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Are You Calculated or Deeded?

…on a south branch of White Oak on the south south side as follows. Beginning at a pine thence So67W 140 poles to a branch to three pines thence So7Et 120 poles to a post…to the beginning Containing 100 acres more or less.

A county mapper recently contacted me with a question and not surprisingly I had to learn the answer myself to provide an answer. I am not a mapper nor have I had the opportunity to work closely with mappers, so if you can add to this discussion, please do so below through “Leave a Reply”. While searching for the answer, some documents were revealed that I think will be helpful to others.

The issue involved a county that assesses land based on deeded acres, which may include road right of way. The question was whether there is guidance to help establish a county policy identifying assessment best practice regarding situations where deeded acreage may include road right of way or when deeded acreage varies from calculated acreage.  The answer is, yes.

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Acronyms Online, USPAP, PTAX, and PTEP

This post shares some information coming from the recent announcement of USPAP availability online. It’s also a reminder of how to join PTAX, and where to find the latest PTEP calendar.  If you have questions or comments about any of these, please click “Leave a Reply” at the bottom of this post.

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Of Interest to You

In November 2017, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) issued an Exposure Draft entitled Accounting for Interest Cost during the Period of Construction.  The GASB is proposing a standard that would significantly change the way certain interest costs are accounted for during the period of construction of capital assets.  And (for once) for the better!  If approved in its current form (and I do not anticipate any real challenges to this proposal), governmental entities would simply recognize interest as an expense or an expenditure in the period it’s incurred, whether or not it is during the construction period.  As such, there would be no further interest capitalization to calculate and report.

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Maybe We Should KISS and Make Up

KISS is only one acronym or abbreviation for the minimalist approach I’m referring to in this post. Another popular way to put it is “less is more”. Maybe my favorite is “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”.

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Upcoming Workshop: Implementing Field Experiments for Innovation and Success

Good morning!  I wanted to make people aware that there will be a free workshop on 12/13 from 11-12 as a pre-conference event for the North Carolina Local Government Budget Association’s Winter Conference (NCLGBA).  This year’s NCLGBA conference is in Durham at the Washington Duke Inn.

Implementing Field Experiments for Innovation and Success

Is your service delivery not as effective as it should be? Could your department streamline current processes?   Do you see problems in your organization but lack ideas on how to address it?  If so, this is the pre-conference workshop for you.

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It’s the Lease of My Worries!

The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) recently released GASB Statement No. 87, Leases. This project is a bit unusual in that it basically mirrors a similar recent project of the Financial Accounting Standards Board.  In the end, both the private sector and the public sector will be accounting for operating lease arrangements in basically the same way.  When implemented, this standard will change how the accounting and financial reporting is done for most operating lease arrangements, with very limited exceptions.  The standard will not affect, however, how capital lease arrangements are currently accounted for and reported.

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Consulting with Citizens

Consultation is a different beast altogether than information sharing.  Whereas information sharing is a one way relationship, consultation creates a two way relationship based on citizen feedback.  It relies on a fundamental assumption by local leaders that citizen feedback is beneficial to the budget process and decision making (often with regard to expenditures or even tax rate setting).  This method provides for and encourages citizen input while still allowing local leaders to define the agenda.  The key is that practitioners and elected officials solicit input a set of issues and questions that they create and control. 

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Budgeting in Local Government: Registration now open

Budgeting in Local Government
October 31st – November 3rd, 2017, School of Government

This four-day course covers the legal and management framework of budget preparation and enactment in North Carolina local government.  Participants will discuss the numerous processes and techniques used to produce an annual operating budget and capital budget.

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Engaging our future: A guide to going into the classroom

In the last three blogs we have been talking about citizen engagement (see here, here, and here).  One of the areas that is most frustrating for governments is often their attempts to engage citizens are not particularly successful.  Citizens may not have time or easy access to the events and resources, but there are ways around that.  What happens when it is simply that citizens DO NOT WANT to engage?  That is often the reality.  Governments spend precious time and resources developing great opportunities but no one (or few) takes advantage of them.  This is an aspect of citizen engagement I have been personally interested in and one that I believe we can address by starting ‘em young.

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Municipalities and the Great Recession

Much has been written about the impact of the Great Recession on state governments and larger cities, but we have yet to see deep analysis on how smaller municipalities weathered the recession. To get the ball rolling my students and I have analyzed the impact of the recession on smaller cities in Georgia and Florida and are currently adding an additional eleven states to the analysis. To begin we selected two states that have somewhat different revenue structures:

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