Municipals Escape Taxation for Now

In the end, the American Taxpayer Relief Act did not eliminate the tax exemption for municipal bonds or modify it any way. In fact, the increase in the top marginal tax rate makes muni bonds more attractive versus taxable bonds. And the Medicare surtax on investment income, enacted in 2010 but effective in 2013, makes muni bonds more [...]

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A Municipal Bond Cliffhanger

Municipal bonds are popular because the interest they pay is exempt from federal taxation. But in its search for solutions to the fiscal cliff, the US federal government is looking under every rock for more revenue sources. This could put muni bonds’ tax-exempt status at risk.

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Tomato, Tomahto: Why Obama, Simpson-Bowles and Others Miss the Point on Munis

When it comes to eliminating or modifying the tax-exempt status of municipal bonds, everyone seems to have an opinion these days.

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Profit from Your Premium Bonds

When investors see opportunity, we believe they should actively reposition their municipal bond portfolios to take advantage. Often, this requires selling some existing holdings. Today, investors are asking us: Why do you recommend I sell my long-term bonds? They’re yielding 5%. Won’t selling them reduce my potential returns?

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How Would Municipals Fare Under Romney?

Last month, we wrote that changes to the tax code being discussed in Washington would affect the value of municipal bonds. While that analysis still holds true, that was before the election campaign engines really revved up. Now there’s more chatter, if not more clarity. My colleague Michael Brooks weighs in.

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Challenges in Today’s Municipal Market

Most fixed-income investments carry two key risks: interest-rate risk and credit risk. Both affect a bond’s value in the market. But before the 2008 financial crisis, interest-rate risk was the primary concern of many investors and investment managers—credit risk was much less of a consideration. My colleague Michael Brooks explains why.

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Could Tax Reform Hurt Municipal Bond Prices?

Tax rates and federal government expenditures are being discussed in Washington. The ultimate result could affect the value of municipal bonds. My colleague Michael Brooks explains.

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The Underfunded Pension: States Take Action

State and local governments with significant pension funding shortfalls are coming under increased political pressure due to new transparency rules in accounting. My colleague Joe Rosenblum examines their options.

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Municipal Pensions: A Big Problem?

Underfunded pension systems pose significant challenges to many state and local governments. For a few, it’s an immediate problem. But as my colleague Joe Rosenblum explains, for most municipalities, pension troubles aren’t really the proverbial last straw.

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Three Cities in Three Weeks: A Significant Trend in Municipal Bankruptcy?

On Tuesday, San Bernardino, California, became the third California city in three weeks to announce its intention to seek bankruptcy protection. Does this mark the beginning of a significant trend toward bankruptcy, particularly in California? My colleague Guy Davidson examines the patterns.

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