The Rundown with Kansas Legislative Division of Post Audit
Private Activity Bonds: Comparing How the Structure and Use of These Bonds in Kansas Compares to Other States
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The Rundown with Kansas Legislative Division of Post Audit
Private Activity Bonds: Comparing How the Structure and Use of These Bonds in Kansas Compares to Other States
Jan 29, 2020
Legislative Post Audit

Governments issue private activity bonds to to help private entities fund projects that have a public benefit (e.g., low income housing projects). Qualified private activity bonds, the subject of this audit, are exempt from federal income tax. As such, the federal government limits the amount of private activity bonds each state can issue. From 2016 to 2018, Kansas used fewer private activity bonds and for different purposes than most other states. For example, Kansas used less of its bond authority for exempt facility bonds, but more of its bond authority for small issue bonds than most other states. Kansas did not use qualified mortgage bonds to assist first-time homebuyers whereas most other states did. The Kansas Housing Assistance Program is a program for low and moderate-income homebuyers. It is a statewide program that is administered by Sedgwick County, Shawnee County, and a private investment bank. Unlike Kansas, state agencies administer the homebuyer programs in other states. Administering the Kansas Housing Assistance Program at the county level shields the state from financial costs and risks. However, it may reduce the state's opportunities to generate additional housing revenue and increase use of the program.