Why the City of Dallas Fears One Tax Change in Congress Could Cost It $82 Million

WASHINGTON — City leaders in Dallas and beyond are gearing up to protect tax exemptions for municipal bonds, a crucial financing provision that could be on the chopping block as Congress tries to overhaul the tax code.The longstanding carve-out saves local governments tens of millions of dollars on the bonds they issue to fund roads, bridges and other projects. In Dallas alone, officials predict that the loss of that status would add $82 million in debt service to its forthcoming $800 million bond package.“If that happens, you are turning off a spigot that is so important for America,” Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said.More than just a battle over local control, the defensive municipal stance underscores the challenge for lawmakers trying to de-tangle the tax system for the first time in decades.To achieve Republican leaders’ goal of simplifying the code and lowering rates, lawmakers must find ways to backfill the resulting loss of revenue. That means, in part, targeting the exemptions, deductions and loopholes that are invariably loved by one constituency or another.  Continue reading...

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