While Tax Bill Falls Short, City Leaders Moved the Needle on Key City Priorities

December 20, 2017 - (2 min read)

Advocacy efforts helped protect municipal bonds, private activity bonds and key tax credits, but falls short with SALT and advance refunding bonds

WASHINGTON — December 20, 2017 — Today, Congress passed the final version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1), the largest change to the U.S. tax code in more than 30 years. In response to the vote, National League of Cities (NLC) President Mark Stodola, mayor of Little Rock, Arkansas, released the following statement:

“Throughout the tax reform debate, more than 800 city leaders sent a strong message to Congress: protect the tools that cities use to support middle class families and grow local economies. Yesterday, at the end of this unconventional process, the House and Senate passed a bill that preserved the tax exemption for municipal and private activity bonds (PABs), and maintained key tax credits used for historic preservation and community development. 

“Unfortunately, the bill falls short in preserving the full deductibility of state and local taxes (SALT), and completely eliminates the exemption for advance refunding bonds. The National League of Cities and our partners were successful in moving the needle on SALT, which was completely eliminated in the House version, to a $10,000 cap (including local property taxes and income/sales taxes) in the final bill.

“Cities will continue to fight to fully restore SALT and the exemption for advance refunding bonds. As we turn our focus toward 2018, we hope Congress will work with cities to accomplish our shared priorities, including an infrastructure package that invests in our communities and grows local economies.”

More than 800 city leaders signed onto an action letter outlining NLC’s topline priorities when it comes to tax reform and the federal budget. The letter and signatures are available atwww.nlc.org/StandWithCities, and NLC’s tax reform priorities can be found at www.nlc.org/TaxReform.


The National League of Cities (NLC) is the voice of America’s cities, towns and villages, representing more than 200 million people across the country. NLC works to strengthen local leadership, influence federal policy and drive innovative solutions. Stay connected with NLC on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.