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Posts by FCS GROUP

Sewer Rate Structure Alternatives for Utilities

Sewer Rate Structure Alternatives for Utilities

October 11, 2017 by FCS GROUP
Category: Finance Advisor , Utilities - Billing and Collection

What options are there for utilities in determining how to structure sewer usage rates, depending on the customer type? A volume-based rate option for all consumers is one, but an agency must consider which approach to take and it must make sure that such an approach aligns with organizational policy objectives. 

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Is Your Utility Rate Study Talking To Your Asset Management Strategy?

Is Your Utility Rate Study Talking To Your Asset Management Strategy?

May 25, 2016 by FCS GROUP
Category: Finance Advisor , Asset Management

Asset management strategies serve to prioritize investments, optimize maintenance and more importantly, mitigate risk. Ultimately, asset management defines the level of investment required to effectively and sustainably operate your utility. These are also the very same elements that feed into and define your utility financial plan and corresponding rates.

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Are You Calculating Your City Utility Tax Correctly?

Are You Calculating Your City Utility Tax Correctly?

July 10, 2015 by FCS GROUP
Category: Revenues , Finance Advisor

This post was written by Gordon Wilson and Tage Aaker of the FCS Group.

Many Washington cities have a city utility tax or a business & occupation (B&O) tax that applies to utilities within city boundaries. These taxes are usually defined in the city code as a “gross receipts” tax—that is, a percentage of the gros...

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When Do You Need to Contract With a Registered Municipal Advisor?

January 6, 2015 by FCS GROUP
Category: Finance , Finance Advisor

Even as the economy improves and growth within our communities has sponsored the ability to spend again, echoes of the past recession linger with several Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act initiated changes taking effect. This time it is about a recently created government-contractor role termed, “Municipal Advisor” and applies to various financial consultants who previously have provided services to the public sector in an unregulated environment.

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The Uncharted Fiscal Waters of Legalizing Marijuana in Washington State

June 1, 2014 by FCS GROUP
Category: Recreational and Medical Marijuana , Finance Advisor

In November 2012, Washington and Colorado voters both passed statewide initiatives allowing marijuana to be grown, processed, and sold for adult recreational usage, setting those states on course for uncharted fiscal territory. Seventeen other states are now considering ...

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Water Utilities and Fire Hydrants: Legislative Update

May 1, 2013 by FCS GROUP
Category: Fire Protection , Water Utilities , Finance Advisor

The State Legislature has passed legislation (SHB 1512; SSB 5605,) that focuses on "solving" the problem created by the Lane v. City of Seattle decision. This act provides specific guidance and options for water utilities on how to legally recover fire protection costs...

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Have You Reviewed Your Excise Tax Worksheets Lately?

August 1, 2012 by FCS GROUP
Category: Revenues , Finance Advisor

Is your utility taking full advantage of the deductions and exemptions specified in the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) and the Washington Administrative Code (WAC)? Given that the tax rules applicable to utilities in the State of Washington are complex and can change over time, it is relatively easy to overpay or underpay taxes – because tax reporting is an annual issue with potentially...

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