All matters pertaining to the financial resources of counties, fiscal management, federal assistance, municipal borrowing, county revenues, federal budget, federal tax reform, elections and Native American issues.
Finance, Pensions & Intergovernmental Affairs Steering Committee
Unfunded Mandates and Other Regulatory Impacts on Counties
Unfunded Mandates and Other Regulatory Impacts on CountiesUnfunded Mandates (June 2019).pdf
Support H.R. 2772 to Restore Tax-Exempt Status of Advance Refunding Bonds
Urge your Members of Congress to support passage of H.R. 2772 to restore advance refunding bonds.
Tax-exempt bonds are a well-established financing tool written into the first tax code in 1913. They are predominantly issued by state and local governments for governmental infrastructure and capital needs purposes, such as the construction or improvement of schools, streets, highways, hospitals, bridges, water and sewer systems, ports, airports and other public works.
Prior to 2017, advance refunding bonds were also tax-exempt and allowed counties to refinance municipal bonds once over the lifetime of the bond. Advance refunding bonds, when tax-exempt, allow state and local governments to lower borrowing costs and take advantage of more favorable interest rates. This frees up resources to be used for other important capital projects and minimizes costs to taxpayers. Advance refunding bonds also allow localities to address problematic bond terms and conditions or to restructure debt service payments for budget flexibility.
On December 23, 2017, President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (P.L. 115-97), the first major rewrite of the tax code since 1986. While the final bill retained tax-exempt status for municipal bonds, it eliminated the tax-exempt status of advance refunding bonds.2019 AR Bonds Policy Brief.pdf
Support Repeal of the 40 Percent Excise Tax on Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance
Contact your members of Congress and urge them to support legislation to permanently repeal the 40 percent excise tax on employer-sponsored health insurance that was included in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) passed in 2010.
When the ACA was enacted into law in March 2010, one of the provisions included in the law was an excise tax on employer-sponsored health coverage. The tax is levied on the aggregate amount of employer-sponsored coverage exceeding thresholds established in the law ($10,800 for individual coverage and $29,100 for family coverage). After Congress repeatedly delayed this provision, the excise tax is currently set to take effect in 2022.
NACo policy opposes the taxation of health benefits provided to county employees. There are 3.6 million county employees that serve over 308 million county residents and healthcare coverage is one of the primary benefits counties use to attract and maintain a quality workforce. If the excise tax on employer-sponsored health insurance is implemented, counties will face a significant impact on their budgets and workforce.2019 Excise Tax Fact Sheet DRAFT.pdf
Support Local Economies by Allowing the Collection of Existing Sales Taxes on Remote Sales
Counties should work with Congress to support legislation that would allow counties to enforce their existing sales tax laws regardless of whether a purchase is made in a store, online or through a catalog retailer.
On June 21, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in South Dakota v. Wayfair that states and local governments can require vendors with no physical presence in a state to collect and remit existing sales taxes on remote or online purchases. This case asked the court to review its 1992 decision in Quill v. North Dakota, which upheld the “physical presence” standard established in 1967.
This ruling enables each state to decide whether to enforce sales tax collection on remote purchases. Under this framework, a state may pass legislation requiring remote sellers to collect these taxes, even if a vendor has no physical presence in the state. If state laws are challenged in court, each state supreme court would then determine whether the law is enforceable and consistent with federal law. For counties, lost revenue from online and remote sales means less money for basic services, such as roads and law enforcement officers.Online Sales Tax 2018_update.pdf
Protect County Revenues by Opposing Preferential Tax Treatment for Particular Industries
Contact your House and Senate members and urge them to oppose legislation that would grant certain industries (e.g. wireless, rental car, and online travel) preferential tax treatment and threaten the fiscal health of local governments.
In recent years, a growing number of industries have actively urged Congress to preempt state and local government taxing authority over their particular business model. While local taxing authority and practices differ by state, local governments tailor their tax policy by accounting for the sources of revenue available and the needs and desires of their residents. Representatives from the wireless, rental car and online travel industries are asking Congress to restrict the ability of state and local governments to decide their own tax classifications for businesses. If preferential tax laws are enacted according to industry wishes, state and local governments would be forced to impose the same tax rate for every industry and every service. This could reduce revenues for local services and undermine the existence of independent state and local taxation authority in our system of federalism.Preferential Tax 2017.pdf
The National Association of Counties (NACo) responded to President Trump’s State of the Union address with the following statement from Executive Director Matthew Chase:
Counties and Military Installations 101: Leveraging the Farm Bill to Promote Compatible Land Use and Community Development
Reports & Toolkits |
Jan. 13, 2020
NACo works to preserve local decision making, protect counties from unfunded mandates and preemption and strengthen the federal-state-local partnership.
Join a steering committee and make a difference. Learn more about getting involved in NACo's Finance, Pensions & Intergovernmental Affairs Steering Committee:
Finance, Pensions and Intergovernmental Affairs Steering Committee
Commissioner Franklin County, Ohio
County Assessor Iron County, Utah
Supervisor Fresno County, California
Treasurer Sandoval County, New Mexico
Auditor/Commissioner of Elections Black Hawk County, Iowa
Diane Dillon (County and Tribal Relations)
Supervisor Napa County, California
Ricky Hatch (Elections)
Clerk/Auditor Weber County, Utah
John Wilson (Fiscal Policy and Pensions)
County Assessor King County, Washington
Subcommittee Vice Chair
Mike Brown (Fiscal Policy and Pensions)
Commissioner Johnson County, Kansas
Jason Carini (Fiscal Policy and Pensions)
Treasurer Rogers County, Oklahoma
Sidney Fitzpatrick (County and Tribal Relations)
Commissioner Big Horn County, Montana
Mike Fricilone (Fiscal Policy and Pensions)
Board Member Will County, Illinois
Kurt Gibbs (Fiscal Policy and Pensions)
Board Chair Marathon County, Wisconsin
Councilmember Maui County
Brian Kruse (Elections)
Election Commissioner Douglas County, Nebraska
Alysoun McLaughlin (Elections)
Deputy Election Director Montgomery County, Maryland
Dolores Ortega-Carter (Fiscal Policy and Pensions)
Treasurer Travis County, Texas
Tonia Tunnell (Elections)
Director, Learning & Development Maricopa County, Arizona