The Nebraska Investment Finance Authority is encouraging more issuance of private-activity revenue bonds for economic development purposes, according to Timothy R. Kenny, the authority's executive director.

Kenny said he believes the state should be "more aggressive in attracting business" by tapping into some of its $197 million of private-activity bonding authority.

About $47 million of Nebraska's private-activity authority was carried over from previous years, Kenny said. Under federal law, the state's annual private-activity cap is $150 million.

Kenny noted that Nebraska has surplus bonding authority partly because it does not have to use all of its annual allocation for housing purposes. Nebraska has a population of only 1.6 million.

In Nebraska, private-activity bonds probably would be attractive to agricultural processing companies for equipment purchases, Kenny said.

The authority will work closely with the state economic development commission, local banks, and investment banks in identifying prospective businesses that could benefit from private-activity bonds, he said.

Under the federal private-activity volume cap law, each state is permitted to allocate an amount equal to $50 per capita or $150 million, whichever is greater.

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