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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
On March 1, 2017, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposed amending Exchange Act Rule 15c2-12 to include additional event notices under continuing disclosure undertakings. Rule 15c2-12 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.
Thanks to grassroots support from state and local issuers and the dedicated support from many members of Congress, the House Municipal Finance Caucus garnered 154 co-signers on a letter addressed to Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Ranking Member Richard Neal (D-MA) about protecting munis from the potential threat of elimination through comprehensive tax reform.
The Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Christopher Morrill, City Manager from Roanoke, Virginia, since 2010, as its next Executive Director. Mr. Morrill succeeds Jeff Esser, who is retiring after 35 years of distinguished service as GFOA Executive Director on June 30, 2017. Mr. Esser joined the Washington, D.C. office of GFOA in 1979 when the membership of GFOA was 9,000 and today it is 19,000.