The Mississippi Business Finance Corp. has asked the U.S. Treasury Department to permit it to issue tax-exempt bonds, which Northrop Grumman could use to finance expenses beyond the normally permitted time frame as a result of the company's rebuilding efforts following Hurricane Katrina.

The request was made in a letter sent to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson March 3 by William Barry, executive director of the MBFC, the state agency responsible for issuing the state's Gulf Opportunity Zone bonds, which were authorized to provide financing for hurricane relief across the South.

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