Advisory Services









Tax Reform 2017

Preserve Private Activity Bonds

The House Ways & Means Committee and the Senate Committee on Finance have introduced the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act - the long awaited tax reform bill. Unfortunately, the House bill would eliminate all Private Activity Bonds, a move that would prove devastating to development finance efforts nationally. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is the product of months of collaboration between senior members of the House, Senate, and White House, and consequently without major pushback and input there is a good chance the bill may become law.

View the House Bill   View the Senate Bill

To be clear, the elimination of Private Activity Bonds is bad policy and will cripple economic, infrastructure, and community development. CDFA and other industry leaders are working hard strike the tax reform provision that would eliminate Private Activity Bonds. Listed below are resources detailing CDFA's advocacy efforts, the latest on tax reform, and other regularly updated information.

-Happening Now

Spread the Word - Rep. Hultgren (R-IL) Defending PABs

Representative Randy Hultgren (R-IL), Chair of the Municipal Finance Caucus and longtime friend of CDFA, is asking his Republican colleagues to sign a letter urging Republican leadership to protect private activity bonds and advance refundings. CDFA asks that you help Rep. Hultgren by contacting your Republican senators or representative, and encourage them to sign the letter. A simple phone call or email to their Washington office is sufficient.

Contact Your Senators and Representatives

-Advocacy Efforts

Submit Letters to Congress

CDFA asks that all Private Activity Bond stakeholders send letters to Congress, urging leaders to preserve Private Activity Bonds. A sample draft letter is available below to assist in your efforts.

Download Sample Letter

CDFA National Tax Reform Sign-on Letter

CDFA is sending letters to House and Senate leaders to preserve Private Activity Bonds. We encourage you to sign our letter.

View the Letter   Sign the Letter

Private Activity Bond Project Submission

CDFA is building a list of project examples that have used tax-exempt private activity bonds to send to members of Congress. We want to include your projects in this effort.

Please help us lead the charge to preserve private activity bonds. We need projects that have been completed in the last 2-3 years. Project examples that will resonate include healthcare, rural, education, infrastructure, manufacturing.

To submit project examples, follow the link below:

Submit PAB Project Examples

Follow Us on Twitter

CDFA is active on Twitter, and publishing content regularly with the #PreservePABs campaign. Follow @CDFA_Update and @CDFA_LegFed for the latest on tax reform and private activity bonds.

-National Webcast

On November 7, CDFA held a national webcast to discuss H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. To view the webcast in its entirety, click play on the media player. CDFA President & CEO Toby Rittner led the call.


