, 2021: President Joe Biden announces the American Jobs Plan
    • Find a Fact Sheet on the infrastructure proposal here.
    • Read White House's state-by-state infrastructure report here.
  • April 21, 2021: The American Hospital Association sends a letter to Congressional leadership suggesting infrastructure investments beneficial to the U.S. hospital system. Read the letter here.
  • March 2021: The country’s overall infrastructure needs over the next 10 years total nearly $6 trillion, according to a report published earlier in March by the American Society of Civil Engineers. It says there’s a $125 billion backlog on bridge repairs, a $435 billion backlog for roads and a $176 billion backlog for transit systems.

President Joe Biden releases first budget request as president, calling for a raise in annual discretionary spending to $1.52 trillion. The proposal omits details, but offers valuable insights into Biden's priorities. 

  • Find the proposal here.

NABL Activity

When NABL members work in tandem with our Governmental Affairs staff, we can have a greater impact on the issues NABL cares about. Reaching out to your member of Congress, introducing yourself and NABL, and stressing the importance of tax-advantaged bonds is the perfect way to do just that.

Assist in NABL's Advocacy: In order to improve our advocacy efforts, we are asking for information which will assist us in accomplishing more targeted outreach to staff and members of Congress, making our message more impactful. The information we need from you will include your congressional district number and/or zip code, as well as whether you have a relationship with a member of Congress or their staff. 

Update your information in one of two ways:

1. Fill out our survey available here or

2. Update your NABL Profile with your zip code:

  • Follow these steps: 
  •     Log in to the website using your NABL username and password
  •     Hover over the Membership tab (top right)
  •     Click Update your Profile
  •     Scroll down to the Governmental Affairs header
  •     Click the “plus” button to the right
  •     Fill out the required information
For more advocacy opportunities, email or call Jessica Giroux, Director of Governmental Affairs.

Have you or your firm worked on a project financed by municipal bonds?

We want to hear about it!

Help us with our advocacy efforts and fill out THIS SURVEY with the details of the project.

Notice: NABL does not take a stance on the pending legislation below. Rather, NABL provides the list to educate the membership of muni focused legislation that Congress is currently discussing. We will keep this list updated to the best of our ability. 

117th Congress

S. 1298 - Clean Energy for America Act

  • Introduced: 4/22/2021
  • Sponsor: Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR)
  • Purpose: Amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide tax incentives for increased investment in clean energy.

S. 1308 - American Infrastructure Bonds Act

  • Introduced: 4/22/2021
  • Sponsor: Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS)
  • Purpose: A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide a credit to issuers of American infrastructure bonds.

H.R. 2737 – Modernizing Agricultural and Manufacturing Bonds Act

  • Introduced: 4/21/2021
  • Sponsor: Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL-7)
  • Purpose: To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to modify certain rules applicable to qualified small issue manufacturing bonds, to expand certain exceptions to the private activity bond rules for first-time farmers, and for other purposes.
H.R. 2634 - Local Infrastructure Financing Tools (LIFT) Act 
  • Introduced: 4/16/2021
  • Sponsor: Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL-7)
  • Purpose: To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide a credit for American infrastructure bonds, and for other purposes.
H.R. 2573 - The Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2021
  • Introduced: 4/15/2021
  • Sponsor: Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-WA-1)
  • Purpose: To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to reform the low-income housing credit, and for other purposes.
H.R. 2288 - The Investing in our Communities Act
  • Introduced: 3/29/2021
  • Sponsor: Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD-2)
  • Purpose: To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to reinstate advance refunding bonds.
S. 479 - LOCAL Infrastructure Act
  • Introduced: 2/25/2021
  • Sponsor: Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS)
  • urpose: Reinstates tax provisions relating to advance refunding bonds.