In the four years since Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf coast, $2.6 billion of the $4.9 billion of bonds authorized for Mississippi by the Gulf Opportunity Zone Act legislation remains to be sold.
GO Zone bonds are tax-exempt private-activity bonds approved by Congress in 2005 to help Gulf Coast states with hurricane recovery efforts. The allocations must be sold by Dec. 31, 2010.
A difficult bond market has hindered sales in Mississippi, Kathy Gelston, bureau manager of the Mississippi Development Authority’s financial resources division said last week.
“We’re not finding many banks willing to issue credit,” Gelston told the Clarion Ledger, noting that her agency still is taking applications for bond allocations. Only three projects valued at $37.7 million have completed bond transactions this year, the paper reported.