Senate Republicans Face Hurdles in Getting Tax Bill Passed
The Bond Buyer | Nov. 21
Republicans in the Senate face some hurdles in getting their tax bill passed, such as Sen. Susan Collins' preference for keeping the federal deduction for state and local taxes.
MSRB Releases Overview of Tax Bills
MSRB | Nov. 21
The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board provides an overview of the municipal securities provisisions that are currently be considered in the House and Senate tax bills.
Lots of Noise in the Muni Market as Confusion, Concern Surround PABs, Refundings
Court Street Group Research | Nov. 20
George Friedlander of Court Street Group outlines the state of the tax reform debate, as well the projected impact of tax legislation on municipal finance.
Trump’s Vow to Fix U.S. Airports Is Hurt by Tax Bill
Bloomberg | Nov. 20
The ability of airports to finance improvements would be undone by the elimination of private activity bonds. CDFA President & CEO Toby Rittner is quoted in the piece.
Tax Bill Could Crush Private Bond Work
Bloomberg BNA | Nov. 17
The House GOP tax reform bill would repeal the tax-exempt status for qualified PABs, which could lead up to a 50 percent reduction in such projects and could lead to the loss of tens of thousands of low-income housing units. Tim Fisher of CDFA is quoted in the piece.
American Cities Stuck With Part of Tab for Republicans’ Tax Cuts
Bloomberg | Nov. 16
Congress's plan to cut taxes by more than $1 trillion sends part of the bill to America's states and cities. The proposed tax changes would likely result in higher interest costs for municipal borrowers and strain their budgets, according to S&P Global Ratings.
Tax Plan Faces Backlash over Repeal of Incentives
Washington Post | Nov. 16
The cuts to economic development tools made in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act would undermine affordable housing efforts nationwide.
Muni Groups Pin Hopes on Senate
The Bond Buyer | Nov. 14
Municipal market participants have turned their attention to the Senate for a better outcome after the House voted 227 to 205, mostly along party lines, to pass a tax bill that would put an end to private activity bonds and advance refundings after this year.
CDFA Sends Letter to SFC Defending HTC
CDFA | Nov. 14
CDFA sent a letter to members of the Senate Finance Committee urging them to reject any provisions that curtail or eliminate the Historic Tax Credit.
Tax Bill Would Eliminate 1M Affordable Housing Units
Novogradac | Nov. 14
According to Novogradac & Company analysis, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act would reduce the future supply of affordable rental housing by nearly one million units. 
Conduit Issuers Imagine World without PABs
The Bond Buyer | Nov. 14
Conduit issuer state that an inability to issue private activity bonds would cause them to disappear. Several CDFA members are quoted in the article.
Tax Bill Would Affect Veterans Seeking Homes
89.3 KPCC | Nov. 14
The elimination of private activity bonds would eliminate veteran mortgage bonds, among several other types of overlooked programs. CDFA's Tim Fisher is quoted in the piece.
Tax Advantaged Bond Provisions in Tax Bills
Hawkins Delafield & Wood LLP | Nov. 13
The Hawkins Advisory describes provisions affecting tax-exempt bonds and tax credit bonds that are included in the House and Senate's tax bills.
Muni Market Relieved by Senate Plan
Reuters | Nov. 13
The U.S. Senate Republican tax bill will preserve Private Activity Bonds, settling the nerves of many in the industry. However, the bill still would eliminate advance refunding bonds. CDFA's Tim Fisher is quoted in the piece.
Senate Bill Saves PABs, but Eliminates Advance Refundings
The Bond Buyer | Nov. 10
The municipal bond market would fare better in the Senate Republicans' tax reform proposal released Thursday, which would preserve private activity bonds and even enhance them. But advance refundings would still be terminated after this year.
Opinion: Protect Infrastructure Finance in Tax Reform
Washington Examiner | Nov. 10
Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-IL) and Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD), co-chairs of the Municipal Finance Caucus, ask their colleagues in Congress to maintain the tax-exemption for private activity bonds.
Senate Introduces Chairman's Mark
Joint Committee on Taxation | Nov. 10
The U.S. Senate has introduced the Chairman's Mark of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Unlike the House version of the Act, the Senate version maintains the current tax as it relates to private activity bonds.
Tax Plan Could Curb US Infrastructure Investment
Financial Times | Nov. 10
Investment in US infrastructure could be one of the losers from the Republican tax plan, undercutting the Trump administration's aim of stimulating a new wave of construction led by the private sector.
Senate Tax Reform Retains LIHTC, PABs, HTC, and NMTC
Novogradac | Nov. 10
The Senate Finance Committee's new tax reform legislation is much better for affordable housing, community development, historic preservation, and renewable energy than the House tax reform legislation, which the Ways and Means Committee favorably reported to the full House.
Crain's: Here's One Thing Wrong with the House Tax Plan
Crain's Chicago Business | Nov. 9
Crain's Chicago Business cites higher future borrowing costs hampering Chicago's nonprofit building boom as reasons to maintain PABs. Chris Meister, Executive Director of IFA, states in the article that "it's irresponsible to abandon a tool that so effectively uses the discipline of the capital markets."
