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Allowable Uses of Police and Fire Pre-1977 “Old System” Pension Funds

By Paige E. Sansone, CPA, Partner, August 09, 2017
Latest News

Do you have healthy fund balances in your “Old System” Police (1925) and Fire (1937) Pension Funds and wonder if you can use the money for anything else besides paying pension and death benefits to members of the Old System Pensions? The answer is yes, but there are limitations.

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Public School Fund Accounting Changes

By Brock J. Bowsher, Manager, August 09, 2017
Latest News

Indiana public schools’ annually budgeted funds will be combined into four funds in accordance of HEA 1009 effective January 1, 2019: Education, Operations, Debt Service and Pension Debt Service.


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Federal Regulations Spark Important Issue Price Considerations

By Susan Borries Reed, Director of Disclosure Strategy and Services, July 27, 2017
Latest News

On June 7, 2017, new issue price regulations were effective (which are set forth in Treasury Regulation Section 1.148-1). These regulations prescribe how issuers of tax-exempt bonds may determine the issue price on these bonds. This is important to municipal bond issuers because there are now multiple ways to establish issue price, instead of the “reasonably expected initial offering price to the public on the sale date” method that existed prior to June 7th.

Due to the multiple considerations, Umbaugh and bond counsel will be talking with issuers about considerations around the various ways issue price may be established. Keep in mind that “issue price” will not impact the amount of bond proceeds that an issuer receives, but rather it relates to the bond yield on the bonds being issued and has tax implications. The regulatory change necessitates a “team approach” because bond and tax counsel will likely walk issuers through tax considerations while Umbaugh, as a municipal advisor, will provide insight into considerations around marketing the bonds and the bond sale.

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Utility Legislative Update (Part Two in a Series)

By Scott A. Miller, CPA, Partner, July 27, 2017
Latest News

Legislature Gives IURC Authority to Allow a Customer Assistance Program for Water and Wastewater

The first part in this series discussed the new Infrastructure Assistance Program created by Public Law 233 (formerly Senate Enrolled Act 416). In this part of the series, we look at a different section of the new law that may give water and wastewater utilities the ability to implement what are sometimes known as “lifeline” rates.

In its Principles of Water Rates, Fees and Charges, the American Water Works Association defines lifeline rates as follows:

“Rates applicable to usage up to a specified level that are below the cost of service for the purpose of meeting the social goal of providing so-called minimum annual water requirements to qualified customers at a below-cost price.”

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S&P CreditWatch Update

By Susan Borries Reed, Director of Disclosure Strategy and Services, July 18, 2017
Latest News

Several weeks ago, Umbaugh highlighted recent S&P Global Ratings (S&P) actions that placed the ratings assigned to municipal bond insurance providers (insurance providers), Build America Mutual Assurance Co. (BAM), MBIA Inc. (MBIA) and National Public Finance Guarantee Corp. (National) under review on a “CreditWatch Negative” based upon their evaluation of the bond insurers' competitive positions. At that time, BAM held an 'AA' financial strength rating, MBIA had an 'A-' long-term counterparty credit rating and National maintained an 'AA-' financial strength rating. S&P reviewed all municipal bond insurers at the same time it reviewed those placed on a credit watch.

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Linking Debt in Gateway

By Belvia B. Gray, CIPMA, Principal, July 13, 2017
Latest News

Did you issue new property-tax-supported bonds or refund existing ones in 2017? If so, make sure your new or updated debt payments are connected in the Gateway system as budget documents are prepared for 2018. Gateway is the Department of Local Government Finance’s computer system for submitting budget data. While all debt (property-tax-supported and revenue-supported) is required to be uploaded to the Gateway system, linking debt for budget preparation is only necessary if a property tax levy is needed.

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Utility Innovation

By Doug L. Baldessari, CPA, Partner, July 13, 2017
Latest News

Utilities have been around for a long time with some delivering potable water for over 100 years. With water and sewer utility rates staying relatively low for a lot of utilities in Indiana and across the Midwest many utilities may not have put much thought into being innovative or efficient. We have seen significant increases in utility rates over the past few years resulting from increasing legislative requirements and the implementation of construction programs for new infrastructure necessary to comply with sewer Long-Term Control Plans and aging infrastructure.

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State Certifies Levy Growth Factor

By Paige E. Sansone, CPA, Partner, June 30, 2017
Latest News

Local government is restricted to the amount of property tax that may be levied in a given year. This is called the maximum levy limitation. Maximum levies were set back in the 1970s based on the local governments' spending at that time. Ever since then, maximum levies have been growing by an annual growth factor.

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2018 Budget Preparation Begins

By Paige E. Sansone, CPA, Partner, June 29, 2017
Latest News

The third quarter is all about creating a budget you can live with for 2018. It will be crucial to your success in 2018 to properly craft a budget and complete each step on time.

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Utility Legislative Update (Part One in a Series)

By Scott A. Miller, CPA, Partner, June 29, 2017
Latest News

The 2017 legislative session is now in the rearview mirror. And while “infrastructure improvement” was a key buzzword during the session, transportation funding was definitely in the driver’s seat. New funding for water and wastewater projects did not get a green light; however, legislative architecture was put in place to provide additional funding in a future session.

Public Law 233 (formerly Senate Enrolled Act 416) enhances the ability of the Indiana Finance Authority (“IFA”) to support infrastructure investment in the State’s water and wastewater utilities. The IFA is now responsible for monitoring and studying “events and conditions that bear upon the ability of utilities to provide clean and safe drinking water in Indiana for the foreseeable future.”

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