GASB Public Comment on Financial Reporting Project Open

By Dan Smith, ABFM Chair & GASAC Representative

I’d like to call your attention to goings on at GASB, specifically its project to reexamine financial reporting for Governmental Funds. On February 22, GASB gave an excellent webinar explaining the project. The archived webinar will be made available, but in the meantime you can click here to view the slides. Prior to that, GASB posted this invitation to comment, which I hope you will examine if you use government financial statements or the data from those statements – such as the data on state and local government finances collected by the U.S. Census Bureau – in your research or teaching.

Of course you are welcome to submit comments on your own, but I’d like to hear from you if you believe a response as an organization would be appropriate. In my experience on the Governmental Accounting Standards Advisory Council, an organization-wide comment would carry more weight. But I don’t want to assume there’s sufficient interest. Comments are due March 31, so please write me with your thoughts at your earliest convenience at dansmith@udel.edu.

NLC Inventories State Preemption of Local Control, Fiscal Authority

By Kenneth Hunter, Line Item Editor

A recent report by the National League for Cities provides a comprehensive look at State government preemption of local authority on numerous social and economic issues. The report, “City Rights in an Era of Preemption: A State-by-State Analysis,” also includes a cursory examination of the range of controls exercised by states on municipal finances through tax and expenditure limits (TELs).

“State legislatures have gotten more aggressive in their use of preemption in recent years,” the report states. “Explanations for this increase include lobbying efforts by special interests, spatial sorting of political preferences between urban and rural areas, and single party dominance in most state governments.”

Among social and economic issues covered by the reports, the most common preemption reported were TELs, which are present in some shape or form in 42 states.

(From "City Rights in an Era of Preemption," National League of Cities, February 2017)

(From “City Rights in an Era of Preemption: A State-by-State Analysis,” National League of Cities, February 2017)

 

While the report focuses solely on local property taxes, many of which have been in place for decades, additional means of preemption have grown in recent year, often times as side effects of State efforts to address business concerns about challenges created by localized bureaucracy within the global environment of the 21st century. These examples include the loss or State consolidation of revenues from business privilege license fees, E-911 taxes, cable television franchise fees and more.

Click here to download this report.

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