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.

333 Documents


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

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.

Public Pension Plan Investment Returns Exceed Assumptions

June 11, 2014

A pension plan’s actuarial assumption is an assumption the plan makes, based on demographic and economic information, about the investment return the plan is likely to make over future years. Public-sector pension fund investment return assumptions have been the focus of growing attention in recent years, with critics saying the current low interest rates and volatile investment markets require pension funds to take on too much investment risk to achieve their assumed rate of return.

Paper Proposes Mileage Fees to Solve Road Funding Problems

June 11, 2014

A new paper from the University of Michigan suggests that the state could solve its road funding problems by being one of the first states in the nation to move to a system where motorists pay a fee based on the number of miles they drive. Mileage fees aim to allocate transportation infrastructure costs based on the number of miles driven, the time of day, the route taken, and the weight of the vehicle, rather than increasing fuel taxes.

GFOA Joins Amicus Brief on Fair Labor Standards Act

June 11, 2014

The GFOA will join with other local government associations on a brief prepared by the State and Local Legal Center in a matter related to the interpretation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. In the case of Integrity Staffing Solutions v. Busk, the Supreme Court will decide whether to uphold a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that hourly employees must be paid for time spent in security screenings under the FLSA.

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.