Ruppersberger, Hultgren Lead Bipartisan Effort to Protect Critical Infrastructure Financing Tool
(Washington, D.C.) – Congressmen C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-02) and Randy Hultgren (IL-14), have again sent a bipartisan letter to House leadership in support of a critical tool that helps local and state governments finance new roads, schools, hospitals, fire stations and more. Joined by 122 of their colleagues (63 Democrats, 61 Republicans total), the letter asks leadership to reject any proposal to cap or eliminate the deduction on tax-exempt municipal bonds used to finance the vast majority of infrastructure projects in America’s communities.
In his budget proposal for 2016, President Barack Obama suggests limiting the value of tax benefits for top-earning investors in municipal bonds to 28 percent, down from the current 35 percent. Some federal legislators have proposed eliminating the tax exemption on municipal bond interest altogether.
As a former county councilman, county executive and president of the Maryland Association of Counties, Congressman Ruppersberger believes that tax-exempt bonds are among the most efficient way to fund critical infrastructure projects that have created hundreds of thousands of jobs.
“If the federal income tax exemption is eliminated or limited, states and localities will pay more to finance projects, leading to less infrastructure investment and fewer jobs,” Congressman Ruppersberger said. “Worse, they will be forced to shift costs to their main revenue source – property taxes – hitting the already-suffering real estate market and the wallets of American homeowners.”
Municipal bonds have funded more than $1.9 trillion worth of infrastructure construction. This financing went to the construction of schools, hospitals, airports, affordable housing, water and sewer facilities, public power utilities, roads and public transit. In 2013 alone, more than 11,000 tax-exempt bonds financed more than $330 billion in infrastructure spending.
To read the full letter signed by all 124 Members of Congress, click here.