Rep. John Tierney, D-Mass., said he would introduce legislation to require new municipal bond issues to be taxable direct-pay bonds and include a federal subsidy rate of 25%. Tierney is looking for Republican support for his proposal, which would save an estimated $92 million a year. President Barack Obama's budget request for fiscal 2012 calls for a 28% subsidy rate. SIFMA noted that tax-exempt bonds are "the critical financing tool for state and local governments and thereby our national infrastructure. ... We strongly urge Congress to maintain it. At the same time, a program based on direct-pay taxable bonds, with an appropriate reimbursement rate, could be helpful to supplement the demand side of the tax-exempt market."
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