The supply slump that’s fueling the best run for municipal debt since 2009 is poised to end next year as governments ramp up borrowing for long-delayed projects from water to transportation, Citigroup Inc. predicts.
The Build America Bonds program, a boon to state and local governments that lapsed last year in the face of Republican opposition in Congress, would be revived under President Barack Obama ’s proposed budget.
U.S. states expect “significant challenges” balancing budgets in the next two years, after closing $230 billion in gaps since 2009, as U.S. stimulus aid drops and tax receipts recover from the recession, a study said.
New York City Municipal Water Finance Authority, which has been granted rate increases of 10 percent or more for four consecutive years, boosted its sale of taxable Build America Bonds 39 percent to $554 million with yields on the debt near the highest in a month.
DeKalb County’s $10 million Lou Walker Senior Center has a swimming pool, art studio and beauty salon. The Atlanta suburb also has a $17 million performance center and $7 million water park, luxuries some say it can’t afford after a cash shortage brought a five-step downgrade of its credit rating to near junk.
Build America Bonds showed why they’re the fastest-growing part of the municipal market in a $492.7 million sale yesterday by Virginia’s Commonwealth Transportation Board, which let buyers choose between the taxable debt and tax-exempts.