Who is earning tax-exempt interest from muni bonds?

By Cate Long
July 10, 2013

About one third of the U.S. House of Representatives signed a letter to keep the current tax exemption for municipal bonds in place. Investment News got the story:

Time to ride the muniland tax exemption pony

By Cate Long
November 9, 2012

Lawmakers and the municipal bond tax exemption

By Cate Long
October 16, 2012

The Joint Committee on Taxation is circulating an analysis of tax reform proposals, one of which includes removing the municipal bond tax exemption for all bonds issued after December 31, 2012. If the tax exemption is repealed or capped so that the federal government can collect more tax revenue, bond prices will fall. The higher yields would repay investors for their loss of tax exemption, nevertheless, groups are forming to oppose proposals to repeal the exemption.

A smarter way for Congress to talk about muni tax code

By Cate Long
April 27, 2012

Chris Mauro, head of U.S. municipal strategy at RBC Capital Markets, sent around a comment note suggesting that the media coverage of the Senate Finance Committee hearing Wednesday that included discussion of possible changes to the taxation of municipal bonds was overheated:

Illinois says non-profit does not mean tax-exempt

By Cate Long
April 16, 2012

In a series of decisions that may affect healthcare nationally, Illinois is tightening the noose on hospitals that claim tax-exempt, non-profit status. What began as the denial of a property tax exemption by the Champaign County Board of Review for one hospital system in 2002 has become a state-wide analysis of how much actual “charity care” hospitals are providing.

End municipal tax exemptions for private projects

By Cate Long
February 29, 2012

There is a very blurry line in muniland between truly public activities and private activities that allegedly have some public good, and into this ill-defined space, for-profit and non-profit organizations have found ways to issue tax-exempt municipal bonds. This gray area should be a prime target for Congress to examine when it goes looking for ways to raise more tax revenue from muniland.

Munis are the star performer of 2011

By Cate Long
December 16, 2011

Bloomberg had a great piece that rounds up the factors that made municipal bonds the best performing financial asset of the past year. The story is framed as a knock on Meredith Whitney for her scare call a year ago:

The weakest states are stronger than U.S. banks

By Cate Long
September 23, 2011

The weakest states are stronger than US banks

I noticed something very interesting in some research that Markit, a data provider that tracks the credit-default swap market, released yesterday: the worst U.S. municipal credits (California, Illinois and New Jersey) are considered much stronger than all the major U.S. banks save JP Morgan. New York state is considered stronger than Mr. Dimon’s bank!

Muni sweeps: Employment slightly better

By Cate Long
June 20, 2011

We are making some headway on unemployment although some states still have substantial problems. For the larger, original version from Calculated Risk Blog click here.