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GFOA Newsletter
July 13, 2017
GFOA Defends the State and Local Tax Deduction

On July 11, 2017, local leaders from across the United States came together to in Washington, D.C., to defend the deductibility of state and local taxes, a fundamental feature of the U.S. tax code since 1913. GFOA Executive Director Chris Morrill moderated the Capitol Hill briefing, “Protecting Local Control in Our Tax Code,” to a standing room-only crowd.

Panelists (pictured above, from right to left) included Jamie Nicholson, GFOA Executive Board member and finance director of Pataskala Ohio; Bob Coiner, mayor of Gordonsville, Virginia; Allison Silberberg, mayor of Alexandria, Virginia; and Mike Fricilone, Will County, Illinois, board member. Eliminating the deduction would have material negative financial consequences to the families in their jurisdictions by increasing their federal and state tax liability, panelists warned.

The panel urged Congress to recognize the mutually beneficial partnership that exists among federal, state, and local governments, ensuring that taxpayers are not subject to double taxation and helping preserve the essential public services Americans rely on.

GFOA referenced The Impact of Eliminating the State and Local Tax Deduction, a report that GFOA recently released, joined by eight other national organizations representing state and local elected and appointed officials. The report details the impact a repeal would have on individuals by congressional district and illustrates a strong linkage between home ownership and the preservation of the deduction. If this century-old intergovernmental agreement between all levels of government were to be eliminated, the report concludes, the effects on localities would be immediate and painful.

Contact your Congressional delegation and use the tools on www.gfoa.org/SALT, including an interactive map on impact by congressional district, to tell your story and urge the preservation of the deductibility of state and local taxes.  

Read More.
Association News
Join One of GFOA’s Standing Committees

Applications to become a GFOA standing committee member are being accepted through July 28, 2017. 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 can also apply to be advisors to one of the committees.

The GFOA’s seven standing committees are: Accounting, Auditing, and Financial Reporting; Canadian Issues; Economic Development and Capital Planning; Governmental Budgeting and Fiscal Policy; Governmental Debt Management; Retirement and Benefits Administration; and Treasury and Investment Management.

  • Complete the application here.
  • If you are a current GFOA committee member, please complete the application for re-appointment here.

If you have any questions about the committee application, please contact Emily Brock.

Read More.
Looking for Ways to Budget Better?

Register for GFOA’s Second Annual Better Budgeting web-stream event from 1:00–5:00 pm (Eastern) on October 5, 2017, (with an encore presentation on January 11, 2018). This year’s now 4-hour training will help you:

  • Develop strategies for accurate budget forecasting,
  • Learn effective strategies for aligning spending with community priorities,
  • Develop strategies for budgeting with uncertainty,
  • Facilitate necessary budget discussions, and
  • Find out how to present the budget and communicate your budget message.

Click here to read more about the topics to be covered during the training as well as view the list of presenters. Earn 4 CPE credits with your participation. Take advantage of early and group discounts. (Group discounts cannot be processed through online registration. Please submit the training registration form and attach the group spreadsheet.)

Register today! (brochure, including registration form / online) If you have any questions about the training, contact GFOA.

Read More.
Need Best Practices in School Budgeting? Don’t Miss GFOA’s Fall Conference

Sign up for GFOA’s Alliance for Excellence in School Budgeting – Fall 2017 Conference, November 2–3, 2017, at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. This training and “mini” conference is designed for school district senior-level staff from both the academic and budget/finance areas who lead and are integral participants in the district’s budget and planning processes (superintendents, and potentially board members would benefit from attendance as well).

Participants will learn an overview of GFOA’s Best Practices in School Budgeting and also more in depth, discussion, exercises, and practical examples of key portions of the enhanced budget process framework. The conference will consist of self-assessments, group exercises, networking activities, and facilitated discussions — all centered on the best practices framework, examples from districts implementing the best practices, and other supporting content.

Learn more and register today! (brochure, including registration form /online) If you have any questions about the event, contact GFOA.

Read More.
First-Time Distinguished Budget Award Recipients Announced

The following jurisdictions are first-time winners of GFOA’s Distinguished Budget Presentation Award: City of Brooksville, Florida; City of Crestwood, Missouri; City of Alamo, Texas; and Town of Beloit, Wisconsin.

Read More.
News Links
City Uses Government Campus to Incubate IoT Projects that Will Solve the Right Problems

The City of Cary, North Carolina, is working on a “smart city” approach that’s extremely practical. Instead of building new infrastructure, “Cary is inviting private-sector companies to incubate their technologies inside the existing Town Hall campus — a self-described ‘mini-city; that provides an optimal test-bed for Internet of Things (IoT) technologies across the following city domains: smart parking, energy and utilities, public safety, traffic management, citizen engagement, and IT co-creation,” GovTech reported. The project’s mission is “to incubate IoT technologies powered by public-private partnerships, creating an ecosystem to test, develop and showcase solutions on the Town Hall campus.” Because Cary already owns the infrastructure, it can test a number of strategies without interrupting citizen’s routines. The city, which has asked residents what problems they should solve, hopes to roll out the most successful of its test projects to the public quickly, with the goal of improving the area’s quality of life and creating economic development opportunities. 

Read More.
Apprenticeships Create Pipeline of Younger Workers for State Agencies

The State of Virginia is expanding federally registered apprenticeships at state agencies, and some state agencies are creating their own paid training programs for employees, Pew Trusts reports. “As state agencies face a wave of retirements, training programs such as apprenticeships can help fill open positions, give workers the skills they need, and reduce turnover,” Pew noted. Many police and fire departments use apprenticeships to train new recruits, and some local governments use apprentices to train technicians, but in general it’s rare for state agencies to offer registered apprenticeships, which can be expensive. In 2016, 500 people applied to the University of Virginia’s program, and 13 were hired. The department registered the program in 2015 “and began using the community college system as a training partner, rather than the consultants it had used before.”  

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Free MSRB Course Simulates Decision Making Process of Muni Investors

The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) created a free, interactive online course to help investors understand how municipal bonds work and assess how they might fit into a balanced portfolio. The MSRB developed the course to educate fixed-income investors about municipal bonds and help them evaluate how municipal bonds can fit into a balanced portfolio of investments. Municipal bonds attract perennial interest through ups and downs in the broader financial markets because of their tax advantages and historically low default rates. The course is part of MSRB’s MuniEdPro suite of online, interactive courses about municipal market activities and regulations. 

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What to Do When You’ve Made a Mistake

There’s no way to avoid making mistakes, hard as we try. The occasional small mishap is usually easy enough to overlook, but sometimes errors are much bigger. Either way, once the damage is done, what you need to focus on is how you can recover. U.S. News and World Report offers some suggestions for taking the next steps.

  1. Step back and assess the situation. Figure out how bad the mistake actually was, perhaps asking a friend or family member for their take.
  2. Admit that you made a mistake and take whatever action is appropriate.
  3. Prepare for damage control, and the sooner, the better. Fix the error, if possible, or decide on a plan of action with your boss.
  4. Manage the issue proactively, creating a plan of action, if needed, to prevent further problems caused by your error.
  5. Don't let your mistakes discourage you and paralyze you on your career path. Learn as much as you can from the situation, and move on.
Read More.
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Editor: Marcy Boggs  |  Executive Director/CEO: Chris Morrill 

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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