SEATTLE -- State housing leaders braced for the worst at their annual conference here this week in anticipation that the tax exemption for mortgage revenue bonds will be allowed to expire.

Some of the more than 700 housing leaders and market participants at the National Council of State Housing Agencies conference expressed optimism, but others were pessimistic that a new tax bill with extensions for the program could clear Congress before the Dec. 31 expiration date. Small-issue industrial development bonds also are scheduled to expire at the end of the year.

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