The Public Finance Tax Blog

This blog is written by the public finance tax group of Squire Patton Boggs. We are one of the largest and most experienced public finance tax groups in the country, with six tax attorneys who devote themselves exclusively to this area and collectively possess more than 100 years of experience in handling the federal tax aspects of public finance, and several additional tax attorneys who work in public finance tax and other areas as well.

Finally: Withdrawal Of The Political Subdivision Regulations Is Announced

The eagerly awaited verdict on the proposed political subdivision regulations (Proposed Political Subdivision Regulations) (“Proposed Regulations”) is finally in and their withdrawal has been announced.  These regulations have been a frequent subject of our posts (here,  here, here, here, here, and here) Treasury issued its interim Report on June 22, 2017 (here) under Executive Order 13789 (here) identifying eight regulations for review, including the Proposed Regulations.  (Discussed in previous blogs by Michael Cullers and Johnny Hutchinson here and here.) Now Treasury has issued its “Second Report to the President on Identifying and Reducing Tax Regulatory Burdens,” (“Second Report”) dated October 2, 2017, announcing its recommendations on those eight regulations as well as potentially far-reaching plans for further review of burdensome regulations.  Of the eight regulations reviewed, Treasury recommended full withdrawal of only two, one being the Proposed Regulations (the other being an anti-taxpayer regulation addressing transfers of family businesses, which could be an especially sympathetic area under the Trump administration).  In recommending withdrawal of the Proposed Regulations, Treasury noted that “some enhanced standards for qualifying as a political subdivision may be appropriate” but that “regulations having as far-reaching an impact on existing legal structures as the proposed regulations are not justified.”  So what might we expect in the future?… Read more

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“TEFRA Is A Four-Letter Word”

The title of this post is taken from an observation that a client once made when the strictures of the notice, hearing, and approval requirements set forth in Internal Revenue Code Section 147(f), which with limited exceptions apply to all issues of tax-exempt private activity bonds, worked to prevent a hoped-for use of proceeds of a qualified private activity bond issue.  These notice, hearing, and approval requirements were originally enacted as part of the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Tax Act of 1982, so the acronym “TEFRA” is commonly used in connection with these requirements.  According to urban legend, the coarsest of the four-letter words is also an acronym, the components of which the esteemed etymologists Van Halen detailed in the title to the band’s triple platinum 1991 album.… Read more

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The Future For The Municipal Bond Tax Exemption Is Bright Following The Release Of The Unified Framework For Tax Reform.

Efforts to overhaul the Internal Revenue Code have been spearheaded thus far by a group of Republicans referred to as the “Big Six.”[1]  Earlier today, the Big Six released a “unified framework to achieve pro-American, fiscally-responsible tax reform” (the “Framework”).  The Framework proposes many changes to the U.S.… Read more

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SLGS! (For Now)

Treasury has re-opened the sale of SLGS, now that the debt limit has been lifted through December 8. The SLGS window likely will close again around December 8, unless Congress takes further action.

(Though the strictures of legal ethics and of logic would counsel us against insinuating that we had anything to do with it, we cannot help but notice the coincidence in timing between this announcement and Alexios’s post on Friday about #SLGSforever.)… Read more

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NABL Proposes “Enhanced Infrastructure Bonds” (or Build America Bonds 2.0)

The National Association of Bond Lawyers submitted eight legislative proposals to Treasury on August 22 with the stated purpose of improving the efficiency of tax-advantaged financing of much-needed public infrastructure projects (here is a link to the proposals).   The proposals would broaden the availability and simplify existing types of tax-exempt bonds as well as create new forms of tax-advantaged bonds.  One of the new forms would be Enhanced Infrastructure Bonds (“EIBs”), which could just as easily be called new and improved Build America Bonds (“BABs”).  EIBs and direct-pay BABs share many characteristics, including generating federal payments to the issuer while paying taxable interest to holders, with the differences intended to make EIBs an even more attractive financing option and to eliminate the shortcomings of BABs that were discovered over the course of issuing more than $185 billion of direct-pay BABs during the brief period they were available – April 2009 through December 2010.  The similarities and differences in EIBs and BABs are identified and explained below.… Read more

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Tax Policy By Tweet

One of the many recent targets of Twitter criticism from President Trump has been the internet retailer Amazon.  Presumably after being informed by his staff that jobs in the retail industry constitute a much more significant share of national employment than those in coal mining (or after hearing about it on CNN), Mr.… Read more

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Treasury Clarifies Effective Date Of Revised Definition Of ‘Available Amount’

On July 18, 2016, the Treasury Department published final regulations on non-issue price arbitrage restrictions (the “Final Regulations”).  A copy of the Final Regulations is available here.  Since that time, the mid-afternoon naps of issuers, tax lawyers, and possibly Sean from Portlandia have been improved by reading my “comprehensive” blog post on the Final Regulations.… Read more

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