GFOA is always on the lookout for news items that will be useful for finance professionals, research that might help you do your job better, and legal and regulatory updates you need to know about. Check the GFOA news page for the updates and any relevant GFOA announcements, and see the GFOA Newsletter archive for back issues of our weekly electronic newsletter.
Throughout the month of August, your congressional delegation typically puts business on hold in Washington D.C. and heads home. The “August recess” is designed to give members of Congress and their staff some time to reorient, so it’s one of the very best times for constituents to meet with their members of Congress. Your advocacy during this period of time means the most because it allows your senator and representative to come face-to-face with the impact of federal preemption legislation, especially because of the deep fiscal effects they have on localities within their districts.
In 2016, many GFOA member organizations responded to proposed regulation that would redefine political subdivisions according to the Internal Revenue Service. These proposed regulations would make it difficult for authorities to issue tax-exempt bonds.
On July 25, 2017, the House Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law held a hearing on H.R. 2887, the “No Regulation Without Representation Act of 2017.” The bill, sponsored by James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), was introduced in the 114th Congress and reintroduced for the 115th in June. GFOA and other national organizations have opposed the bill as a broad preemption of state and local government regulatory and tax authority. Click here to view GFOA’s comments for the record.
On July 18, 2017, the U.S. Senate Finance Committee held its second tax reform hearing of this Congress, “Comprehensive Tax Reform: Prospects and Challenges.” While the hearing focused on broad principles and challenges to reforming the federal tax code, it did involve some discussion on the state and local tax (SALT) deduction. Preserving the SALT deduction has been a long-standing priority for GFOA, and it remains so as the debate on tax reform evolves. Committee members heard from four individuals who served as Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy in the U.S. Treasury Department.
On July 11, 2017, Government Finance Officers Association’s (GFOA) Executive Director, Chris Morrill, will moderate a panel discussion with The Big Seven before Congress about state and local tax (SALT) deduction. This briefing will serve as a “101” to Congressional staff about how SALT is used in the states, counties, and cities and work to dispel the myth that this is singularly an itemized deduction for wealthy Americans.
On June 30, 2017, GFOA filed comments requested by the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) on a second draft of its amendments to Rule G-34. The amendments are intended to clarify exceptions to the proposed rule on obtaining CUSIPs for securities sold in private placement transactions.
Don’t confuse leadership with personality, warned best-selling author and leadership expert Jim Collins in an address to delegates at GFOA’s 111th Annual Conference on May 22, 2017. Charisma is a personality trait, and leadership is not about personality – so it’s OK if a leader has what Collins calls a “charisma bypass.” In fact, he suggested that might be for the best, and that organizations need to put aside the notion that charisma necessarily leads to success.
Patrick J. McCoy, Director of Finance, Metropolitan Transportation Authority, New York, New York, became the new president of Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) at the association’s annual business meeting on May 23, 2017. During the past year, McCoy served on the Executive Board as president-elect. He has been a member of the Executive Board since 2013. McCoy accepted the gavel from 2016-2017 President Marc Gonzales, Director, Department of Finance, Clackamas County, Oregon.
Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) announced the winner of its 2017 Awards for Excellence in Government Finance. GFOA’s most prestigious award recognizes contributions to the practice of government finance that exemplify outstanding financial management. The award stresses practical, documented work that offers leadership to the profession and promotes improved public finance.
Steven Gibson, Assistant City Manager, City of Rock Hill, South Carolina, was elected as president-elect of Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) on May 23, 2017. The election was held at the association’s annual business meeting in Denver, Colorado.
Gibson has been a GFOA member for 18 years. He is an ex officio member of GFOA’s Committee on Governmental Budgeting and Fiscal Policy— served as Chair in 2013-2014 and Vice Chair in 2012. He has been a reviewer for GFOA’s Distinguished Budget Awards Presentation Program for more than 10 years.
Patrick J. McCoy, Director of Finance, Metropolitan Transportation Authority, New York, became president of Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) on May 23, 2017. The gavel was passed at the association’s annual business meeting in Denver, Colorado.
The recipients of the two awards for the Frank L. Greathouse Government Accounting Scholarship are Hannah F. Chu and Magali Moralez. Each will receive $9,000.
Government Finance Officers Association’s (GFOA) latest guide, Best Practices in School Budgeting, provides a comprehensive budget process framework that emphasizes academic and finance collaboration to best align resources for desired student outcomes. The framework represents the culmination of a multi-year effort led by GFOA, with input from numerous school district officials and other experts in education finance, to develop guidelines for better budgeting, tailored specifically for school districts.
Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) has announced the recipients of its 2017 scholarships. GFOA’s mission is to enhance and promote the professional management of governments and the awarding of scholarships is one of the ways GFOA accomplishes its mission.
Read more about this year's recipients.
The recipients of the four awards for the Government Finance Professional Development Scholarship are Christopher Carlos, CPA, Michelle M. DeNeui, Tiffany Leigh Jacobs, and Robert D. Symanski. Each will receive $9,000.
Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) has announced the recipients of its 2017 scholarships. GFOA’s mission is to enhance and promote the professional management of governments. Among the ways the GFOA accomplishes its
mission is through education, training, and leadership.
The recipient of the $9,000 Minorities in Government Finance Scholarship is Dora Ama Okai, who will graduate in the spring of 2018 with an Executive Master of Business Administration degree from the University of San Francisco in California.
Government Finance Officers Association’s (GFOA) 111th Annual Conference will be held May 21─24, 2017, at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, Colorado. The keynote speakers will be Jim Collins, who will speak during the opening general session on leadership, along with a panel of experts,David Parkhurst, Paul Soglin, and Adam Atherly, who will discuss health-care cost containment at the state and local government level for the general session on Tuesday.
On May 23, 2017, during Government Finance Officers Association’s (GFOA) 111th Annual Conference at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, Colorado, GFOA’s new President and Director of Finance of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (NY), Patrick J. McCoy, will unveil his 2017–2018 initiative focusing on our nation’s infrastructure and the municipal bonds that build it.
What’s the Right Thing to Do?
On May 15, 2017, GFOA filed comments in response to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s proposed amendments to Rule 15c2-12. The letter reiterates that while GFOA promotes transparency in the market and actively supports activities to ensure that investors have appropriate information about municipal securities, GFOA has significant concerns with the SEC’s proposal.
Establishing the issue price of a tax-exempt bond is important to issuers of tax-exempt debt as it:
Establishing the issue price of a tax-exempt bond is important to issuers of tax-exempt debt as it: 1) determines the arbitrage yield restriction for rebate compliance purposes; and 2) determines the maximum allowable escrow yield for advance refunding bonds.
GFOA encourages members to submit letters to the most recent proposed amendments to SEC Rule 15c-2-12. The rule requires bond dealers to review issuers’ official statements before underwriting municipal bonds and to reasonably determine that the issuer has contracted to disclose annual financial and operating information, as well as material event notices, on the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board’s Electronic Municipal Market Access website.
On March 6, 2017, the South Dakota Sixth Judicial Circuit ruled a state law unconstitutional that would have required remote retailers to collect and remit sales tax if they exceed a statutory threshold of sales into the state each year. The case, South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., potentially brings the decades-long debate on taxing remote sales a step closer to returning to the U.S. Supreme Court. When South Dakota passed the law in early 2016, it became the first state to implement a remote sales tax law, which was challenged almost immediately.