WASHINGTON -- A six-month reprieve is probably the most that the tax exemptions for mortgage revenue bonds and small-issue industrial development bonds will receive if Congress decides to extend them beyond Dec. 31, municipal lobbyists said last week.

Proponents of the dozen or so tax breaks have been pressing for at least a one-year extension, but that would cost the federal government $4.7 billion over five years. Finding revenue increases to cover that $4.7 billion has become a major stumbling block to extending the expiring provisions, lobbyists said.

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