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Outsourced Financial Management:  Part 2 in a Series

By Daniel A. Hedden, CPA, Partner, November 29, 2018
Latest News

As we noted in our previous article, outsourcing a municipality’s financial management functions allows management to focus on the municipality’s goals, growth and overall management of day-to-day operations. We also discussed how outsourcing can help entities with staffing issues.

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School Fiscal Indicators:  What to Know

By Brock J. Bowsher, Manager, November 29, 2018
Latest News

On January 1, 2019, fiscal indicators will be publicly available for all Indiana school corporations for the first time.

The Distressed Units Appeal Board (DUAB) committee, in accordance with Indiana Code, established the following fiscal indicators that will be available on the DUAB website beginning January 1, 2019:

• Average Daily Membership (ADM)
• December 31 Year-End Fund Balances
• Annual Deficit/Surplus
• December 31 Year-End Fund Balances as Percent of Expenditures
• Tuition Support per ADM as compared to General Fund Expenditures per ADM
• Annual Revenue by Type
• Operating Referendum Revenue as Percent of Total Revenue
• General Fund Salaries and Benefits as Percent of General Fund Expenditures

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2018 Bond Market Update

By Tim Sutton, Director of Bond Pricing, November 15, 2018
Latest News

2018 has been an interesting year in the Municipal Bond market. It has been the first year since 2013 that we have seen yields rise gradually, yet steadily, as the year has progressed. The year started off with a new federal tax plan and lower corporate tax rates. The lower corporate tax rates caused many institutional municipal bond buyers to re-think their tax-exempt strategy and focus more on taxable investments, thus reducing demand for Municipal bonds. Issuers losing the ability to do advanced refundings has taken quite a bit of supply away from the market. Reduced supply and reduced demand has allowed the Municipal bond market to function orderly in a rising interest rate environment.

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Life After Budget Adoption…What’s Next?

By Paige E. Sansone, CPA, Partner, November 15, 2018
Latest News

After budgets are adopted and submitted in Gateway, the Department of Local Government Finance (“DLGF”) will review and issue a Notice of Final Budget Recommendation (more commonly referred to as the 1782 Notice). Taxing units have ten calendar days to review the Notice and request budget revisions in writing to the DLGF.

Reviewing the 1782 Notice

When your taxing unit receives its 1782 Notice, carefully review the documents. If there are discrepancies between the adopted budget and the 1782 Notice, attempt to determine why the revisions were made. Reasons for revision by the DLGF may include:
• budget reductions due to insufficient funding,
• decreased tax rates due to higher certified assessed values,
• revised miscellaneous revenues to reflect certified state distributed revenues; and
• reductions of property tax levies to keep the levies within the maximum allowable by law.

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Finance Future Utility Projects with System Development Changes

By Doug L. Baldessari, CPA, Partner, November 06, 2018
Latest News

Is your utility charging System Development Charges (“SDCs”) to new users connecting to the system? SDCs, sometimes referred to as availability fees or capacity charges, have been used by sewer and water utilities for many years to provide a source of funding for future capacity-related improvement projects. New customers pay the SDC when they connect to the utility system. The funds are then held in a separate account to reduce the amount of debt needed for upcoming improvement projects. This scenario allows “growth to pay for growth.” Many times, utilities are faced with the need to expand treatment facilities because of a growing customer base. An SDC paid by new development provides funding for the expansion with minimal impact to existing customers.

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Outsourced Financial Management:  Part 1 in a Series

By Daniel A. Hedden, CPA, Partner, November 01, 2018
Latest News

Because tax revenues never go far enough, local governments are always looking for ways to save money while still providing needed services.

One strategy to consider is outsourcing the financial management functions to a qualified, independent third party. Hiring an outside advisor gives management more time to focus on the municipality’s goals, strategy and overall management of day-to-day operations.

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Understanding Assessed Valuation Q & A:  Part 1 in a Series

By Belvia B. Gray, CIPMA, Partner, November 01, 2018
Latest News

This article is part of a series to provide information relating to the components of assessed valuation, property classifications and how to analyze a unit’s tax base.

What are the components of Assessed Valuation?

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Tom Traciak Appointed to Michigan Statewide Drinking Water Advisory Council

By Umbaugh Announcements, October 25, 2018
Latest News

Umbaugh’s Tom Traciak was recently appointed to the Michigan Statewide Drinking Water Advisory Council.

Established by the recently revised Lead and Copper Rule and appointed by Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Director C. Heidi Grether, the Council is charged with developing lead public awareness campaign materials and advising the DEQ on efforts to educate the public about lead in drinking water. The Council will meet quarterly.

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Small Municipality Financial Guidance

By Eric Walsh, CPA, Partner, October 18, 2018
Latest News

Municipalities, both large and small, deal with a laundry list of financial issues and task each day and Umbaugh has a long history of guiding our clients through those issues. While no two municipalities are the same we have found smaller municipalities to have unique needs. These range from small, or even single, staff size to smaller budgets for triaging and financial software. Often we are called upon to assist these clients with financial tracking and reporting, both State required and locally driven at the Council level. Below are examples of service these types of clients have found valuable.

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Reduce Rate Impact by Paying Off Bonds

By Doug L. Baldessari, CPA, Partner, October 18, 2018
Latest News

Utilities in the Midwest and across the country are facing ever increasing pressure on utility rates. The rate pressure is the result of a variety of factors, including long-term control plan implementation, asset management replacements, operating increases and declining usage. These mandates and other increases in requirements are pushing the affordability limits of water and sewer utility rates. What can be done to help?

When facing necessary utility rate increases, reducing your fixed bond payments by paying off the bonds may be what the doctor ordered.

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