Latest tax reform legislation saves private activity bonds

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The final version of the tax reform bill under debate in Congress would preserve private activity bonds, a financial tool used by public broadcasters for capital projects.

The House version of the bill would have ended use of the bonds as of Jan. 1. But according to a conference agreement detailing changes made to reconcile the House and Senate versions, the provision has been dropped.

Such bonds are popular among investors because the interest is tax-exempt. Stations have used the bonds to fund construction projects and signal expansions.

The Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation estimated that ending the tax break would generate $38.9 billion in revenue over the next decade. Republicans sought the provision as savings to pay for larger tax cuts.

Debate is underway Tuesday on Capitol Hill ahead of a vote on the final version of the legislation. If approved, the bill will go to President Trump for approval.

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