July, 2011

 

New IRS Questionnaire on Advance Refundings

 

On May 24, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that it has initiated a new questionnaire for borrowers who have issued tax-exempt advance refunding bonds. The questionnaire is extensive (8 pages, with 22 multi-part questions).


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Salute to Local Government

 

The Public Policy Forum, a Milwaukee-based nonpartisan research organization focusing on regional issues, recently held its 19th annual "Salute to Local Government".

 

Ehlers is pleased to be a sponsor of this event.

 

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2011 Wisconsin Conferences 

 

We always look forward to seeing you at up-coming conferences!

 

Click here to see which Wisconsin conferences Ehlers will be attending in 2011. 

 

 

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In this Issue, there is a timely article about changes made to levy limits by the recently enacted State Budget. We also take a look at the Village of Shorewood to see how they gained results from a TIF project.

 

Additionally, there is an IRS-related article which alerts you to a questionnaire that's gone out to a small group of government entities and other tax-exempt organizations.

 

Finally, last year, we introduced you to changes in the municipal securities market with an introduction to the Dodd Frank Act. As more regulations are passed, we will continue to keep you informed. In this issue of the Advisor, we talk about changes to Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board Rule G-23 that further defines the distinction between an underwriter and a financial advisor.

 

 

Steve Apfelbacher

  

Steve Apfelbacher 

President

Ehlers 

 

Shorewood Case Study 

by Mike Harrigan, Chairman/Senior Financial Advisor

 

Mike Harrigan

Many times communities use Tax Increment Financing (TIF) as a tool to redevelop property as part of an Economic Strategy.  

 

The Village of Shorewood used TIF, including a thorough developer pro forma review, and Midwestern Disaster Area Bonds (MDABs) to address challenges related to a redevelopment initiative.

 

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Levy Limits Have Changed...Again

by Greg Johnson Financial Advisor

 

Greg JohnsonThe biennial State budget that took effect July 1, 2011 includes several changes to levy limits.

 

Since levy limits were first introduced a sunset provision resulted in the expiration of levy limits every two years. 

 

The provision that would sunset levy limits after the 2012/(13) levy has been removed, making levy limits permanent.


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Financial Advisors to be Prohibited from Switching Roles

by Steve Apfelbacher, Senior Financial Advisor/President

Steve Apfelbacher 

Bond underwriter firms buy and sell municipal bonds.  Some bond underwriter firms also act as financial advisors to municipal issuers.

 

While serving as the municipality's trusted advisor for a debt issue, the bond underwriter firm can, currently, resign in the middle of the debt issue process, to buy the municipality's bonds. 

 

This role switching, first being hired by the municipality as their financial advisor and then switching roles to buy the bonds on the same debt issuance, has been allowed under Rule G-23 by the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) and Securities Exchange Commission (SEC). The ability of bond underwriters to switch roles has been subject to much debate for a number of years.

 

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