CSAC Bulletin Article

Government Finance and Administration Policy Committee Recap

December 7, 2017

The CSAC Government Finance and Administration Policy Committee met on November 30 at the 123rd Annual Meeting with Supervisor Erin Hannigan, Solano County, presiding as chair and Supervisor Judy Morris, Trinity County, presiding as vice-chair. The meeting agenda and speaker presentations are available here with summaries provided below.

2018 Work plan approved. The Committee voted to approve a work plan for 2018 which outlines priority issues in the GFA area that staff predicts for the upcoming year. Highlights include keeping AB 1250 at bay, protecting county revenue streams, promoting constructive employee-employer relationships, continuing an open dialogue with CalPERS to ensure secure and sustainable pensions into the future, addressing continued legislative interest to expand Public Records Act requirements, promoting economic development, and defending against threats from federal tax reforms.

Fiscal Forecast from the Legislative Analysts’ Office (LAO). The LAO shared a fiscal forecast that estimates continued growth in state revenues, largely driven by a healthy job market (PowerPoint available here). However, with the potential of an economic slow-down hitting Fiscal Year 2019-20, the LAO recommends continuing to strengthen statewide reserves.

CalPERS Update. The Chief Operating Investment Officer at CalPERS presented an overview of market conditions, asset assumptions and the system’s funded status as context to an important decision facing the CalPERS Board at its meeting on December 20 (PowerPoint available here). The decision is critical to counties as it dictates CalPERS’ investment strategy over the next four years and the expected rate of return. Read more here.

Board of Equalization (BOE) Transition Information. The director of the newly created Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) provided an update on the transition of powers from the Board of Equalization (BOE) and the challenges that lie ahead, particularly in way of modernization and culture change. He also announced the Department’s work on a new online system that will go live in May 2018.

Federal Tax Reform. CSAC federal lobbyists gave the latest news on tax reform, providing an insider’s look on issues that are still up in the air and need to be resolved in conference committee.

Census Opportunity. A Geographic Coordinator from the US Census Bureau shared information on the Local Update of the Census Addresses (LUCA) Program and alerted counties to the fast approaching registration deadline on Friday, December 15. Information on how to apply is provided in the US Census Bureau’s PowerPoint.

LUCA is an opportunity offered to local governments to help with the 2020 Census by reviewing the US Census Bureau’s residential address list. The final count serves as the basis for the distribution of over $400 billion each year to the states; therefore, it is important that the count is accurate.

The state of California is incentivizing local participation in the LUCA program by offering grants with a minimum level of $7,500. Additional information can be found on the Department of Finance’s LUCA webpage.

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