December, 2015
In this final issue of The Advisor for 2015, we reflect on the success of this past year as well as looking ahead to 2016.
We thank each of our clients and business partners for helping Ehlers celebrate our 60th anniversary this year.  

On behalf of the entire Ehlers team, we hope that you and your families enjoy the best that the season has to offer. We appreciate your relationship and interaction with us.

Steve A





Todd T 
Ehlers Sees Record Number of TIF Creations and Amendments in 2015   
87 TIF Districts and Amendments Created
By Todd Taves, Senior Municipal Advisor
Ehlers has been assisting Wisconsin municipalities with tax incremental financing ("TIF") since the tool was created in the mid 1970's. From 2005-2014 alone, Ehlers has assisted with an average of 47 TIF creations and project plan amendments per year. In 2015, Ehlers assisted with a record number of 87 TIF district creations and amendments. Ehlers' attributes this increase in activity to a variety of factors.

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Greg J
Five New Year's Resolutions for Maintaining or Improving Your Bond Rating
The Role of Rating Agencies
By Greg Johnson, Senior Municipal Advisor 

The role of rating agencies is to provide investors with an assessment of the city's ability and willingness to repay bonded debt as scheduled. "Ability" and "willingness" are evaluated based on general economic conditions, tax base, debt burden, politics, and management.

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Moody's Launches Issuer Comment Report in 2016 
Report Fill a Gap in the Market

Beginning January, 2016, Moody's will be launching a new research publication, the Issuer Comment Report. This report, to be published annually for Moody's rated issuers with general obligation or related debt, expands the firm's research coverage of cities, counties, and school districts, and provides updated credit research on those issuers' outstanding rated debt.

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Ken H
Charging Fees for Large Cash Deposit Balances 
New Capital Rules Trend
By Ken Herdeman, Ehlers Investment Partners President and
Jack Samuels, Cash Forecast/Investment Services Analyst 

The season of giving is in full swing. Unfortunately for large cash depositors, the widespread generosity has failed to reach big banks. Banks continue paying out minimal interest on cash balances. In some cases, they are refusing large cash deposits altogether, or they are charging fees for large deposit balances. This trend has come as a result of new capital rules put in place by banking regulators. Under these rules, banks are required to hold high quality liquid assets to cover potential deposit withdrawals, making the deposits that fund these loans more expensive for the bank to retain.
 
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Ehlers Hosts UWM-MPA Alumni Event
Networking Event for Public Administration Program 
 
On November 12, 2015, Ehlers hosted a networking event for the alumni of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Masters in Public Administration program at its Pewaukee office. Ehlers has sponsored several of these events in recent years. Ehlers' employees who have graduated from this program include: Mike Harrigan, Todd Taves, James Mann, Jon Cameron, and Brendan Leonard.
 
Mike Harrigan has served as an instructor for classes in the MPA program and has taught several of our current clients. "Ehlers is a strong supporter of educational programs that prepare our future leaders in local government. Ehlers has benefited first hand by hiring from the talented students who have graduated from the UWM MPA program, and several of our clients also hire MPA graduates. Ehlers is pleased to continue and expand our role in supporting this program".

Chris Swartz (left) Village Administrator in Shorewood and UWM MPA Alumni Coordinator, and Todd Taves (right) Principal/Senior Municipal Advisor at Ehlers at a recent alumni event hosted at the Ehlers' Pewaukee, WI office. 

A Couple Reminders 
Save the Date: Ehlers Public Finance Seminar
Ehlers' 2016 Public Finance Seminar, "What's Trending in Public Finance", will be held from February 11, 2016 to February 12, 2016 at the Kalahari resort in Lake Delton.
Registration will be available soon. Topics to be addressed at the seminar include:
  • Panel discussion on key factors developers evaluate when deciding where to focus their development efforts.
  • Industrial Revenue Bonds and the application of WEDA Tax Credits to development projects.
  • Panel discussion with representatives from the Public Service Commission about issues facing local water utilities and how to position yourself for the next rate adjustment.
  • Developing Financial Management Plans to fund operating needs and capital projects within your community.
  • A panel discussion with representatives from the rating agencies.
  • Five subjects for implementing a successful investment program.
  • Issuer best practices for debt management.
  • Understanding your role as an issuer with primary and secondary disclosures to bond investors.
  • Case studies featuring unique municipal bond offerings.
  • Understanding the key components of your financial statements.
Mark your calendars and watch your inbox and the Ehlers website www.ehlers-inc.com for registration and more information about the seminar. See you there!



Our Address 
If you haven't updated your recorders with our new address, please take a moment do so:

Ehlers
N21W23350 Ridgeview Parkway West, Suite 100
Waukesha WI 53188-1015

Phone: (262) 785-1520
Fax: (262) 785-1810 
 
 Ehlers Inc., Ehlers Investment Partners and Bond Trust Services are affiliate companies.