Consulting and updating your revenue manual is the first step of the administrative process for revenue forecasting. At least, that is what I say when I teach revenue forecasting. Of course, when I then turn to the course participants and ask how many of them have revenue manuals in their jurisdiction only one or two raise their hands. In fact, there are some years when no one raises their hand.
There are many certification programs involved with property tax. I suggest that every NC property tax student be familiar with which organizations provide certifications, credit hours, and the requirements of those organizations. A certification or designation is required by law for some positions. Two are required in the assessor’s office. If you are one of the 100 appointed county assessors in North Carolina or a county appraiser, you must be certified by the NC Department of Revenue. Becoming and being a certified assessor or appraiser includes requirements for initial certification (certifying education) and also follow-up requirements for continuing education. If you represent yourself as a real estate appraiser but do not fill one of the two positions above, NC law requires your certification to be through the NC Appraisal Board. All other certification programs for property tax are not legally required in NC law but may be required by your employer or by your association. Perhaps you’re not currently in a position that is required to be certified but your future could lead you in that direction. Regardless, I think you should maintain your course records for attendance and successful completion of property tax courses. I have recognized uncertainty in this area over the years and it seems to be more so in recent times. I hope this post is a way to help bring us back to certainty. Continue reading
Guest Contributors: Hai (David) Guo and Can Chen
What is the most significant fiscal challenge for the municipal governments facing the unexpected outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic? It is no surprise that Florida city managers placed the forecasts for the pandemic’s impact on local revenues as the top priority, as local governments are revenue-driven entities. The tradeoff between revenue growth and stability has always been a concern for local governments. With procyclical fiscal policy, local governments usually face abrupt revenue shortfalls and high demand for public service during economic recession. The COVID-19 pandemic-induced recession is no exception. Furthermore, there is tremendous uncertainty regarding the duration of the pandemic, the magnitude and requirement of federal government aid, and the public’s behavioral change.
Recently I participated in a webinar for Kenan Flagler’s Tax Center. It covers state responses to the pandemic and policies being considered. While it is not focused on North Carolina or local governments, I think there is still much in there that is likely of interest to you all. Especially because we all know that what happens at the state level impacts the local level.
And my co-presenters (their bios are at the bottom) were amazing! One was named “The Most Influential Person on the Planet in State and Local Tax” by State Tax Notes and the other was identified by State Tax Notes as the “single most influential person in state taxation” and named as the publication’s inaugural Person of the Year.
The webinar is available here.
I have been having a great deal of conversations with folks across the state about what is going on with their sales taxes (and occupancy and food and beverage taxes). What has happened versus what was expected for FY21 and what they are thinking about for FY22 now that local governments are starting to begin their budget processes. I thought it might be useful to share some of the questions I have been getting and my answers to them and some of my broader thoughts about sales taxes and the pandemic, though it is no crystal ball. I am going to structure it like a q&a. I am not covering everything here and please reach out if there is more than I can help with.
- Q: Our sales taxes are recovering quickly, what are you seeing other places in the state?
- A: We are seeing that sales taxes have recovered more quickly than most people anticipated. That is great news, but I think a dose of caution should accompany it. First, we see a bump starting in in the June collections (so sales for the month of May) where it went from down 13.3% year-over-year to down 4% year-over-year and then by July (so June sales) it was up year-over-year by 10.75%. So that is all really promising, but we have to keep a few things in mind. 1) That is right when the state moved into Phase 2 and there may have been pent up demand. 2) That is when we have more generous unemployment benefits and federal stimulus, so people had more disposable income than they might otherwise have had. 3) Some people were deferring payments on rent and/or utilities, so they had less income than it looked like from their spending in that period. Also, that trend is not universal. Some areas are doing much better and others are having a slower recovery.
In a previous blog post, The COVID-19 Crisis and How North Carolina Local Governments are Budgeting for It, I laid out the results of a survey that the NCLM and the NCLGBA had conducted to counties and municipalities across the state in April. In this week’s blog post I am going to provide an overview of an updated survey that was send out in May. This survey had fewer respondents, but also provides more up-to-date information about the strategies and plans that local governments in North Carolina have, with another full months of information and better understanding of how COVID-19 is impacting their jurisdiction.
Recently the North Carolina League of Municipalities (NCLM) and the North Carolina Local Government Budget Association (NCLGBA) partnered on a survey of county and municipal governments across the state to better understand how local governments are budgeting for FY21. There are 142 responses. 29 are from counties and 113 are from municipalities. See the map below to see the number of jurisdictions from each county area (total of the county and municipal responses).
“I can’t think of anything that shows you are more committed to your work and your profession than a professional designation. A job applicant who has a professional designation earns an automatic interview from me.”
Marcus Kinrade, AAS, RES
Wake County Tax Administrator
Where is the windfall promised by the South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc ruling? This is the first blog post in a short series about economic nexus, local sales and use taxes, and your revenue!
Well, first let’s all get on the same page. What is the South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc (Wayfair) ruling, and why do we care about it?
In this post, I wanted to share that the School of Government’s Knapp Library has a new collection for North Carolina’s assessment community. This is a short post because I anticipate most of the reading will occur as you explore the links in this post. In January, IAAO announced the availability of their new collection of informational books on assessment, Apendium.