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GFOA Newsletter
March 3, 2016
Making Sure Public Pension Plans Are Sustainable

A recent study reported good news about public pension plans – funding levels are up and management costs are down, according to a recent study. Systematic and disciplined funding over the long term is therefore crucial to the stability of an employer’s pension fund. A recent GFOA best practice recommends that public officials and associated trustees should fully fund their plans and make their actuarially determined contributions regularly. Failing to do so weakens investment returns because the fund plan won’t have adequate funds available to invest when stock prices are low. As a result, long-term investment performance will suffer, and higher levels of contributions will ultimately be required.

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Association News
Big Win for Marketplace Fairness Act in the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals

On February 22, 2016, the Tenth Circuit United States Court of Appeals upheld a Colorado law requiring remote sellers to provide Colorado purchasers with an annual summary of their purchases, and to send the same information to the Colorado Department of Revenue. Broadly, this important step taken by the Tenth Circuit upholds the constitutionality of use tax reporting requirements in any state. Reporting requirements are a step in the right direction until Congress acts on legislation that would allow states to enforce the collection of sales taxes on remote online vendors.

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In Memoriam: Anne Spray Kinney

Anne Spray Kinney’s professional career focused on improving government management. She was a leader, educator, mentor, colleague, and friend to many at GFOA and throughout the field of public finance. Kinney, 64, died February 27, 2016.

Kinney contributed to GFOA in many ways over the past 20 years. She was elected to GFOA’s executive board in 1996 and was the association’s president in 2000-2001. In 2004, she was hired as the director of GFOA’s Research and Consulting Center, where she served until her retirement in 2014. During that time, Anne was instrumental in many GFOA programs and took a lead role in facilitating training, planning sessions for the annual conference, and best practice development. Anne was also an experienced and successful consultant and worked with many governments to develop and implement performance management and budgeting systems. She was editor in chief of GFOA’s bi-monthly magazine, Government Finance Review; she also wrote for leading journals and publications and spoke regularly at state and national conferences on various public finance topics.

Throughout her career at GFOA, Kinney was a passionate advocate for best practices in strategic planning, budgeting, performance management, and public participation, and she championed GFOA’s work with Budgeting for Outcomes. Anne staffed and led the National Performance Management Advisory Commission and edited The State and Local Government Performance Management Sourcebook.

Before joining the GFOA, Anne was a senior partner with the Public Strategies Group. Before that, she was executive director of the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, where she was instrumental in the privatization of the agency. As budget director and director of administration at the City of Milwaukee, she developed and implemented the city’s first integrated strategic planning-budgeting-performance management system that focused on achieving outcomes at both the program and community level. She also held other management positions in the State of Illinois and Illinois local governments, taught public finance courses at the graduate level, and served as a public finance consultant to the government of Estonia. Kinney had a bachelor’s degree from American University and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Illinois, Chicago.

Memorials can be made to the Jackson County Humane Society or to the Red Sky Animal Rescue. Friends and family can sign the guest book or share a memory at www.WoodlawnFamilyFuneral.com.


Have You Registered for GFOA’s 110th Annual Conference?

Whether you’re new to government or a career veteran, enhance your skills at GFOA’s 110th Annual Conference, Sharing Solutions and Strategies, May 22−25, 2016, in Toronto, Ontario. View this year’s sessions and earn additional CPE credits by registering for GFOA’s preconference seminars.

Register today! Sign up for the conference by April 14 to save with an advance registration discount. First-time annual conference attendee scholarships are available for GFOA government members who have never attended a conference. E-mail First Annual Conference for details and an application.

If you have any questions about the conference, contact GFOA.

Travel Resources

All delegates who are traveling to Toronto from the United States will need a passport. Please plan ahead; obtaining a passport can take approximately 4 to 6 weeks. Information on applying for or renewing a passport / Information for first-time passport application

U.S. citizens driving to Toronto will need one of the following to get back into the United States: U.S. passport, passport card, enhanced driver’s license, Trusted Traveler Program card (Nexus, Sentri, Fast), U.S. Military ID card (when on official orders), U.S. merchant mariner document (when traveling in conjunction with official maritime business), or form I-872 American Indian Card. Click here for more information.

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Register by Tomorrow to Save on GFOA Training in Seattle

There’s still time to register for GFOA’s training seminars, April 4−8, 2016, in Seattle, Washington. Register by tomorrow, March 4, to save 10% on the registration fee.

Join us for one or more of the following courses:

If you register with three or more colleagues for the same seminar, you will receive 10% off each registration fee. (To receive this discount, please mail, fax, or scan and e-mail your registration forms and payments together. This discount cannot be applied when registering online.) Submit the training registration form or sign up online using GFOA’s e-store.

A block of rooms has been reserved for the GFOA attendees at the Seattle Hilton. Take advantage of the negotiated group rate until March 4, 2016. Click here for hotel information.

