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MRSC Insight Blog


Posts by Toni Nelson

Beyond Budget Suggestions for 2018

Beyond Budget Suggestions for 2018

August 8, 2017 by Toni Nelson
Category: Budgets and Budgeting

MRSC's 2018 Budget Suggestions is now available! This blog post previews the publication along with recently passed legislation that will impact local government budget planning across the state. 

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MRSC Expands its Financial Policy Guidance

MRSC Expands its Financial Policy Guidance

April 27, 2017 by Toni Nelson
Category: Debt , Investments , Asset Management , Financial Management , Fund Balance and Reserves

MRSC and the State Auditor’s Office Local Government Performance Center have launched a series of online resources to help Washington State local governments develop and adopt effective financial policies and procedures, while complying with SAO’s policy requirements.

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2016 Annual Financial Report: What’s new and what’s changed?

2016 Annual Financial Report: What’s new and what’s changed?

March 22, 2017 by Toni Nelson
Category: Financial Reporting

Changes to the 2016 Annual Financial Report that affect both cash basis- and GAAP-reporting entities.This blog post address changes to common areas that will impact both cash and GAAP reporting as well as addressing new areas that will only impact cash-basis reporting. 

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The New Uniform Guidance, 2 CFR 200 – Part 2

The New Uniform Guidance, 2 CFR 200 – Part 2

February 17, 2017 by Toni Nelson
Category: Purchasing and Contracting

Federal awards given to local governments are now subject to revised audit standards under New Uniform Guidance 2 CFR 200. In the second of this 2-part series, learn more about how the certification requirement and allowable costs have changed, and what you need to do to become compliant with the new guidance. 

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Year End is a Busy Time for Finance

Year End is a Busy Time for Finance

January 11, 2017 by Toni Nelson
Category: Finance

W-2s, Form MISC-1099, and the "open period," the month of January is a busy time for local government finance personnel. This blog highlights important, federal reporting activities that impact most local government entities and must be completed by the end of this month. 

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Federal Single Audit and the New Uniform Guidance, 2 CFR 200

Federal Single Audit and the New Uniform Guidance, 2 CFR 200

December 2, 2016 by Toni Nelson
Category: Purchasing and Contracting

Federal awards given to local governments are now subject to revised audit standards under New Uniform Guidance 2 CFR 200. Learn more about these new standards and what it means for your entity's policies regarding procurement, purchasing, and grant and contract management.

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Implicit Price Deflator Falls Slightly Below 1%

Implicit Price Deflator Falls Slightly Below 1%

September 29, 2016 by Toni Nelson
Category: Economic, Population and Historical Tax Data

As of September 25, the IPD for personal consumption expenditures over the past 12 months is 0.953%, which means that local governments with a population of 10,000 and greater will have an additional step in the property tax levy setting process if they wish to levy the full 1% increase as allowed by statute or bank this capacity for future use.

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Informal AG Opinion Clarifies Lodging Tax Awards

Informal AG Opinion Clarifies Lodging Tax Awards

August 24, 2016 by Toni Nelson
Category: Lodging Tax (Hotel-Motel Tax)

An informal opinion from the Attorney General's office states that a municipality may award lodging tax revenues to a recipient in an amount that differs from the LTAC recommendations, as long as the legislative body follows the right process.

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Local Governments Now Have Clearer Investment Options Thanks to ESB 6349

Local Governments Now Have Clearer Investment Options Thanks to ESB 6349

July 14, 2016 by Toni Nelson
Category: Investments

The 2016 legislative session produced some bills that many of us were not necessarily tracking but that may have some impact on how you invest excess funds in the future. One such bill was ESB 6349, concerning public funds, deposits, and investments. The bill was presented at the request of ...

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Multimodal Transportation Funds Released To Cities and Counties on April 15

Multimodal Transportation Funds Released To Cities and Counties on April 15

April 14, 2016 by Toni Nelson
Category: Revenues

The initial distribution of this new fund should include the first two quarters of the state biennium that were missed (September 2015 and December 2015) along with the March 2016 distribution.

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What’s New for the 2015 Annual Financial Report?

What’s New for the 2015 Annual Financial Report?

March 30, 2016 by Toni Nelson
Category: Financial Reporting

The deadline for filing your 2015 financial report is May 29. Learn what's new in the requirements for this year.

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Assuming the Powers of Your Transportation Benefit District? Here Are Some Items to Be Aware Of

Assuming the Powers of Your Transportation Benefit District? Here Are Some Items to Be Aware Of

March 1, 2016 by Toni Nelson
Category: Finance

An overview of accounting and reporting requirements as a result of the new legislation regarding the assumption of TBDs by cities and counties.

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Lodging Tax Reports Due March 15, Changes to Reporting Process This Year

Lodging Tax Reports Due March 15, Changes to Reporting Process This Year

February 17, 2016 by Toni Nelson
Category: Lodging Tax (Hotel-Motel Tax)

Details on the new reporting process for lodging tax reports due on March 15, 2016.

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Who Should Receive the Utility Bill, Landlords or Tenants?

Who Should Receive the Utility Bill, Landlords or Tenants?

January 19, 2016 by Toni Nelson
Category: Utilities - Billing and Collection

Who should receive a utility bill is just one of the many complexities local governments must determine in their utility billing procedures. This blog highlights our survey of how numerous jurisdictions handle this issue.

