American seaports have expressed doubts about certain aspects of the federal tax reform bill that the US House of Representatives passed on Thursday.
While the headline-grabbing dimensions of the legislation are its huge giveaways to corporations and high earners, the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) had written to the Senate Finance Committee recently to protest against the bill’s proposal to eliminate tax exempt private activity bonds (PABs).
These bonds, says the AAPA, are essential instruments in infrastructure building and have proved valuable in the past to raise money for upgrades to port facilities. Axeing them would increase funding pressure on states and could cause projects to be delayed or cancelled.
AAPA even called on Congress to expand the category rather than eliminate it as the bill does.
It has also opposed the bill’s planned elimination of the New Market Tax Credit which helps economically distressed communities and the Historic Tax Credit, which gives incentives for rehabilitation of historic buildings.
The tax plan still has to get through the US Senate, a tougher task because the Republican majority is smaller there, and then it must go through a reconciliation process of the two bills.