MuniLand

MuniLand Snaps: May 23

The Tax Foundation is reporting that the House of Representatives may take up H.R. 1864, the Mobile Workforce State Income Tax Simplification Act of 2011. The CBO describes the legislation as prohibiting states from taxing the income of employees who work in the state for fewer than 31 days. The prohibition would not apply to the income of professional athletes, entertainers or public figures.

Good Links

Senate Banking Committee: Internal staff memo on yesterday’s hearing on derivatives regulation

Reuters: U.S. cities wrestle with universities for cash

NCSL: State unemployment rates drop in April 2012

NABL: “Simply and plainly tell the whole credit story related to [newly issued] bonds”

Sacramento Bee: Every year, a California budget plan passes that collapses by the following May

The Economist: California’s overcrowded prisons

Reuters: 188 school districts in California are in “financial jeopardy”

MuniLand Snaps: May 21

There is a new movement afoot on the fringes of urban society called “depaving,” or removing asphalt from small urban areas to make green, community spaces.

Good Links

Senator Jim DeMint: Saying no to state bailouts

Bloomberg: Pennsylvania’s tax windfall from gaming leads the U.S.

LAT: Los Angeles among most financially distressed areas in U.S.

Reuters: U.S. municipal bond sales to total $9 billion next week

Bloomberg: Jefferson County can’t pay GO bonds without new tax, lawyer says

WPRI.com: Rhode Island video-game company makes loan payment to state

@Twitter Talk

MuniLand Snaps: May 18

The Upstate New York public media blog Innovation Trail has a tour of the Rochester City Hall’s new green roof.

Good Links

National Law Review: More munis, more problems: Increased regulation of the municipal bond market

WSJ: On “general obligation” munis, investors advise caution

Reuters: U.S. muni bond inflows slow at $805 million

Janney Capital Markets: Fixed-income daily market commentary

Reuters: State employee pensions to cost California $3.7 billion

Birmingham News: Jefferson County skips debt payment again, votes against closing hospital

MuniLand Snaps: May 17

The dirty side of consumption, or what happens to our trash? Hat tip: Boing Boing.

Good Links

ZeroHedge: That which is unsustainable will go away: Medicare

WSJ: Cities court bond investors with open meetings and more transparency

SEC: Statement regarding Commission approval of MSRB Rule G-17 Interpretive Notice

Davis Polk: SEC approves MSRB Interpretive Notice on municipal security underwriters

MuniLand Snaps: May 16

GovTech interviews some state and city chief information officers about their use of Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare and YouTube to change how government operates and interacts with citizens.

Good Links

NPR: 50 years of government spending, in one graph

Reuters: State income up in April, but may not be enough

Standard & Poor’s: California’s bigger fiscal-year 2013 budget gap increases pressure to adopt austerity

LA Times: Fitch on new California budget problems: Don’t panic

Reuters: State of California estimates $2.1 billion in tax revenue from Facebook IPO

MuniLand Snaps: May 15

The Tax Foundation brings us a map showing that certain states have had much stronger increases in their percentage of wealthy taxpayers than others. North Dakota takes the top spot and is followed by other energy-rich states.

Good Links

St. Louis Fed: Map of failed banks – 2007 to present

Congressman Tom Reed: The Municipal Bond Market Support Act of 2012

Learn Bonds: The safety of state bonds: A historical perspective

The Times-Picayune: Louisiana is the world’s prison capital

Bond Buyer: Missouri nixes tolls on I-70

NYT: New York City Council to vet depository banks for social responsibility

WSJ: New York City explores privatizing its parking meters

@Twitter Talk

MuniLand Snaps: May 11

It’s National Train Day tomorrow, and Amtrak is riding the rails. All aboard!

Good Links

Reuters: Bernanke warns lawmakers on looming fiscal risks

USA Today: Study: Economic mobility depends on the state you live in

Bloomberg: States borrow to cover pension fund shortfalls

Bond Buyer: MSRB cites cases that show need for better dealer fair-dealing

Morningstar: Another good analysis of how muniland has a lot more credit risk now

Reuters: Weekly U.S. muni fund inflows more than double – Lipper

Washington Monthly: Paying the toll for bridging the great divide

@Twitter Talk

MuniLand Snaps: May 10

Bob Nelson of Thomson Reuters Municipal Market Data and I, along with several others, went back and forth on Twitter about how public pension funds manage their investments. Nelson tweeted out the chart above comparing the investment returns for Calpers, the giant California public employee pension fund, with index returns for equities and fixed income. It looks as if Calpers has some very good returns.

Good Links

Moody’s: Austerity challenges the U.S. outlook

U.S. DOJ: From 2010 to 2011 the number of people in county and city jails (735,601) declined by 1.8 percent

WM Financial Strategies: Nice roundup of muniland regulatory issues

Bloomberg: Governments belatedly put pension deficits on their books

StlToday.com: Tax support for mall gains despite opposition

The Daily Journal: More fiscal fandango: New Jersey budget relies on one-shot solutions

MuniLand Snaps: May 9

Detroit Mayor David Bing (@mayordavebing) updates Michigan Governor Rick Snyder (@onetoughnerd) on budget issues. It’s great to see the collaboration.

Good Links

Reuters: NYC Mayor Bloomberg: Highly indebted U.S. could go the way of Europe

SLGE: The funding of state and local pensions: 2011–2015

Reuters: Public pension fixes face stout legal challenges

Chicago Fed:  State tax revenues over the business cycle

Investment News: Expected $20 billion reinvestment gap as maturing bonds outstrip new supply

Bloomberg: Refinancing wave and projected redemptions may exceed the supply of new bonds

MuniLand Snaps: May 7


The American Society of Landscape Artists posts this video called “The Edible City”:

While growing food breaks the law in many U.S. cities, innovators like New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, and smaller cities like Madison, Wisconsin, are now changing regulations to accommodate the growing numbers of urban farmers.

Good Links

Reuters: House Republicans target social cuts to shield military

Bloomberg: State governments add 1,000 jobs as U.S. local governments cut 12,000

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