TAX BILL HURTS MUNIS

ISSUANCE OF TAX-EXEMPT SECURITIES has been misused and abused by local and state governments. But these securities also have been almost the sole means for financing most of the country's major municipal projects such as ports, air and water pollution control projects, low income housing and industrial parks.

Under the new bill expected to be passed by this Congress, the Public Securities Association estimates 41 percent of all municipal bonds issued in 1984 could not be issued as tax-exempt securities by 1991. It also contends that 63 percent of so-called private-activity bonds would no longer be permitted to be issued as tax-exempt by that year. The private-activity bonds will be reduced by the elimination of tax exemption on a number of industrial development bonds and the volume caps that the tax bill threatens to impose on the industrial development bonds that will remain eligible for tax exemption.Ports, docks and harbors are still expected to qualify for tax-exempt status under the tax bill being hashed out by Senate and House conferees. However, private marinas and harbor facilities are expected to lose their exempt status.

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