Municipal bonds are a major source of financing for public power projects, and their tax-exempt status is one of the factors that makes them appealing for investors who might otherwise demand higher returns on their money.

The American Public Power Association has launched an intense campaign to undermine current proposals before Congress that would change the current tax advantages municipal bonds enjoy. As the hunt continues in DC for new revenue that can help plug growing budget deficits that in turn have incurred repeated political crisis, long-held tenets of tax code advantages and exemptions have begun to come under review.

“There is a longstanding and comprehensive federal legislative and regulatory system in place to regulate the tax-exempt bond market to ensure that municipal bonds are used for legitimate governmental purposes,” APPA said in a recent statement as Congress took up the issue. “Maintaining the tax-exempt status of municipal bonds is essential to help our national economy grow, create jobs and best serve the interests of every community.”

Utilities make an average of $15 billion each year in investments financed by municipal bonds, APPA says, warning that the jobs that ensue as well as the infrastructure that results would be under threat from a change.