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.

73 Documents

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Press Release: SEC Enforcement Division Modifies Municipalities Disclosure Initiative

August 1, 2014

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced modifications to its Enforcement Division’s Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation (MCDC) Initiative that will provide greater opportunity for smaller municipal securities underwriter firms and municipal issuers to take advantage of the initiative.

Municipalities Ask the FCC to Consider Preemption of State Restrictions on Municipal Broadband

July 31, 2014

On July 24, 2014, the Electric Power Board of Chattanooga, Tennessee, and the City of Wilson, North Carolina, filed separate petitions asking the FCC to consider whether their states’ laws prohibit the deployment of high-speed broadband services in a reasonable and timely manner. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has spoken repeatedly about his desire to address state laws that prohibit or restrict municipal broadband networks. These petitions provide the chairman the opportunity to take action.

AICPA Whitepapers

July 29, 2014

The AICPA Governmental Audit Quality Center (GAQC) helps its members meet the challenges of performing quality audits. One significant industry the GAQC focuses resources on is audits of state and local entities. The AICPA’s State and Local Governments Expert Panel (SLGEP) serves the needs of AICPA members on financial and business reporting and audit and attest matters. The Expert Panel protects the public interest by bringing together knowledgeable parties in the state and local government industry to deliberate and come to agreement on key state and local government issues.

GFOA Joins Letter to Senate in Support of Marketplace and Internet Tax Fairness Act

July 29, 2014

The GFOA joined other national associations representing local governments on a letter (see below) to the Senate urging support for the Marketplace and Internet Tax Fairness Act (MITFA, S. 2609). This legislation, introduced by a group of bipartisan senators on July 15, 2014, would combine the Marketplace Fairness Act that passed the Senate last year with a 10-year extension of the moratorium on Internet access taxes that is set to expire November 1, 2014.

GFOA Secures Introduction of Legislation to Expand Availability of Bank-Qualified Bonds

July 29, 2014

Last week, a bipartisan group of House lawmakers introduced legislation (H.R. 5199) that would permanently raise the issuer limit on bank-qualified bonds from $10 million to $30 million. The legislation, which breathes new life into the effort to restore the annual issuer limit to $30 million, is the culmination of several months of work by GFOA’s Federal Liaison Center with the offices of congressmen Tom Reed (R-NY), Randy Hultgren (R-IL), John Larson (D-CT) and Richard Neal (D-MA).

SEC Approves Final Rule on Money Market Mutual Fund Reform

July 23, 2014

On July 23, 2014, the SEC voted 3-2 to approve a final rule on its 2013 proposal to institute reforms to money market mutual funds. The commission’s final rule contains a number of components that were included in its 2013 proposal – which the GFOA opposed and commented on in an independent letter and as part of a state and local association coalition last fall. (See both letters below.) Such provisions require institutional prime, retail, and municipal (tax-exempt) funds to maintain a floating net asset value instead of a stable NAV, which had existed previously.

U.S. House of Representatives Passes GFOA-Opposed Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act; GFOA-Supported Marketplace and Internet Tax Fairness Act Introduced in Senate

July 17, 2014

On July 15, 2014, the House of Representatives passed the GFOA-opposed Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act (HR 3086). 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 to do so under current law – Hawaii, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin.

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.


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