A group of senators last week reintroduced a bill to expand the permissible projects for which private-activity industrial development bonds can be used to include intangible property, and its advocates are lobbying to have the measure wrapped into a forthcoming economic recovery package.
The bill was introduced by Sens. Olympia J. Snowe, R-Maine; John Kerry, D-Mass.; Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark.; and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio; and sent to the Senate Finance Committee last week. It would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to make "intangible property" such as software and biotechnology manufacturing eligible for funding with the proceeds of industrial development bonds. The IDBs currently allow state and local development finance authorities to issue tax-exempt bonds for the purpose of low-cost financing of manufacturing facilities.