September, 2015
Who Could Have Guessed?  
Registered Municipal Advisors are the Only Municipal Market Participant to Provide Municipal Securities Advice
By Steve Apfelbacher, President
 
 
When the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was signed into law in 2010, none of us knew the significant changes it would cause in the municipal market. We understood that the Act regulated Financial Advisors as Municipal Advisors (MAs) and established a fiduciary duty on the part of the MA to their municipal clients. To meet the Act's requirements the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved a far-reaching Municipal Advisor Rule (the "Rule") that regulates Municipal Advisors and the activities of other market participants.
 
Steve A





 
New Long Term Facilities Maintenance Revenue
Bills Include Important Items Affecting Schools
By Greg Crowe, Municipal Advisor and Joel Sutter, Senior Municipal Advisor 
For years, school districts have been advocating for an expansion of the alternative facilities program to all districts. Currently, 26 large districts can use this program to fund deferred maintenance and other facility projects. We were very pleased that the education funding bill approved by the Legislature during the 2015 session included a variation on that program for all districts, calling it Long Term Facilities Maintenance Revenue (LTFMR). The approved program represents a partial adoption of the 2014 Working Group on School Facilities recommendation that all districts have full access to an alternative facilities style funding program for deferred maintenance.
 
Ehlers Truth in Taxation Presentation Service
Ehlers is Ready to Help
By Betsy Knoche, Financial Specialist 

All school districts are required to hold Property Tax Hearings again this year. As in the past, districts are required to discuss the proposed levy and the current year budget. The State made significant changes in school funding formulas again this year - including the new Long Term Maintenance Funding Revenue and elimination of the Health and Safety, Deferred Maintenance, and Alternative Facilities programs (see separate article in this Newsletter). As a result, many districts will have significant changes in their levies from previous years.

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Jeff Seeley
2016 Election Dates
A Summary of Laws Governing the Timing of Elections
By Jeff Seeley, Municipal Advisor 

As the fall election season approaches, many school districts are holding elections for operating referendum and for capital improvements. Numerous other districts have both operating or capital needs that they are evaluating and will be planning to run an election in 2016. With their planning processes beginning, we are starting to get questions as to when elections can be held in the upcoming calendar year. 
 
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Tom Berge
Desktop Tools to Save You Time
Two Specialized Tools to Improve Financial Management
By Tom Berge, Financial Specialist

Time is a precious commodity for every school administrator. Budgeting, researching, organizing, and presenting information on your district is time consuming and can be tedious. Ehlers has developed two specialized tools to save you time and to make you a more effective school district administrator.  
 
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Jack F
Comprehensive Cash Forecasts are a First Step to Improving Investment Returns
Mapping Cash Inflow and Outflow
By Jack Fay, Municipal Investment Advisor

Cooling temperatures and back to school fervor means budget time in the public sector. With all the numbers going through the minds of finance directors, business managers and treasurers at this time of year, interest income may be the last number inserted into the revenue budget. And then whatever was booked for interest income last year will be plugged for next year. Now may be the time to reassess your approach to investments, especially if your investment program revolves around money market accounts, government investment pools or short term certificates of deposit.
 
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