The Impact of Tax Reform on the Municipal Bond Market in 2018


On December 20th President Trump signed legislation passed by both houses of Congress enacting the most sweeping changes in the tax code in thirty years. Individual tax rates were lowered marginally with the top rate remaining high at 37%. The state and local tax (SALT) deduction was curtailed with the income and property tax deduction limited to $10,000. Corporations were the biggest winners under the new law with the corporate tax rate declining from 35% to 21%. The legislation eliminated the exemption for advance refunding bonds (which contributed up to 33% of 2017 total issuance) thereby removing a significant amount of future new bond issue supply. We believe tax reform should be relatively constructive for our market based on continued demand from individual investors coupled with supply moderating to very manageable levels; however, a decline in corporate demand from banks and property and casualty insurance companies (P&C’s)will be something to closely watch.

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