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GFOA Newsletter
September 28, 2017
GOP Unveils Tax Reform Framework: SALT in Danger

On September 27, 2017, Republican leaders released the next iteration of a tax reform framework, setting up what will likely be a contentious Fall as they push to achieve a signature win before the end of the year. 

What remains in question are details regarding the offsets that will be used to achieve the proposed substantially lower rates, which means there is still room for debate and negotiation before the final vote. The exemption for municipal bond interest appears to remain untouched, but unfortunately, the state and local tax (SALT) deduction is marked for repeal. GFOA urges members to continue reaching out to their Congressional representatives and ask them to oppose repealing the SALT deduction. Members can also share the GFOA report, “The Impact of Eliminating the State and Local Tax Deduction,” which contains helpful data, including information about your jurisdiction, to use when reaching out to your Congressional delegation.

Association News
GFOA Responds to GASB Exposure Draft
GFOA sent a letter to the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) in response to the GASB’s Exposure Draft (ED) of Implementation Guide No. 201X-Z, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Postemployment Benefits Other Than Pensions (and Certain Issues Related to OPEB Plan Reporting). GFOA supports the GASB providing more guidance to preparers of financial statements through implementation guides. The letter reiterates issues GFOA has previously communicated about proposed postemployment benefit implementation guidance, and about the practical effect of following proposed guidance that would preclude employers from including resources held in an Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 115 trust from the calculation of their net OPEB liability, even though the resources held in such a trust must be used exclusively to fund the employers’ total OPEB liability. Such an outcome would be representationally unfaithful and potentially confusing to financial statement users. The letter offers several potential improvements to the implementation guide.
Read More.
Register by Tomorrow to Save on the November GAAP Update

Register by tomorrow, September 29, to save with the early registration discount on the November offering of the GAAP Update web-stream event.

Don’t miss an opportunity to train from the convenience of your office or home to learn about recent GASB statements, exposure drafts, and implementation guidance as well as other ongoing GASB projects, including the financial reporting model improvements to governmental funds.

There are multiple offerings of the training that take place from 1:00 to 5:00 pm (Eastern) so sign up for the date that fits your schedule: November 2, 2017, December 7, 2017, or January 18, 2018.

Earn 4 CPE credits with your participation. If you have any questions about the training, contact GFOA.

Register today!

Brochure, including registration form / Online 

For group discounts, submit the registration form and attach the group spreadsheet for November, December, or January. The discount cannot be applied to registrations made online through GFOA’s e-store. 

We're Giving Away Another iPad!

We had so much fun giving away an iPad to members of our Facebook group, we’re doing it again! If you join the group between September 29 and October 6, you’ll be entered in a drawing to win an iPad. We’ve had more than 1,000 members join our private-Facebook group so far. This is a great place to ask questions, share articles, network with other members, and comment on finance topics. Click here to join the group.

Did You Know You Can Also Use Facebook for Work?

Common sense might tell you that Facebook is for personal content and LinkedIn is for work content. But it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, many professionals are using Facebook to participate in groups and other pages without worrying about sharing the details of their personal Facebook profile. It all boils down to how your privacy settings are set up on Facebook.

If your account is private for “friends only,” then you’re free to participate in all types of Facebook forums. If you post something in a group, or reply to a comment, the users in that group only see your name and response. If they happen to click on your name, they’ll only see your profile picture. The photos and posts you share on your personal page remain private for only your friends to see. Here’s how to make sure your Facebook settings are where you want them:

  1. Click the drop down arrow on the top right while logged into your page.
  2. Scroll down and click on Settings.
  3. Click Privacy from the choices on the left.
  4. For the question “Who can see my stuff?” change “public” to “friends.”
  5. Click Timeline and Tagging from the choices on the left.
  6. Under “Who can add things to my timeline?” and “Who can see things on my timeline?” change “everyone” to “friends.”

Make these changes and you’re good to go! Feel free to participate in groups and other forums without having to worry about colleagues looking at your personal profile information.

If you have any questions, e-mail GFOA Social Media.

There's Still Time to Register for GFOA's Second Annual Better Budgeting Web-Stream Event

If you’re looking for new approaches and strategies to implement in your budget process, sign up for GFOA’s Second Annual Better Budgeting web-stream event from 1 to 5 p.m. (Eastern) on October 5, 2017, with an encore presentation on January 11, 2018. Click here to read more about this year’s 4-hour program.

Earn 4 CPE credits with your participation. If you have any questions about the training, contact GFOA.

Register today!

Brochure, including registration form / Online

News Links
Competing for Talent: The Role of Succession Planning
As the unemployment rate falls and more baby boomers retire, local and state governments are focusing more on succession planning and employee development. The Center for State and Local Government Excellence’s October 17 webinar, presented at no charge, will describe the roll of leadership in assessing, communicating, and supporting employee development; discuss the importance of employee engagement in talent development; and suggest innovative approaches to training and educating employees, ways to develop a learning culture that supports workforce goals, and how to overcome challenges and build commitment. Attendees will also learn how the City of Sunnyvale, California; the State of Tennessee; and Hennepin County, Minnesota, approach succession planning as part of their strategies to attract and retain talented employees.
Read More.
Report Identifies Strategies to Help Legacy Cities Face their Unique Challenges
Smaller American legacy cities – older industrial centers with populations of less than 200,000 – face unique challenges. These cities have undergone substantial economic changes, particularly in the continuing shift away from manufacturing to health care and education, where many of the jobs are relatively low-skilled and low-paying, and do not appear to be increasing most residents’ prosperity, according to “Revitalizing America’s Smaller Legacy Cities,” a policy focus report from the Lincoln Institute. The report identifies eight strategies that have helped smaller legacy cities weather these transformations, find their competitive edge, and transform into thriving, sustainable communities.
Read More.
To Make Better Choices, You Might Want to Look at Information Simultaneously, Not Sequentially
When making decisions, one can look at the options individually, or all at once. For example, when considering resumes, a manager might read through each resume in a stack, or download information into a spreadsheet and compare the information that way. A recent study published in the journal, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, analyzed how these two ways of evaluating options can influence people’s choices. In one of several experiments, the researchers found that those who viewed options individually chose the best option 75% of the time, while those who viewed options together identified the best product 84% of the time. In a discussion of the study published by the Harvard Business Review, the researchers speculated that people make better decisions when they view options all together rather than one at a time because with all the information in front of them, people can compare the options more thoroughly and can more easily identify the best one. But when people view options one at a time, they form an overall judgment about each option and then have to go back and compare.
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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