The Puerto Rico corporate tax question

April 1, 2014

The Government Accountability Office published a report estimating the economic advantages and costs Puerto Rico would have if it enters statehood. The biggest cost would be that Puerto Rico citizens would be required to pay federal income tax on their domestic earnings. Currently they pay federal income tax on income they earn outside of Puerto Rico.

Muniland’s multi-purpose plumbing

March 31, 2014

Transmission America

March 28, 2014

While Congress and President Obama dither over replenishing the nearly depleted Highway Trust Fund, a more fundamental part of America’s fabric is quietly being strengthened. While derelict bridges garner headlines, it is our fragile power grid that can inconvenience tens of millions of Americans when power goes out in a summer heat wave. The federal government is taking the lead as an Edison Electric Institute report says:

The risks of municipal default and bond insurance: Part 2

March 27, 2014

When I put up a post about bond insurance and default rates last week, I expected pushback from proponents of municipal insurance. I got some.

Is muniland doping the data?

March 26, 2014

Puerto Rico and New Jersey may have played with the numbers recently to put a better gloss on their weak finances. They seem to be “doping” the data.

Detroit’s wildly accelerating bankruptcy process

March 25, 2014

The technocratic governor of Michigan, Rick Snyder, and the emergency manager he appointed to restructure Detroit, Kevyn Orr, spoke at an event sponsored by the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research this week. Their relentless positivity contrasted with the creditor mess they had left behind in Detroit.

The risk of muni default and bond insurance

March 21, 2014

Standard & Poor’s raised its ratings on two municipal bond insurers, Assured Guaranty and MBIA’s National Public Finance. Reuters reports:

Puerto Rico wants to return to the market for another $2 billion

March 21, 2014

I talked with Erin Ade of RT about Detroit and Puerto Rico. The interview starts at 3:40.

Is Illinois getting weaker?

March 20, 2014

Illinois has queued up contestants for the governor’s race this fall. The New York Times reports:

Did Michigan kill Detroit?

March 19, 2014

After studying Detroit’s wrecked finances for several years, it was never clear if the city has been collecting the taxes it was entitled to within the law. Now a new report from the Michigan Municipal League suggests that the state gobbled up a portion of Detroit’s share of the state sales tax, adding severe stress to an already weak budget.