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.

351 Documents


Remote Sales Tax Collection Legislation Introduced in the House

June 24, 2015

Last week, Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT-3) introduced legislation (HR 2775) that would enable state and local governments to collect taxes from retailers on remote sales.  The legislation, the Remote Transaction Parity Act (RTPA), is similar to the Marketplace Fairness Act (S 698) in that both bills would compel retailers to collect taxes on remote sales based on the location of the consumer rather than the location of

GFOA Accepting 2016 Standing Committee Membership Applications

June 17, 2015

Applications to become a GFOA standing committee member are being accepted through July 22. Serving on a standing committee is an excellent opportunity for GFOA members to contribute their experience and knowledge to the entire membership. GFOA's seven standing committees meet twice each year and develop best practices, advisories, and policy statements for the approval of the Executive Board and membership. GFOA associate members from the private sector may also apply to be advisors to one of the committees.

House Passes Legislation to Permanently Prohibit Taxes on Internet Access

June 10, 2015

On June 9, the full House passed H.R. 235, the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA) – legislation that would permanently block state and local governments from collecting hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue. The legislation, sponsored by Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), would extend the 1998 Internet Tax Freedom Act’s moratorium on state and local governments’ ability to assess taxes on Internet access; that moratorium was set to end October 1, 2015.

Learn More about Supreme Court Cases Affecting State and Local Governments

June 10, 2015

A few notable Supreme Court cases entered into the conversation at GFOA’s Annual Conference in Philadelphia this year, particularly in discussions about retirement and benefits. One example is Tibble v Edison, which GFOA’s Committee on Retirement and Benefit Administration discussed in regard to the fiduciary responsibilities of public pension plan administrators. In this case, the full court recently found that in plans administered under the ERISA statute, trustees have the continuing fiduciary duty to monitor plan investments with prudence.

GFOA Survey Reveals Cost of SEC’s Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation Initiative (MCDC)

June 2, 2015

On June 2 the GFOA released the results of our survey to gauge the experience of municipal bond issuers with the SEC’s MCDC Initiative. The 2014 initiative provided 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 initiative incentivized underwriters to self-report, which in turn caused many issuers to be questioned about and investigate their prior continuing disclosure compliance.

Philadelphia Makes the Right Decisions to Navigate Recession, Improve Bond Rating

June 2, 2015

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter addressed delegates attending the June 2 general session at GFOA’s annual conference in Philadelphia, speaking about leading the city through the Great Recession.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, who is in the last year of his last term, shared some of what he learned from leading one of America’s great cities.

GFOA Provides Comments as House Judiciary Committee Considers Digital Tax Legislation

June 2, 2015

On June 2 the GFOA provided joint comments to members of the House Judiciary Committee, which is holding a hearing on the Digital Goods and Services Tax Fairness Act of 2015 (HR 1643) and the Business Activity Tax Simplification Act of 2015 (HR 2584). The GFOA, along with our colleagues at the National League of Cities, U.S. Conference of Mayors and National Association of Counties has significant concerns with each of these bills.

Characteristics Shared by Resilient Governments

June 1, 2015

GFOA President Bob Eichem Speaks about Resiliency at GFOA Annual Conference Opening Session, Monday, June 1
Can you think of someone in your life you would describe as resilient? This was the question GFOA President Bob Eichem posed to the Monday morning opening session audience at GFOA’s annual conference in Philadelphia. Chances are that the resilient people in your life have some common characteristics, like adaptability and the ability to learn from experience.  Eichem observed that financially resilient governments also share many characteristics:

The Oracle of Philadelphia

June 1, 2015

Vanguard Group Founder John Bogle Talks Public Investing at GFOA Annual Conference Keynote Address, Monday, June 1

John C. Bogle, the founder and former CEO of The Vanguard Group, Inc., participated in an interview with Joe Mysak, editor of the daily Bloomberg Brief. Taking questions from the delegates in attendance, Bogle covered a variety of public investing topics.

GFOA Leads Effort to Support Legislation to Classify Municipal Securities as High Quality Liquid Assets

May 27, 2015

On May 27 the GFOA joined with the National League of Cities, National Association of Counties, U.S. Conference of Mayors, National Governors Association, National Association of State Treasurers, the National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers and others to urge members of the U.S. House of Representatives to cosponsor legislation that would classify investment-grade municipal securities as High Quality Liquid Assets (HQLA). The joint letter is available below.

SEC Still Greatly Underestimating Burden of Complying with Rule 15c2-12, SIFMA Says

April 14, 2015

The SEC’s revised estimates of the compliance burden imposed by its main disclosure rule still contain “gross inaccuracies,” according to a March 27 letter the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association sent to the SEC. The letter was a response to updated SEC estimates about the amount of time required for market participants to comply with Rule 15c2-12.

Treasury Closes SLGS Window

March 17, 2015

On March 13, 2015, the U.S. Treasury Department announced that it will suspend sales of state and local government series securities until further notice. The suspension is aimed at helping the Treasury manage debt subject to the federal debt ceiling, which the Treasury Department announced would happen on Sunday, March15.

Supreme Court Justice Kennedy Weighs In on Online Sales Tax Legislation

March 11, 2015

On March 3, 2015, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy invited a legal challenge over whether states can require out-of-state and online retailers to collect sales taxes. Justice Kennedy’s opinion was issued as part of the Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling in Direct Marketing Association v. Brohl. Kennedy’s comments reveal the court’s awareness of the need for federal intervention that would enable states to collect e-commerce taxes.