Source: National Association of Counties, National League of Cities, United States Conference of Mayors, February 2013
From the summary:
Tax-exempt municipal bonds are the single most important tool that counties use for financing our critical infrastructure. Any change to the taxation status of often voter-approved debt issued by counties risks local public works projects that benefit communities and puts into question the nature of the U.S federalist partnership.
– Tax-exempt municipal bonds are the most important tool in the United States for financing investment in schools, roads, water and sewer systems, airports, bridges and other vial infrastructures. State and local governments financed more than $1.65 trillion of infrastructure investment over the last decade (2003-2012) through the tax-exempt bond market.
– Ninety (90) percent of infrastructure muni-bonds financing went to schools, hospitals, water, sewer facilities, public power utilities, roads and mass transit over the last 10 years. During that decade, $514 billion of primary and secondary schools were built with financing from tax exempt bonds, nearly $288 billion of financing went to general acute-care hospitals; nearly $258 billion to water and sewer facilities; nearly $178 billion to roads, highways, and streets; nearly $147 billion to public power projects; and $105.6 billion to mass transit.
– In 2012 alone, more than 6,600 tax-exempt municipal bonds financed more than $179 billion worth of infrastructure projects.
– State and local governments finance small and large infrastructure projects with muni-bonds. In 2012, the average municipal bond issuance varied from $338 million for bridges to $2.2 million for fire stations and equipment.
– States and local governments across the country have been financing infrastructure projects with muni-bonds over the last 10 years. While large states hold the top spot in terms of bonds issuance amounts (California, Texas, New York, Florida and Pennsylvania), states such as Missouri, Minnesota and Nebraska rank high in the number of muni-bond issuances over the years.