Despite efforts from Maryland Congressman and former Baltimore County Executive Dutch Ruppersberger, it appears as though a critical cost-saving tool for local governments — which could save taxpayers billions — will not make it into the final version of the $1.75 trillion reconciliation package pending in Congress.
Advance refunding bonds allowed counties to refinance tax-exempt municipal bonds to save taxpayer money on outstanding debt. Previously, counties could issue one advance refunding bond per municipal bond – saving taxpayers billions nationwide on public infrastructure. Unfortunately, eliminating advance refunding in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) has limited options to refinance public debt.
According to Route Fifty:
A spokesperson for U.S. Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, a Maryland Democrat who co-chairs the municipal finance caucus, said by email Tuesday morning that the congressman “made a final appeal” to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office to include the finance provisions—which included the revival of tax-exempt advance refunding—in the bill. But it appears to have been unsuccessful.
“We’ve put up a good fight and are disappointed they will not likely make the cut but understand that compromises must be made as we work toward a bill that can be passed and signed into law,” said Jaime Lennon, Ruppersberger’s director of communications.