WASHINGTON – The federal government and Congress need to play a more active role in securing infrastructure funding and protecting the tax-exempt status of bonds, said Jim McIntire, Washington state treasurer and president of the National Association of State Treasurers.
In a recent interview with The Bond Buyer, McIntire said that the muni bond market has been hampered due to stresses on state and local budget revenues. As tax reform proposals begin to surface in Congress, he said he wants to remind lawmakers that the nation’s infrastructure, including water and sewer systems, roads and schools are in need of “serious repair.”
“Repairing these systems and maintaining them is not something you can do easily or quickly. It takes a lot of planning and quite a bit of investment,” McIntire said. “It will take planning and broader policy thinking at the federal level.”
“It’s not just local in scope,” he added. “We’re talking about transportation – we all need to get goods across state lines. We have a common interest in getting states and localities to invest, but we need a federal frame for that.”
NAST leaders in February sent a letter to members of Congress urging them to support tax-exempt bonds as a key source of infrastructure funding in the wake of President Obama’s proposed $4.1 trillion 2017 budget that would tax the value of tax exemption at 28%.
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