American Bankers Association - American Hospital

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					 American Bankers Association - American Hospital Association - Council of Development Finance Agencies - Council of FHLBanks - Council of State
  Community Development Agencies - Independent Community Bankers of America - Mortgage Bankers Association - National Association for County
Community and Economic Development - National Association of Counties - National Association of Development Organizations - National Association of
  Health and Educational Facilities Finance Authorities - National Association of Home Builders - National Association of Housing and Redevelopment
 Officials - National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers - National Association of Towns and Townships - National Community
                 Development Association - Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association - United States Conference of Mayors


         April 29, 2008

         The Honorable John Rockefeller
         531 Senate Hart Office Building
         Washington, DC 20510

         Attn: Jorge Castro

         Dear Senator Rockefeller:

         The undersigned organizations thank you for cosponsoring S. 1963, introduced by Senators Jay
         Rockefeller (D-WV) and Mike Crapo (R-ID), that provides a new credit enhancement option for
         issuers of tax-exempt debt that are struggling in the face of capital market problems spawned by
         the meltdown in securities backed by sub-prime mortgages. The legislation amends Section
         149(b) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) to permit Federal Home Loan Banks (FHLBanks) to
         issue Letters of Credit (LOC) through their members on tax-exempt bonds.

         On April 9, the House Committee on Ways and Means voted out HR 5720, the Housing
         Assistance Tax Act of 2008, with a strong bipartisan vote of 35-5. Section 143 of this bill is an
         amended version of S. 1963's House companion measure. The House legislation now includes a
         sunset of December 31, 2010 and a requirement that FHLBank LOCs follow current collateral
         regulations set by the FHLBanks’ regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Board. As a result of
         these amendments, S. 1963’s only opponent, the Association of Financial Guaranty Insurers sent
         a letter to Chairman Rangel stating it no longer opposes the legislation. Section 143 has been
         scored by the Joint Tax Committee at $124 million over 10 years, a reasonable cost that does not
         take into account the economic benefit that this legislation would stimulate.

         As the Senate and House work out the different legislative approaches to develop a
         comprehensive response to the housing crisis, we urge you to support efforts to include Section
         143 of H.R. 5720 in the upcoming housing legislation conference report.
         Thank you.
         American Bankers Association
         American Hospital Association
         Council of Development Finance Agencies
         Council of FHLBanks
         Council of State Community Development Agencies
         Independent Community Bankers of America
         Mortgage Bankers Association
         National Association for County Community and Economic Development
         National Association of Counties
         National Association of Development Organizations
         National Association of Health and Educational Facilities Finance Authorities
         National Association of Home Builders
         National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials
         National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers
         National Association of Towns and Townships
         National Community Development Association
         Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association
         United States Conference of Mayors