Amendment Fails to Save PABs
The Bond Buyer | Nov. 9
House Ways and Means Committee Republicans on Wednesday voted 24 to 16 along party lines against amendments by two Democrats to save advance refundings and private activity bonds from being terminated after this year.
CDFA Sends National Sign-On Letter to Congress
CDFA | Nov. 9
CDFA has sent a national sign-on letter with over 400 signatures to Congressional officials, urging them to preserve Private Activity Bonds.
Say Goodbye to Muni Deals Like These If Tax Bill Is Enacted
Bloomberg | Nov. 8
Of the $301 billion in long-term, fixed-rate municipal bonds sold so far this year, Bloomberg estimates that at least one-third would no longer be allowed, between advanced refundings, stadium bonds, private-activity bonds and tax-credit bonds.
Private Activity Bonds: Background, Uses and Restrictions
MBFA | Nov. 8
Municipal Bonds for America has published a simple two page overview on the Do's and Don'ts of what Private Activity Bonds finance.
Muni Groups Urge Lawmakers to Keep PABs
The Bond Buyer | Nov. 8
Municipal market groups including CDFA, the Public Finance Network, MBFA, and NABL have sent extensive sign-on letters to House and Senate leaders, urging them to spare advance refundings and private activity bonds.
Predicted Death Knell for PABs is Premature, Say Two Republicans
The Bond Buyer | Nov. 8
Reps. Jackie Walorski (R-IN) and Jim Renacci (R-OH) acknowledge the benefits of PABs, suggesting future amendments to H.R. 1. Jim Renacci is an original cosponsor of the Modernizing American Manufacturing Bonds Act.
Market Commentary: Tax Reform Proposal Hammers Munis
Court Street Group Research | Nov. 7
George Friedlander of Court Street Group Research provides an in-depth analysis of both the direct and indirect effects of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
Republican Lawmakers Quietly Lobby for PABs
The Bond Buyer | Nov. 7
While W&M Republicans rejected an amendment that would have maintained the current federal deduction for state and local taxes, they continued an internal debate on keeping tax-exempt private activity bonds.
Bipartisan Coalition of Lawmakers Fight for PABs
The Hill | Nov. 7
A bipartisan coalition of 150 Congressmen have sent a letter to House leadership advocating for PABs. Rep. Randy Hultgren, Chairman of the Municipal Finance Caucus, spearheaded the effort.
Eliminating Bonds Would Slash Affordable Housing
Affordable Housing Finance | Nov. 7
Eliminating private-activity bonds would devastate affordable housing across the country, as roughly half of all LIHTC developments utilize tax-exempt bonds and 4% credits.
Changes to Bond Rules in Tax Bill Could Shake Up Infrastructure Financing
Route Fifty | Nov. 7
The tax bill Republicans in the U.S. House are moving swiftly ahead with this week threatens to raise borrowing costs for health care facilities, affordable housing and other infrastructure projects involving states, local governments and nonprofit organizations.
Industry Groups Come Out Swinging to Save PABs
The Bond Buyer | Nov. 6
Supporters of tax-exempt private activity bonds have been working overtime since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was introduced in an effort to save PABs. CDFA's Tim Fisher is quoted in the article.
Federal Tax Reform: House Bill Rewrites Municipal Bond Rules
Ballard Spahr | Nov. 4
Ballard Spahr's Public Finance Group provide a detailed overview of how the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act would impact the municipal marketplace.
GOP Tax Plan Puts Billions in Muni Market Savings at Risk
Governing | Nov. 3
In a surprise move, the Republican tax plan released on Thursday contains a proposal that finance experts say would be devastating for governments trying to find money for economic development projects.
Commentary: Tax Tradeoffs Would Leave Muni Market Unrecognizable
The Bond Buyer | Nov. 3
John Hallacy of Bond Buyer offers his perspective on how the municipal industry will be affected by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
Bloomberg Briefs: Administration Aims to Shrink Muni Market by One Third
Bloomberg | Nov. 3
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, if enacted, would mean shrinking the tax-exempt municipal market by between 25% and a third. The bill proposes terminating PABs, repealing the use of advance refunding bonds and tax-credit bonds, and prohibiting the sale of tax-exempts for professional sports stadiums.
First Draft Tax Reform Bill Eliminates Numerous Types of Bonds
Squire Patton Boggs | Nov. 3
Squire Patton Boggs provides an overview of how the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act would affect private activity bonds, advance refunding bonds, tax credit bonds, and governmental bonds for sports venues.
Muni Market Blindsided by Bond Provisions in House GOP Tax Plan
The Bond Buyer | Nov. 2
Municipal bond market participants and infrastructure advocates were stunned and unhappy on Wednesday when House Republicans released a tax bill that would terminate private activity bonds and advance refunding bonds after this year.
Republicans Push to End Muni Sales by Businesses, Stadiums
Bloomberg | Nov. 2
Congressional Republicans proposed barring the sale of municipal bonds for professional sports stadiums and privately run infrastructure projects such as toll roads and airports, a step that's at odds with President Donald Trump's push to increase funding for public works.

For additional information on CDFA strategy during the tax reform process, please contact Tim Fisher at 614-705-1309.

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