WASHINGTON -- Nine months into the year, with no tax bill in sight, the outlook is darkening for an extension of the tax exemptions for mortgage revenue bonds and small-industrial development bonds, which are set to expire Dec. 31, congressional aides and municipal lobbyists said last week.

A few Capitol Hill watchers remain optimistic, saying it is still possible lawmakers could suddenly pull a bill together just before Congress adjourns toward the end of the year. But at this point, they say there is no hard evidence that will happen.

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