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DEFINITION of 'Build America Bonds - BABs'

Taxable municipal bonds that feature tax credits and/or federal subsidies for bondholders and state and local government bond issuers. Build America Bonds (BABs) were introduced in 2009 as part of President Obama's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to create jobs and stimulate the economy. BABs attempt to achieve this by lowering the cost of borrowing for state and local governments in financing new projects.

BREAKING DOWN 'Build America Bonds - BABs'

In general, there are two distinct types of BABs: tax credit bonds and direct payment bonds. Tax credit bonds offer a 35% federal subsidy of the interest paid to bondholders, while direct payment bonds offer a similar subsidy in the form of a tax credit paid to the bondholder.

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