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Tax Changes for Recreational Services and Athletic/Fitness Facilities

Tax Changes for Recreational Services and Athletic/Fitness Facilities

December 29, 2015 by Toni Nelson
Category: Revenues

Recent legislation has changed the definition of a retail sale and the new change becomes effective on January 1. Here is some guidance on what this change may mean for your 2016 tax report.

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Budget Hearings: How Many Do You Need to Hold?

Budget Hearings: How Many Do You Need to Hold?

October 30, 2015 by Toni Nelson
Category: Budgets and Budgeting

The recent MRSC webinar, The Budget Process: Strategies for Success, reviewed the statutory requirements for budgeting by local government entities across the state. This webinar spurred numerous inquiries here at MRSC, and the one question asked by a variety of jurisdictions was, &ldquo...

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Updated Revenue Forecasts for Motor Vehicle Appropriations and Marijuana Tax Distributions

Updated Revenue Forecasts for Motor Vehicle Appropriations and Marijuana Tax Distributions

October 7, 2015 by Toni Nelson
Category: Revenues

Revised forecasts for some of the state shared revenue funds.

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IPD Falls Below 1%, May Affect Your Property Tax Levy Setting Process

IPD Falls Below 1%, May Affect Your Property Tax Levy Setting Process

September 28, 2015 by Toni Nelson
Category: Economic, Population and Historical Tax Data

The Bureau of Economic Analysis published the implicit price deflator for personal consumption expenditures today and and the results are that the rate of inflation to be used for 2016 is 0.251%.

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Pre-Budgeting: Three Things to Do Before Budget Season Begins

Pre-Budgeting: Three Things to Do Before Budget Season Begins

June 26, 2015 by Toni Nelson
Category: Budgets and Budgeting

With a little breathing room during the summer, here's recommendations for three things to do before budget season comes in at full force.

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Beyond the Annual Financial Report: Communicating Your Agency

Beyond the Annual Financial Report: Communicating Your Agency's Financial Data

May 12, 2015 by Toni Nelson
Category: Financial Reporting

As financial reporting to the State Auditor's Office wraps up, Toni Nelson explains some other types of financial reports you should be providing to management and elected officials.

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Info and Checklists to Get Your Annual Financial Report Done Accurately and On Time

Info and Checklists to Get Your Annual Financial Report Done Accurately and On Time

March 23, 2015 by Toni Nelson
Category: Financial Reporting

Yearend issues are behind us and it’s time to focus on the preparation and submittal of the annual financial report to the Washington State Auditor’s Office (SAO).  RCW 43.09.230 requires all local government entities to submit a report to the SAO within 150 days from the end of the fiscal period which makes t...

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A Brief Overview of the New JLARC Lodging Tax Reporting System

A Brief Overview of the New JLARC Lodging Tax Reporting System

February 5, 2015 by Toni Nelson
Category: Lodging Tax (Hotel-Motel Tax)

Last month, the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee (JLARC) launched its new web-based reporting system for filing your 2014 lodging tax data. While the new system is fairly easy to use, we thought it would be good to give you quick debrief of the process, as well as remind you to set up your reporting portal whether you have data to submit in 2014 or not. JLARC will be collecting data for both those municipalities that distributed lodging tax as well as those that did not.    
 

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Heads Up – Budget Amendments

Heads Up – Budget Amendments

December 4, 2014 by Toni Nelson
Category: Budgets and Budgeting

Now that cities, towns, and counties are wrapping up their budgets for the coming year, it’s time to turn our attention back to the current budget and the last month or so of activity.  I say “or so” because of the open period that is used by the majority of you.

You ask, what is the “open period”?

For cities and towns, the open period refe...

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Budget Forecasting - Revenue projections not always that easy to develop

Budget Forecasting - Revenue projections not always that easy to develop

September 16, 2014 by Toni Nelson
Category: Budgets and Budgeting

It is budget time again and most of you are working on revenue forecasts that will be used to develop the budget for the next fiscal period.  Accurate revenue forecasts are essential to budget execution. If the forecast grossly overestimates the amount of future revenues, the end result will be a deficit and the potential for mid-year spending cuts.  On the other hand, if the revenue forecast is...

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Using Lodging Taxes for Staff Support of LTAC (Updated)

Using Lodging Taxes for Staff Support of LTAC (Updated)

August 20, 2014 by Toni Nelson
Category: Lodging Tax (Hotel-Motel Tax)

Can you use lodging tax revenues to pay for staff support of the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee (LTAC)? It’s a good question that we’ve been getting lately. After conferring with the State Auditor’s Office, we’ve concluded that this...

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Using Lodging Taxes for Staff Support of LTAC

Using Lodging Taxes for Staff Support of LTAC

July 29, 2014 by Toni Nelson
Category: Lodging Tax (Hotel-Motel Tax)

Can you use lodging tax revenues to pay for staff support of the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee (LTAC)? It’s a good question that we’ve been getting lately. After conferring with the State Auditor’s Office, we’ve concluded that this...

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New Finance Consultant at MRSC

New Finance Consultant at MRSC

May 30, 2014 by Toni Nelson
Category: Finance

The timing of my arrival at MRSC as the new Finance Consultant is bittersweet. Judy Cox was the face of Public Finance at MRSC for 22 years, and her expertise and knowledge cannot be replaced. I would like to extend my heartfelt...

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Finance 101

March 1, 2012 by Toni Nelson
Category: Finance Advisor

In anticipation of the coming budget season, we thought a discussion on the characteristics that make governmental accounting unique would be helpful.

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