We look forward to your participation! For information on what to do while in Seattle, go to Visit Seattle. If you have any questions on the training, contact GFOA.

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IRS Proposed Rules to Define “Political Subdivision”

On February 22, 2016, the IRS released proposed rules for determining whether an entity qualifies as a “political subdivision” for purposes of the tax-exempt bond rules. If adopted, the proposed regulations would provide new limitations on the types of entities that qualify as political subdivisions that are permitted to issue tax-exempt bonds. GFOA needs your feedback on this proposal to help inform any comment letter it organizes to send to the IRS. Please take a moment to complete this short survey to share your thoughts on how your jurisdiction may be affected by the proposal.

Access the Survey.
Take Advantage of a Bonus on GFOA Publications in March

During the month of March, if you purchase GFOA’s GAAFR Supplement (in either a softcover or e-book format), you will receive two Elected Official’s Guide booklets of your choice as a bonus. If you purchase a Governmental Accounting, Auditing, and Financial Reporting (GAAFR) set (includes both paperbound and e-book versions of the GAAFR and GAAFR Supplement), you will receive five Elected Official’s Guide booklets of your choice as a bonus.

Download the publication titles listing and submit the enclosed order form to GFOA. Mark either the GAAFR Supplement or GAAFR set on the form as well as the bonus EOG titles of your choice. Enter code GFOAMarch16 on the order form. (This offer expires on March 31, 2016. The discount cannot be applied when ordering online using GFOA’s e-store. Offer applies to new publication orders only and cannot be combined with any other discount.)

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House Members Launch Municipal Finance Caucus

This week, U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (IL-14) and Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-02) announced the creation of the Municipal Finance Caucus, which will consult regularly with GFOA and its state and local government association partners on federal legislation and regulatory activity that affects state and local government finance functions. According to the press release issued by Hultgren: “The purpose of the Municipal Finance Caucus is to act as a forum to discuss the opportunities and challenges for states and local governments to independently fund initiatives that will strengthen their communities, and to advocate for bipartisan policies that enhance their access to the capital markets. Key issues that merit strong consideration include: protecting the tax exempt status of municipal debt, understanding how financial regulations treat such debt, and ensuring there is a robust market for municipal securities.”

Over the past three years, Hultgren and Ruppersberger have led bipartisan letters to the House leadership requesting that leadership reject any proposal to cap or eliminate the tax exemption on municipal bond interest. Each letter collected more than 100 signatures.

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Jurisdictions Win Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for First Time

The following jurisdictions are first-time winners of GFOA’s Distinguished Budget Presentation Award: Town of Camp Verde, Arizona; City of Fairfield, California; County of Nevada, California; City of Eustis, Florida; County of Sullivan, New York; Oak Lodge Sanitary District, Oregon; and City of Manvel, Texas.

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News Links
Leadership Myths Debunked

In ICMA’s Career Compass No. 47, Frank Benest discusses common and debilitating leadership myths. These myths include, “I need to motivate others,” “I need buy-in,” and “I am the only one who can do this right.” Benest explains why these are myths and how, by becoming aware of these myths, you can become a more effective leader. The Career Compass articles aim to turn traditional leadership thinking on its head and challenge readers to rediscover what being a leader means. 

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MSRB to Host Free Web Series on Continuing Disclosure 

The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) announced last week that it will launch an outreach effort to remind state and local governments about the free education resources and tools available to support their issuance of municipal bonds. The MSRB operates an online Education Center about the municipal securities market and the Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA) website to support market transparency and awareness.

A series of webinars, e-mails, and related communications aimed at state and local governments will be offered over the next six months. The first webinar, “Click, Call, Comply: Understanding Continuing Disclosure,” will be March 18, 2016, at 12:00 p.m. (Eastern). CPE credit is available. 

Register for the Webinar.
Innovations in American Government Award Applications Available

Applications are now being accepted for the $100,000 Innovations in American Government Awards, offered by Harvard Kennedy School’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation. The program, recognizes programs that demonstrate creative and effective government at its best.

This year, the Ash Center is also once again offering the Roy and Lila Ash Innovations Award for Public Engagement in Government, a special innovations award that will recognize government-led programs that demonstrate novel and effective approaches to increasing public engagement and participation in the governance of towns, cities, states, and the nation. The winners of award will also receive a $100,000 grant to support replication and dissemination activities in 2017.

Applications are due April 15, 2016.

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Editor: Marcy Boggs  |  Executive Director/CEO: Jeffrey Esser

The GFOA Newsletter (ISSN 1051-6964) is published weekly by
the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada.
Correspondence regarding editorial and/or business matters should be sent to
GFOA, 203 N. LaSalle St., Suite 2700, Chicago, IL 60601-1210. Phone - 312/977-9700 FAX - 312/977-4806.


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