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Sep 24, 2013

U.S. state tax revenues hit record highs in 2nd quarter -Census

WASHINGTON, Sept 24 (Reuters) – Tax revenues for U.S. states
soared to their highest in 25 years in the second quarter as
personal income tax collections reached record amounts, U.S.
Census data released on Tuesday showed.

Total state tax revenues rose 9.4 percent from the second
quarter of 2012 to $259.6 billion, the largest intake on records
going back to 1988 and the 15th straight quarter of increases.

Sep 23, 2013

U.S. public pension investments jump, costs surge too

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Asset values at U.S. public pension funds rose 8.4 percent in the latest fiscal year to the highest level in more than 40 years, but their costs also rose, the U.S. Census reported on Monday.

Most retirement systems ended fiscal 2013 on June 30. In the final quarter of that fiscal year the cash and securities holdings of the 100 largest public-employee pensions were $2.944 trillion, up 8.4 percent from a year earlier and the highest level since the Census began collecting pension data in 1968.

Sep 18, 2013

U.S. SEC approves long-awaited municipal adviser rule

WASHINGTON, Sept 18 (Reuters) – The U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission unanimously approved on Wednesday a
long-awaited rule to bring the financial advisers of
municipalities under federal oversight, saying appointed and
elected officials of local governments were exempt from its
requirements.

The exemption should allay bond market concerns that the
regulation of municipal advisers required under the Dodd-Frank
financial reform law would cast too wide a net and force
officials and volunteers with only tertiary involvement in
financial decisions of cities, counties, authorities and
non-profit organizations to comply with complicated securities
law.

Sep 18, 2013

U.S. SEC unveils scaled-back municipal adviser rule

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Employees and appointed officials of municipal governments would not have to register as financial advisers under a final rule federal regulators were set to finalize on Wednesday, which should allay bond market concerns that new laws on advisers would ensnare too many people in cumbersome regulation.

In its final definition of financial advisers, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said it was also narrowing the term “investment strategies” to apply only to the investment of proceeds from bond sales rather than to all public funds.

Sep 18, 2013

SEC to unveil CEO pay ratio rule, adopt municipal adviser rule

WASHINGTON, Sept 18 (Reuters) – U.S. corporations will need
to disclose how their chief executive’s paycheck compares to
that of their average worker under a proposal set to be unveiled
on Wednesday by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The SEC’s CEO pay ratio rule is championed by unions and
labor advocates who say the disclosures will help investors
identify whether a company’s compensation model is too
top-heavy.

Sep 17, 2013

U.S. internet sales tax bill to follow seven principles

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Legislation that the U.S. House of Representatives will soon take up on allowing states to tax online purchases will follow seven major principles, including keeping the system simple for small businesses and ensuring it will not lead to new taxes, sources present at talks on the matter said on Tuesday.

Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Bob Goodlatte is expected to release the long-awaited principles on Wednesday, after committee staff briefed House members’ staff in a special meeting.

Sep 12, 2013

U.S. states still holding back on school spending

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Public schools around the United States are still waiting to feel the recovery from an economic recession that officially ended four years ago, mostly because states have kept education spending low and property taxes remain depressed, according to a report released on Thursday.

At least 34 states are providing less funding per student in the current school year than before the recession hit. Moreover, at least 15 have lower funding than a year ago, according to the liberal-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, which closely tracks state spending.

Sep 10, 2013

Recession risk gone in all U.S. states but 1 -Moody’s Analytics

WASHINGTON, Sept 10 (Reuters) – All U.S. states except for
Delaware have escaped the possibility of falling back into
recession, as they reap the rewards of strong private-sector
employment and a burgeoning energy sector, according to an
analysis released on Tuesday.

Moody’s Analytics, which tracks state and metropolitan
economies, added Illinois, Wisconsin and Alabama to its list of
states in recovery. That left Delaware alone in its “at risk of
recession” category.

Aug 29, 2013

U.S. municipal bond funds report 14th week of outflows -Lipper

WASHINGTON, Aug 29 (Reuters) – U.S. municipal bond funds
reported net outflows $1.74 billion in the week ended Aug. 28,
lower than the $2.14 billion of outflows in the previous week,
according to data released by Lipper on Thursday.

It was the 14th week in a row of outflows, which kept the
four-week moving average negative at $1.52 billion, said Lipper,
a unit of Thomson Reuters.

Aug 20, 2013

U.S. municipal bond market braces for tax overhaul

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Weeks before lawmakers unveil a proposed overhaul of the U.S. tax code, investors and firms tied to the municipal bond market are trying to head off their worst fear – caps or cuts to the tax exemption for interest on debt sold by cities, states and other government bodies.

Traders, issuers and investors say they may have to fight a two-front battle as the exemption could also be targeted during congressional negotiations expected next month on the federal debt ceiling.