The House GOP blueprint for tax reform released Friday sparked mixed reactions in Congress, with leading Democrats criticizing its lack of detail and Republicans lauding its proposed pro-growth efforts through limits on deductions, exclusions and credits in the current tax code.
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew added to the pressure for quick passage of a Puerto Rico rescue bill in a letter to the Senate leadership on Monday, even as some public finance professionals maintain the bill is unnecessary and could be harmful for the commonwealth.
In one of the biggest rallies in recent memory, municipal bonds surged on Friday after Britain voted to leave the European Union. Yields on some top-rated municipals fell by as much as 17 basis points to record low levels, in a move that some analysts said signaled yields will remain near all-time lows for longer than anyone had expected, and that negative U.S. interest rates may be on the horizon.
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Most investors agree that municipal bonds in 2012 will not match 2011's robust returns. But there are opportunities at various points in the yield curve and among lower investment-grade credits. more »
The Internal Revenue Service's tax-exempt bond office has formed a seven-person team that is using EMMA and other data from the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board to determine if muni bonds were initially offered at prices that raise questions about tax-law compliance. more »
The municipal securities market, still reeling from a handful of proposals President Obama and others offered during the last 14 months that pose the greatest threat to tax-exemption since 1986, may have a year's respite due to partisan bickering in Congress and the forthcoming presidential election, according to tax experts. more »
In the realm of muni enforcement, the new year will start with the most high-profile federal criminal trial since the mid-1990s, stemming from the Justice Department's extensive probe of bid-rigging. more »
Transportation officials and lobbyists will be watching Capitol Hill early next year, hoping lawmakers pass long-term reauthorization legislation funding aviation and surface programs that would bring much-needed stability to the sectors. more »
Bond Buyer Northeast regional editor Paul Burton, markets reporter Aaron Weitzman and Northeast regional reporter Andrew Coen examine the hot-button problem of public pension liability, including the lingering Illinois shadow, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruling, union pushback and Pennsylvania's bill to switch new employees to 401(k)-style plans.