|Report: Tax Agreement Protects Private Activity Bonds; CR Update
According to sources familiar with the on-going negotiations of the tax reform bill, including the Wall Street Journal, the final package will not repeal Private Activity Bonds (PABs), a huge potential win for NAHRO members who advocated strongly against the House-proposed elimination. There is no word yet on the status of New Market Tax Credits or the Historic Preservation Tax Credit.
While PABs appear to be preserved, it is possible that the bill will make changes to the program. It is unsure at this point what the impact of potential changes to PABs would have on the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit and on affordable housing production. NAHRO will continue to update its members as more information becomes available.
The tax reform conference committee is expected to approve the report tomorrow, at which point either the full text of the bill or the conference report summary will be publicly available. The Senate will begin consideration of the bill on Monday, aiming for final passage on Tuesday. The bill then goes to the House for final approval. If passed by both chambers, the President is expected to immediately sign the bill.
Meanwhile, the House introduced bill text for the third continuing resolution (CR) of FY 2018. The current CR expires on Friday, December 22. The House-proposed bill would provide funding for the government until Friday, January 19. It also includes the House’s FY 2018 Defense Appropriations bill as well as an extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and other health programs. The House is likely to pass the bill, but the Senate is not expected to adopt it with the defense bill included. It’s unclear whether the Senate will simply pass the CR stripped of the defense spending bill or if there are other concessions that Democrats will require in exchange for their procedural votes to move the bill forward. If Congress does not act quickly enough, the government will shut down on Saturday, December 23 at 12:01 am ET.
Also expected to be released on Friday is a disaster relief supplemental package that could be considered in conjunction with the CR or as a stand-alone bill. Congressional leadership has prioritized approving the bill prior to the holidays. The administration released a $44 billion disaster package last month, a request that included the conversion of the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Relief (CDBG-DR) program into a competitive grant program to help communities that have experienced “major flood disasters” in the past four years. Congress is expected to ignore that request and increase the size of the package substantially. This will be the third disaster supplemental passed since September and lawmakers already recognize the necessity for a fourth supplemental in early 2018.