Michael Cullers

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We Heard You Missed Us – We’re Back! To Talk about Business Days.

It’s fall, and that means two things.  Pumpkin spice everything, and a calendar that’s replete with holidays – Sukkot, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Sweetest Day[1] to name but a few.  Diligent readers of The Public Finance Tax Blog will remember that we previously posted an exhaustive analysis of the “hold-the-offering-price-method” of establishing the issue price of … Continue Reading

Negative Interest Rates x Negative Bond Yields = Positive Arbitrage?

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke recently advised that the Fed should maintain “constructive ambiguity” about the possibility of taking the Federal funds rate below 0% in an effort to simulate the U.S. economy during the next recession. Given that current short-term interest rates in the United States are at near-historic lows, many believe that … Continue Reading

IRS Notice 2019-39: Perpetuating the Gift of Targeted Bond Programs, but Creating Confusion about the Tax-Exempt Current Refunding of Build America Bonds

To promote the provision of disaster relief and the development (or redevelopment) of economically distressed areas, Congress will at times enact targeted bond programs that authorize the issuance of specialized tax-exempt bonds.  Tax-exempt targeted bond programs frequently contain both a cap on the amount of tax-exempt bonds that can be issued under the program and … Continue Reading

IRS Releases Helpful Private Letter Ruling for Calculating the Weighted Average Economic Life of Bond-Financed Property (but Mind the Footnote)

On May 3, 2019, the Internal Revenue Service released Private Letter Ruling 201918008.  The IRS concluded in that PLR that an issuer of exempt facility bonds used a reasonable method, under all the facts and circumstances, to determine whether the term of an operating agreement entered into with a private party exceeded 80% of the … Continue Reading

Revenue Procedure 2019-17 – The IRS Issues Helpful Guidance on Qualified Residential Rental Projects

On April 3, 2019, the Internal Revenue Service issued Rev. Proc. 2019-17, which provides that a qualified residential rental project will not fail the public use element of Internal Revenue Code Section 142(d), and therefore can be financed with exempt facility bonds (assuming, of course, that other requirements are satisfied[1]), if the project contains units that … Continue Reading

The Shutdown Can’t Stop the Release of the Final TEFRA Regulations

The most recent partial shutdown of the federal government has halted many operations of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, including those of the Internal Revenue Service.  The shutdown has, however, evidently left untrammeled the Treasury Department’s ability to promulgate regulations.  On Friday, December 28, the Treasury released final regulations under Internal Revenue Code Section … Continue Reading

Save the Crew? Will Do!

The Grateful Dead were noted in their live performances for, among other things, beginning a song and then segueing to one or more other songs before concluding the first song in the thread.  Sometimes, the Dead would wait several concerts to complete the original song. Today we emulate the Grateful Dead by completing a string … Continue Reading

In Need of More Research – The Congressional Research Service’s Error-Filled Report on Private Activity Bonds (and, Specifically, Qualified 501(c)(3) Bonds)

As readers of this blog know, the version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that was passed by the House of Representatives would not have allowed any private activity bond (including any qualified 501(c)(3) bond) to be issued as a tax-exempt bond after December 31, 2017.  The version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs … Continue Reading

It’s Unanimous – All Nine U.S. Supreme Court Justices Agree that Quill Corp. v. North Dakota was Wrongly Decided, and Five Vote to Overrule It in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc.

Yes, you read that correctly.  On June 21, 2018, the United States Supreme Court handed down its decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc. [1]  (We’ve discussed the background to Wayfair here, here, here, and here.)  The Court, by a 5 – 4 majority, held that a vendor need not have a physical presence in a state … Continue Reading

A Richer Understanding of What’s Already Understood – Treasury Issues Proposed Regulations to Clarify the Meaning of “Investment-Type Property” in an Already Obvious Way

The Minutemen’s seminal album Double Nickels on the Dime includes the song “The Big Foist,” which opens with the lyrics, “A richer understanding of what’s already understood.”  These lyrics are called to mind (my mind, at least) on occasions such as the Treasury Department’s publication today of proposed regulations (“Proposed Regulations”) that clarify the definition … Continue Reading

Save the Crew (Part Two)!

Last week, we posted a story about the lawsuit brought by the Ohio Attorney General under Ohio’s “Art Modell Law” to prevent Major League Soccer’s Columbus Crew from moving to Austin, Texas.  We wondered aloud whether other states might enact similar laws if Ohio can succeed in preventing the Crew’s departure.  Readers might have wondered … Continue Reading

Save the Crew!

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, as introduced in the House of Representatives on November 2, 2017, would have prohibited the issuance after that date of tax-exempt bonds to finance a professional sports stadium.  The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, as enacted, did not contain this prohibition. Even if it had, it would likely not … Continue Reading

Oyez! The Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments in Wayfair, and Now We Play the Waiting Game

On April 17, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc.  Wayfair is a direct challenge of the Court’s holding in Quill Corp. v. North Dakota, 504 U.S. 298 (1992), that, under the dormant Commerce Clause, a remote/online vendor does not have to collect and remit … Continue Reading

Combining Tax-Exempt Bonds with Public-Private Partnerships under Current Law

On February 13, the Trump Administration released its proposal to finance improvements of the nation’s infrastructure.  This proposal promotes the use of public-private partnership (“P3”) arrangements to fund these improvements by expanding exempt facility bonds (a type of tax-exempt private activity bond that can be used to finance a list of specific types of projects, … Continue Reading

In Theaters This Christmas – The Parliamentarian: Slightly Slowing, but Ultimately not Stopping, Passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

Update:  The President signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act into law on December 22, 2017.  On that same date, he also executed the Continuing Resolution passed by Congress that permits the federal government to make expenditures through January 19, 2018.  This Continuing Resolution also suspends the application of the PAYGO law in respect of the … Continue Reading

While You Were Sleeping . . . . The Senate Passed Its Version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

At about 2:00 a.m. EST on Saturday, December 2, 2017, the only people awake in Washington, D.C. were alcoholics, the unemployable, and angry loners.  Also awake were members of the United States Senate (but I repeat myself).  At that early hour, the Senate passed its version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Act”) by … Continue Reading

The Senate Gives the House the Byrd and Retains Tax-Exempt Qualified Private Activity Bonds, Tax Credit Bonds, and Tax-Exempt Stadium Financing Bonds. Tax-Exempt Advance Refunding Bonds, However? Not so Much.

We summarized last week the tax-exempt and tax-advantaged bond provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Act”), as introduced and referred to the House Ways and Means Committee.  As a reminder,  these provisions, which came as a shock to state and local governments, 501(c)(3) organizations, and others involved with public finance, would eliminate … Continue Reading

So it Begins: First Draft Tax Reform Bill Eliminates 501(c)(3) Bonds and All Other Private Activity Bonds, All Advance Refunding Bonds, All Tax Credit Bonds, and Governmental Bonds for Sports Venues

Notwithstanding repeated assurances from all corners that tax reform wouldn’t touch the exclusion from gross income of interest on tax-exempt bonds (here, here, and here), proposed legislation would touch it indeed, and quite profoundly. The opening statement in what is sure to be a long legislative discussion on tax reform came this morning, as the … Continue Reading
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