Rep. Daniel B. Maffei, D-N.Y., has introduced a bill that would allow businesses to use more tax-exempt bonds in empowerment zones and permit some of those bonds to be federally guaranteed.

The Small and Medium Urban Regions Growth and Empowerment, or Act, or SURGE, would relax some restrictions on the types of projects that can be bond financed within these areas. Empowerment zones are specially designated, distressed urban communities where bonds and other tax incentives can be used to attract private businesses as well as economic development.

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