Last month, the House tax bill threatened to eliminate private activity bonds – a financing tool that has been used for years by local governments to fund critical infrastructure, such as educational facilities, hospitals and affordable housing. Municipal bond experts projected that 20 to 25 percent of the bond market would be lost under this provision, stalling millions of dollars of investment in new projects.
The final tax bill, signed into law just before the end of 2017, did not include the provision. As a result, private activity bonds are still available to fund eligible projects. However, the new law does eliminate tax-exempt refunding of government and nonprofit debt after Dec. 31, 2017. This provision generated a wave of refunding activity in the last weeks of December.