News

News

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.

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GASB Proposes Additional Guidance on Postemployment Benefits

July 11, 2014

The Governmental Accounting Standards Board recently released two new exposure drafts on other postemployment benefits: one directed at employers (Accounting and Financial Reporting for Postemployment Benefits Other Than Pensions) and the other targeted at OPEB plans (Financial Reporting for Postemployment Benefit Plans Other Than Pension Plans). Both EDs propose to bring accounting and financial reporting for OPEB into line with GASB’s new guidance on pensions.

NASBO Report Looks at Performance Management

July 11, 2014

Today, the released a new report, Investing in Results: Using Performance Data to Inform State Budgeting, a new report from the National Association of State Budget Officers, highlights some key themes and lessons learned for using performance information in state budgeting, planning, and program management, based on state budget officer discussions on this subject as well as several state-specific case studies.

GFOA Publishes Alert on SEC Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation Initiative

July 11, 2014

This week, the GFOA published an alert for members on the SEC’s MCDC initiative, which was announced by SEC’s Enforcement Division on March 10, 2014. The initiative provides issuers and underwriters the opportunity to self-report instances of material misstatements in bond offering documents regarding the issuer’s prior compliance with its continuing disclosure obligations.

GFOA Letter to House of Representatives Opposes Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act

July 9, 2014

The GFOA, along with several other national associations representing local governments, sent a letter to the House of Representatives urging members to vote no on the passage of the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act, HR 3086. If enacted, the bill would permanently preempt state and local governments’ authority to assess taxes on Internet access and would specifically remove that authority from ten states that are currently permitted under current law to assess such taxes. The full House will consider the GFOA-opposed legislation during the week of July 14, 2014.

Congressional Budget Office Finds Excessive Costs to States and Localities from Internet Tax Moratorium

July 3, 2014

The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act (H.R. 3086), if enacted, would cost states and localities several hundred million dollars a year. The bill would permanently preempt state and local governments’ authority to assess taxes on Internet access and would specifically remove that authority from ten states that are currently permitted under current law to assess such taxes. The House Judiciary Committee recently approved H.R.

House Judiciary Committee Approves State and Local Tax Preemption Legislation

June 26, 2014

The House Judiciary approved the GFOA-opposed Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act, H.R. 3086, which would permanently preempt state and local governments’ authority to assess taxes on Internet access and pave the way for other industries to argue that they too deserve special protections from state and local taxation.

The City of Junction City, Oregon, wins the Cash Basis Award

June 23, 2014

"The GFOA Award Program for Small Government Cash Basis Reports is happy to announce a first-time winner of the award - the City of Junction City, Oregon. Receiving this award demonstrates the exceptional dedication that the City of Junction City has to transparency, accountability, and financial reporting on a modified cash basis. All staff involved in attaining this distinction for the city should be commended for their accomplishment.

GFOA Joins Associations on SEC Pension Obligation Disclosure Letter

June 18, 2014

The GFOA joined with 10 other national associations representing state and local governments and retirement systems on a letter to Securities and Exchange Commissioner Daniel Gallagher to express “serious concern” over remarks he made to regulators criticizing state and local government’s pension disclosures and commitment to transparency.

ITFA final letter to Judiciary and full house

June 18, 2014

On behalf of local governments across the nation, our organizations want to express our opposition to H.R. 3086, the "Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA)." Instead, as the expiration date for the current moratorium on taxing Internet access approaches, and Congress considers changes to ITFA, our organizations recommend a shorter-term extension of ITFA, as a sensible solution that respects state and local taxing authority. In addition, any extension must maintain both the long-standing grandfather provisions that preserve existing state and local revenues, as well as certain general business taxes that were not intended to be part of the moratorium.

GFOA Opposes Permanent Extension of Internet Tax Freedom Act

June 18, 2014

The GFOA joined with other national associations representing local governments on a letter to the House of Representatives strongly opposing HR 3086, the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act, and urging members to do the same. The letter maintains that the bill would cost states and localities millions of dollars in revenue in the coming years, as more services that are subject to traditional taxation transition to the Internet.

SEC Seeks Further Enforcement of Municipal Securities Issuers through Self Reporting

June 12, 2014

On March 10, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Enforcement Division (the SEC) announced the Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation (MCDC) Initiative to provide issuers and underwriters the opportunity to self-report instances of material misstatements in bond offering documents regarding the issuer’s prior compliance with its continuing disclosure obligations.  The deadline for self-reporting under the MCDC Initiative is September 10, 2014

GFOA Members Encouraged to Oppose Permanent Extension of Internet Tax Freedom Act

June 11, 2014

The House of Representatives is considering a permanent extension of the Internet Tax Freedom Act (H.R. 3086), with action likely to be taken on the bill in the next few weeks. The GFOA strongly opposes this measure because it would cost states and localities millions of dollars in revenue in the coming years, as more services that are subject to traditional taxation move to the Internet.

Report Provides Information and Comparisons on Capital Budgeting

June 11, 2014

The recent Capital Budgeting in the States Report from the National Association of State Budget Officers provides state-by-state comparisons on the ways budget officers develop and implement capital spending plans, including how states make decisions to invest in new facilities or maintain old ones; ways states distinguish infrastructure spending from day to day operating expenses; criteria for project financing strategies and options for funding infrastructure; and efforts to mitigate fis

Using Technology to Increase Organizational Effectiveness

June 11, 2014

Resilient Communities, Efficient Governments, a recent report from Hyland and GovLoop, presents techniques for preparing organizations for significant, disruptive events using tools that are designed to improve service delivery and cost-effectiveness every other day of the year. In this way, planning and preparation becomes less about disaster recovery and more about delivering better services to the community, no matter the conditions.

Factoring in the Effect of Economic, Fiscal, and Financial Shocks on Public Pension Funding

June 11, 2014

Assessing the Affordability of State Debt, a working paper from the New England Public Policy Center at the Boston Federal Reserve, challenges the common perception that state and local governments deliberately decreased public pension fund contributions as a backdoor way to run deficits from 2001 to 2010, and finds that public pension sponsors actually increased contributions during that time.

GASB Issues Exposure Draft on Fair Value Measurement and Application

June 11, 2014

The Governmental Accounting Standards Board issued for public comment a proposed statement addressing accounting and financial reporting issues related to fair value measurements. The Exposure Draft, Fair Value Measurement and Application, describes how fair value should be defined and measured, what assets and liabilities should be measured at fair value, and what information about fair value should be disclosed in the notes to the financial statements. Stakeholders are encouraged to review the proposals and provide comments by August 15, 2014.


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