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MRSC Insight Blog


Posts for Revenues

American Rescue Plan Provides More Relief to Local Governments

American Rescue Plan Provides More Relief to Local Governments

March 17, 2021  by  Eric Lowell
Category:  Revenues COVID-19

The American Rescue Plan Act ("ARP" or "ARPA") provides significant new funds for local governments, as well as an optional expansion of FFCRA leave. While we don't yet know all the logistics, this blog post provides a preliminary overview.

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New Federal Funding for Rent and Utility Assistance

New Federal Funding for Rent and Utility Assistance

March 1, 2021  by  Eric Lowell
Category:  Revenues COVID-19

This blog provides an overview of new funding available through the Coronavirus Response Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA) to help with rent and utility assistance for any households impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Washington Supreme Court Finds I-976 Unconstitutional

Washington Supreme Court Finds I-976 Unconstitutional

October 16, 2020  by  Oskar Rey
Category:  Revenues Court Decisions and AGO Opinions

This blog provides a brief overview of a recent Washington Supreme Court ruling striking down I-976.

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Locating Good Data for Your Revenue Forecasting

Locating Good Data for Your Revenue Forecasting

August 21, 2020  by  Mike Bailey
Category:  Revenues COVID-19

Traditional approaches to revenue forecasting will not be sufficient during the COVID-19 pandemic. This blog post explores where to find good data and get more accurate ways to predict future revenues. 

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 Cities, Towns, Counties to Receive CARES Act Funds

Cities, Towns, Counties to Receive CARES Act Funds

May 19, 2020  by  Toni Nelson
Category:  Revenues COVID-19

The State of Washington has now shared a portion of its CARES Act funding with certain cities, towns, and counties in the form of grants that reimburse expenses incurred. This blog post provides an overview of what an agency can expect in applying for these grants.  

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Sharing is Caring: The Federal CARES Act and Local Governments

Sharing is Caring: The Federal CARES Act and Local Governments

May 7, 2020  by  Linda Gallagher
Category:  Revenues COVID-19

This article provides an overview of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act as it applies to the needs of local governments.  

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Changing Forecasts for Transportation Revenues and Other Impacts of I-976

Changing Forecasts for Transportation Revenues and Other Impacts of I-976

December 5, 2019  by  Toni Nelson
Category:  Revenues Transportation Finance

This blog post looks at the impact the passage of I-976 will have on transportation revenues, the state's multimodal account, and transportation benefit districts. 

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New Guidance in Accounting for and Reporting Leases

New Guidance in Accounting for and Reporting Leases

November 4, 2019  by  Mike Bailey
Category:  Accounting Revenues Financial Reporting

This blog post looks at the new standards the Governmental Accounting Standards Board has released regarding accounting for and reporting leases. 

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New City and County Revenue Guides Published!

New City and County Revenue Guides Published!

February 19, 2019  by  Toni Nelson
Category:  Revenues

For many years, city and county officials have relied on MRSC’s Revenue Guides to better understand their various revenue options. In partnership with the State Auditor’s Office, we’ve completely rewritten and republished these important documents.

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Tips for Improving Your Grant Proposal Development Process

Tips for Improving Your Grant Proposal Development Process

September 18, 2018  by  Amy Gabriel
Category:  Revenues Public Works Finance

From providing feedback on draft grant guidelines to employing an outside consultant, this post offers tips on how municipalities can improve the grant development process. 

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Increased Marijuana Excise Tax Distributions for Cities and Counties

Increased Marijuana Excise Tax Distributions for Cities and Counties

March 28, 2018  by  Toni Nelson
Category:  Revenues Marijuana

Cities and counties that allow marijuana businesses will soon be seeing an increase in state shared revenue distributions following passage of the 2018-2019 state supplemental budget. Finance Consultant Toni Nelson addresses the issue. 

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My Can of Coke Costs What?!!!

My Can of Coke Costs What?!!!

