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 August 1, 2014, the SECs Enforcement Division announced that it will extend the deadline for state and local government issuers to participate in the commissions Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation (MCDC) Initiative from September 10, 2014 to December 1, 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.
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 AICPAs 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.
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.
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 GFOAs 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).
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 commissions 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.
Congratuations to the following indivduals who have earned ther Certified Public Finance Officer (CPFO) designation.
Metros found to have high walkable urbanism are models for the future development patterns of many of the largest 30 U.S. metros, according to Foot Traffic Ahead, a recent study from the Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis at the George Washington University School of Business.
Geographic areas where leading-edge anchor institutions and companies cluster and connect with start-ups, business incubators, and accelerators innovation districts are part of a new urban model, according to The Rise of Innovation Districts: A New Geography of Innovation in America, a new paper from the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program.
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.
Americas counties spend an estimated $20 billion-$24 billion on health insurance premiums each year, covering approximately 2.5 million county employees and nearly 2.4 million dependents, according to a new study by the National Association of Counties.
A new issue brief from the Center for State and Local Government Excellence examines the rationale for issuing Pension Obligation Bonds and how they have performed since the financial crisis.
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 GASBs new guidance on pensions.
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.
This week, the GFOA published an alert for members on the SECs MCDC initiative, which was announced by SECs 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 issuers prior compliance with its continuing disclosure obligations.
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.
The information contained in this document was developed to educate members about the SEC MCDC Initiative and should not be construed as legal advice.
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.
In the midst of all the bad news about Detroit, it appears that the city also has quite a bit going for it.
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 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.
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 governments pension disclosures and commitment to transparency.
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.
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.