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Is My Fiscal Plan Adequate?

By Deen C. Rogers, CPA, Partner, September 07, 2017
Latest News

Due to the lack of a threat of remonstrance, many communities have traditionally prepared super-voluntary annexation fiscal plans in-house. However, with the change in annexation laws in the summer of 2015, the required content of the fiscal plan became more complex and cumbersome. As a result, many communities have outsourced the preparation of their fiscal plans, even for those super-voluntary annexations that were once pretty simple and straight-forward.

Are you one of those communities that still tackles the challenge of an annexation fiscal plan in-house? If so, are you meeting the new requirements of Indiana Code? Are you well-versed on the proper residential deductions, the application of tax caps and other property tax nuances?

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Umbaugh Continues to Grow

By Umbaugh Announcements, August 24, 2017
Latest News

Inside Public Accounting (IPA) Magazine recently announced the rankings of the nation’s largest public accounting firms. Umbaugh’s ranking has increased to 160th on its list of top 200 CPA firms in the nation.

Earlier Umbaugh was also recognized as the second most active Municipal Advisor (MA) in the Mideast Region and the sixth most active MA in the nation last year by Thomson Reuters.

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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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WIFIA Assistance Available

By Scott A. Miller, CPA, Partner, March 02, 2017

In 2014, Congress passed the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 2014 which established a federal credit program known as WIFIA. Administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the program is designed to accelerate investment in water and wastewater infrastructure projects that have national or regional significance. Since adoption, EPA has worked to develop the rules and framework for the program and is now ready to begin funding projects. In legislation adopted late last year, Congress provided $20 million in budget authority which EPA estimates may provide more than $1 billion in credit assistance and may finance over $2 billion in water infrastructure projects.

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