WASHINGTON - The coming year will mark a reversal for tax-exempt bonds in Washington, as Congress and the new administration focus on using them to help stimulate the economy rather than on restricting them to curb federal revenue losses, market participants said in interviews on the outlook for tax legislation and regulation.

"I think that Congress will be looking at ways to assist state and local governments, and one of the ways they will be doing so will be through the bond market," said Susan Gaffney, director of the Government Finance Officers Association's federal liaison center here.

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