March 1, 2018  by  Paul Sullivan
Category:  Revenues

Since January 1, 2018, Seattle residents and visitors have found that drinking sweetened drinks cost a little bit more. Legal Consultant Paul Sullivan looks at the city's new sweetened beverage tax, one that is projected to raise almost $15 million in 2018. 

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Ballot Measures Part 1: Affordable Housing Taxes, Revenue Measures, and Low Voter Turnout

Ballot Measures Part 1: Affordable Housing Taxes, Revenue Measures, and Low Voter Turnout

November 9, 2017  by  Steve Hawley
Category:  Revenues Elections

Senior Communications Coordinator Steve Hawley recaps some of the local funding measures in this year’s general election, including the state’s first affordable housing sales tax, the failure of a voted REET 2 measure, and low turnout causing problems for bonds and levies.

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“Unconfusing” Marijuana Tax Distribution

“Unconfusing” Marijuana Tax Distribution

October 24, 2016  by  Jim Doherty
Category:  Revenues Marijuana

RCW 69.50.540, the statute that provides the details on marijuana excise tax appropriations and distributions, is confusing. Here’s my attempt to provide a compressed, simplified version of the statute.

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Keeping Up with Inflation: Strategies for Increasing Revenue to Keep Up with Cost Increases

Keeping Up with Inflation: Strategies for Increasing Revenue to Keep Up with Cost Increases

May 31, 2016  by  Shawn Hunstock
Category:  Revenues Finance Advisor

One of the strategies cities can use to maximize revenue potential is to ensure they are getting all the revenue they can from their existing revenue sources. For cities in Washington the three largest revenue sources are property tax, sales tax, and utility taxes. For the most part, cities have very little influence on the amount of revenue that is generated from these three sources to cover current and future costs.

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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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Small City Perspective: Is State Shared Revenue a Necessity or Burden?

Small City Perspective: Is State Shared Revenue a Necessity or Burden?

January 15, 2016  by  Randy Hinchliffe
Category:  Revenues Finance Advisor

Randy Hinchliffe from the City of Waitsburg provides his perspective on dealing with the lack of local control of state shared revenues.

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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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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

While reviewing city utility finances, we often notice a discrepancy between the city code and how the utility tax is calculated. As a result, many cities collect less money from their utility taxes than is allowed under their city code.

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Not to Be Too Alarmist, but, Being a Realist …

Not to Be Too Alarmist, but, Being a Realist …

January 27, 2015  by  Jim McEntire
Category:  Revenues Council-Commission Advisor

Aside from locally derived tax revenues, cities and counties with slow-to-no economic growth coupled with higher-than-state-average unemployment can expect scant additional financial help from the State and Federal budgets.

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Important New Court Decision on a City's Utility Tax Authority

May 20, 2014  by  Bob Meinig
Category:  Revenues

In a decision issued today (5/20/2014), Division III of the state court of appeals decided that a code city has the legal authority to impose its utility tax on the revenues of a public utility district's provision of water service to customers within the city limits, except to the extent that the district's revenues "were derived from governmental activities." The court's decision in

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Are Local Government Revenues Lagging Behind the Economy?

Are Local Government Revenues Lagging Behind the Economy?

June 17, 2013  by  Tracy Burrows
Category:  Revenues

Using past recessions as a guide, the rule of thumb is that the recovery in local government revenues will lag 18 to 24 months behind the low point of a recession, but in Washington the lag may be shorter for some jurisdictions.

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Are Donations to Local Governments Tax Deductible?

Are Donations to Local Governments Tax Deductible?

March 27, 2013  by  Bob Meinig
Category:  Revenues

Most donations to local governments are deductible from the donor's federal income taxes. So what information does the local government need to provide to the donor for IRS purposes?

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Have You Reviewed Your Excise Tax Worksheets Lately?

July 31, 2012  by  FCS GROUP
Category:  Revenues Finance Advisor

Is your utility taking full advantage of the deductions and exemptions specified in state law? 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.

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