The Howard County government has recently proposed a tax-incremental financing (TIF) plan that would pay for certain amenities in downtown Columbia, including a parking garage. As usual, there are a great deal of discussion about this and whether or not a TIF is appropriate. Part of this focuses on how TIFs are used to improve blighted areas and no reasonable person could call downtown Columbia blighted. And downtown Columbia is not blighted. But just because TIFs have historically been misused for economic development (also, so have port authorities), does not mean it is not the right answer, here. TIFs are
Excellent news, everyone. My paper, “Public Financial Management” has just been published by Syllabus, an open access and peer-reviewed journal that publishes original syllabi, assessment instruments, assignments and activities, and articles related to college teaching. The paper here focused on my public financial management class, PUAD 701 at the University of Baltimore. In that course, we developed an original nonprofit organization to provide a hands-on tool for students to use to learn about the financial management process. While our nonprofit was ultimately not successful, the lessons learned and general approach may help other financial management professors in developing their courses.
I received word back from the 2016 Joint Statistical Meetings. As noted back in February, I proposed to JSM a presentation on retrospective social discount rates. This came from my dissertation and you can read more about it there. Yesterday, I got word that my proposal had been accepted for a SPEED presentation. At the speed presentation, I will be talking for 5 minutes. Then I will have an e-poster session later in the day. In addition, I will be chairing a session on behalf of the Section on Statistics and the Environment. The topics for that presentation are: Is
The Illinois Lottery has stopped paying winners. As of this week, winning $600 or more gets you an IOU. Setting aside how bad it looks when the house refuses to pay up, this is default. So why does Illinois still have bond ratings in the upper grades? Well, Moody’s has a strict definition of default: Missed payment on a debt obligation, Receivership or bankruptcy, Distressed exchange, or Change in payment terms. Failing to pay a lottery winner sure sounds like a missed payment to a creditor. So what gives? The outlook is negative from the three major agencies. Standard and
My talk on government accounting, “Why this Hammer Costs $435,” at Ignite Howard County is now available on YouTube. You can read more about this in this blog post.
I submitted grades for my public financial management class last night. I told my students there are two critical takeaways from this class. The first is that if you need to make an assumption about inflation, growth, or anything else in the economy, you should pick two percent. The second is that when creating budgets, financial statements, or anything else like this, a huge part of being correct is convincing me your are correct. This is an important and understated point. Especially at the lower levels. When journalling a transaction, how a split occurs is largely at the discretion of