NEW YORK — Municipal bond volume this year has already soared to the largest issuance total ever with $424.8 billion having been sold, Thomson Reuters reported Tuesday.
This year's tally was bolstered by $116.3 billion in new issues sold under the Build America Bond program, which accounts for 27% of overall issuance this year, according to the data provider.
The previous record year was 2007, when issuance totaled $424.2 billion.
This year's total will end up being larger than that reported Tuesday because there still are several business days left for issuance, although those amounts are expected to be small.
The Build America Bond program, scheduled to sunset at year's end, was introduced as part of the Obama administration's stimulus act in 2009. It provided issuers with the choice of selling taxable municipals and receiving a 35% federal subsidy for interest costs instead of selling traditional tax-free debt. That lowered their cost of issuance and set off a taxable municipal borrowing frenzy.