WASHINGTON - Sen. Jeff Bingaman, a member of the Senate Finance Committee,plans to introduce legislation next month that would boost demand for municipal debt by easing restrictions on the ability of banks and corporations to purchase bonds, similar to a measure pending before the House Ways & Means Committee.

Bingaman, a New Mexico Democrat, wants to increase to $30 million from $10 million the tax code's so-called bank deductibility limit, which currently allows banks to deduct 80% of the costs of purchasing and carrying tax-exempt bonds issued by state and localities whose annual bond issuance does not exceed $10 million.

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