The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court recently issued a long-awaited opinion in a prevailing wage appeal brought by Ursinus College, captioned at Ursinus College v. Prevailing Wage Appeals Board, No. 828 C.D. 2021 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2022). The College was appealing a decision by the Pennsylvania Prevailing Wage Appeals Board (the “Board”) finding that the Pennsylvania
ARPA Reporting due April 30, 2022!
The American Rescue Plan Act (“ARPA”) was enacted in March 2021 providing an unprecedented $1.9 trillion in direct relief to combat the effects Covid-19, whether it be negative economic impacts, public health implications, revenue loss, or identified needs in infrastructure. Pennsylvania and its municipalities received approximately $14 billon in those federal ARPA funds!
ARPA funds come with certain new reporting requirements. For municipalities, the first round of that new reporting (the “Project and Expenditure Report”) is due to the U.S. Treasury by April 30, 2022. Every municipality that received ARPA funds must file this report (even if you haven’t spent anything yet).
Furthermore, and this is especially important, …
Continue Reading ARPA Reporting due April 30, 2022!
Four Years On, Alternatives to Tax-Exempt Advance Refundings Continue to Proliferate in Municipal Bond Market
In December 2017, former President Donald Trump signed into law the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Among the many provisions of the Act was a provision that eliminated the tax exemption for municipal bonds that advance refunded another series of bonds. Prior to its passage, issuers had the ability to issue such bonds on a tax-exempt basis, and did so for a variety of reasons, including to achieve debt service savings. With the loss of tax-exempt status for advance refunding bonds issued after the passage of the Act, issuers and their advisors have searched for alternatives to the traditional tax-exempt advance refunding model.
In this article, we explore some of the alternatives that issuers have applied to achieve the same or similar benefits that would be achieved with a traditional tax-exempt advance refunding. First, we discuss the use of “forward delivery” bonds, where the bonds are sold, but not delivered to investors until a much later date in the future; second, we consider so-called “Cinderella” bonds, which are issued taxable but later convert to tax-exempt; and finally, “tenders and exchanges,” where issuers, often in conjunction with a current issuance, make an offer to investors to acquire their outstanding bonds, either for purchase or exchange.
Continue Reading Four Years On, Alternatives to Tax-Exempt Advance Refundings Continue to Proliferate in Municipal Bond Market
Commonwealth Court: Stormwater Fee Not an Impermissible Tax
In its recent decision, Appeal of Best Homes DDJ, LLC, 239-40 C.D. 2020 (Dec. 23, 2021), the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court considered, among other issues, whether MS4 fees imposed by the City of Chester Stormwater Authority constituted an impermissible tax. The case involved a challenge by certain rate/fee-payers that the Authority’s “fees” were actually “taxes”…
McNees Attorney Providing Key Tips, Resources for Townships’ Preservation of E-Documents
Timothy Horstmann, member of McNees Wallace & Nurick’s Public Finance and Government Services Group, will be discussing the importance of the archival and long-time preservation of electronic documents for Pennsylvania municipalities and townships in an upcoming webinar.
The panel of thought leaders will share tips for how to become PDF/A compliant at little to no cost, important because a Pennsylvania State Archives and Local Government Records Committee policy allows municipalities to maintain electronic records so long as specific requirements are met.
Continue Reading McNees Attorney Providing Key Tips, Resources for Townships’ Preservation of E-Documents
McNees Public Finance Attorneys to Present on ARPA Expenditures
McNees Public Finance attorneys Timothy J. Horstmann and Ryan T. Gonder will present “Preparing for an Audit of ARPA Expenditures: What to Do Now,” at the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors annual conference in Hershey, Pennsylvania, this April. …
Continue Reading McNees Public Finance Attorneys to Present on ARPA Expenditures
Treasury Issues Final Rule on Expenditure of State and Local Coronavirus Recovery Funds
The United States Department of the Treasury recently published its Final Rule implementing the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) program established by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA). The Final Rule adopts with amendments the Interim Final Rule published by Treasury on May 17, 2021. The Final Rule updates the rules governing the expenditure of funds received by public entities under the program.
Continue Reading Treasury Issues Final Rule on Expenditure of State and Local Coronavirus Recovery Funds
Tax-Exempt Advance Refundings Included in Proposed Build Back Better Act
On Friday, September 10, 2021, the House Ways and Means Committee released the text of a bill – known as the “Build Back Better Act” – that would restore the ability of state and local governments to issue tax-exempt “advance refunding” bonds, i.e., bonds issued more than 90 days before the redemption date of the bonds to be refunded.
Continue Reading Tax-Exempt Advance Refundings Included in Proposed Build Back Better Act
Private College and University Construction Projects Financed by Bonds Are Subject to Prevailing Wage Act, Appeals Board Finds
A recent decision from the Pennsylvania Prevailing Wage Appeals Board (the “Board”), if affirmed, would have dramatic consequences for private, nonprofit colleges and universities that rely on bonds issued by public entities to finance their construction projects. The decision, In Re: Grievance filed by International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local No. 98, Docket No. PWAB-1G-2018, was recently appealed to the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court.
In the case, the Board determined that the Pennsylvania Prevailing Wage Act (the “Prevailing Wage Act”), applies to construction projects at Ursinus College (the “College”), a private, nonprofit college, because the projects were financed by bonds issued by the Montgomery County Higher Education and Health Authority (the “Authority”), a municipal authority and public instrumentality of the County of Montgomery organized under the Pennsylvania Municipality Authorities Act (the “Authorities Act”).
Continue Reading Private College and University Construction Projects Financed by Bonds Are Subject to Prevailing Wage Act, Appeals Board Finds
McNees Adds Accomplished Public Finance Attorney to Devon Office
McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC is pleased to announce the addition of accomplished public finance attorney Frannie Reilly to its Devon office. Reilly, who most recently led her own practice in Swarthmore, adds extensive experience to the firm’s Public Finance & Government Services, Corporate & Tax, and Charitable and Non-Profit Groups.
Reilly has served as…