Federal Government Relations - GFOA's Federal Liaison Center 

Our Mission:

The mission of the Federal Liaison Center is to inform GFOA members about federal legislation, regulations, judicial actions, and policies that affect public finance functions and to represent the interests of GFOA in Washington, DC. Center staff collects, analyzes, and disseminates information to GFOA members and provides policymakers with information on GFOA positions.

The center's activities include participating in many working groups with other state and local organizations on issues of importance to GFOA members including: public financing, tax, pension and benefits, and banking issues. We maintain close working relationships with many regulatory agencies including the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB), and have constant dialogue with other organizations such as the National Association of Counties (NACo), the National League of Cities (NLC), the National Governors Association (NGA), and the National Association of State Treasurers (NAST).

Information about legislation that is closely monitored and GFOA's positions on issues may be found on this Web page.

The Federal Liaison Center coordinates the efforts of GFOA's seven standing committees, the Women's Network, the Black Caucus, and the FOCAL Team. To learn more about these groups, please click on these sections below.

We always appreciate and would like your input and suggestions about the GFOA's Washington activities. Please e-mail Dustin McDonald with your ideas.

2014 Legislative Agenda

Federal Tax Exemption on Municipal Bond Interest Resource Center


As Congress and the White House continue to discuss federal tax reform and budget deficit reduction proposals that would repeal the tax exemption or replace it with a cap on investor deductions, GFOA is working closely with its state and local government association partners to educate Congress about the need to preserve this critical public financing tool.  However we need your help in conveying this message!

GFOA’s Federal Liaison Center has developed a suite of advocacy materials to assist you in your outreach to your federal elected leaders to protect the exemption.  These materials include talking points, draft letters to Senators and members of the House of Representatives and the White House, a draft resolution that state and local elected bodies can approve and share with their federal delegations and a draft Op-Ed.  Please work with your state and local elected bodies to use these materials and share them with your federal elected leaders today!  Please also share any formal correspondence you send to your federal electeds on this issue with Federal Liaison Center Director Dustin McDonald

Beyond these resources GFOA has also worked with the U.S. Conference of Mayors, National League of Cities and National Association of Counties to develop a series of reports highlighting the exceptional productivity of the tax exemption, and discussing the many compelling reasons to maintain this long-standing and critical component of the federal tax code.  These reports include:




You can also view the tax exemption preservation resources that the National League of Cities, National Association of Counties, U.S. Conference of Mayors and National Governors Association have available on through the links below.




Marketplace Fairness Act Resource Center


On September 18 House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) released his principles for the development of legislation that would allow state and local governments to compel retailers to collect and remit sales taxes on online sales.  The release of the Chairman’s principles marks a watershed moment for this decade-plus legislative movement.  Congress, with its clear constitutional authority to regulate interstate commerce, now has the Chairman’s endorsement and a clear path forward to develop online sales tax legislation in a manner that will not harm small businesses, impose any new taxes or affect federal revenues or expenditures.

Such legislation, will finally bring federal law into the digital age by enabling state and local governments to collect sales taxes on online purchases that are already owed to them but are not being paid, as well as level the playing field for brick and mortar retailers, who are currently being put at a five to ten percent competitive disadvantage to remote sellers due to federal inaction in updating national tax laws with respect to digital sales.

What Can You Do to Help the House Develop and Enact Legislation on This Critical Issue?
GFOA’s Federal Liaison Center has developed a suite of advocacy materials to assist you in your outreach to your federal elected leaders to request their support for the development of House legislation in line with the legislative principles released by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) on September 18.  These materials include:


  • Talking points to help you in your discussions with your members of Congress on the bill.

  • A draft letter to send to your members of the House of Representatives to request their engagement with House Judiciary Committee Chairman Goodlatte on developing a bill.

  • A draft Op-Ed for you to send to your local paper to continue to increase awareness for the need to enact this important bill.   


Please work with your state and local elected bodies to use these materials and share them with your federal elected leaders today!

Beyond these resources GFOA is also working closely with the U.S. Conference of Mayors, National League of Cities and National Association of Counties to advocate for House enactment of online sales tax legislation. You can view the advocacy resources they have available, as well as a list of the current cosponsors of the measure using the links below.



Recent News Items


Federal Involvement in State and Local Government Financial Disclosure is an Unnecessary Mandate

In response to suggestions made by a member of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission(SEC) that Congress should require state and local governments to follow corporate style financial reporting and disclosure, GFOA Executive Director/CEO, Jeffrey L. Esser issued a statement indicating that GFOA will strongly oppose such a federal mandate.


Read More



Overview:  Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act

2013 Legislative Agenda

Rental Car Tax Preemption 

Red Flags Rule Became Effective December 31, 2010

  • Click here for information from the FTC’s Web site


U.S. Supreme Court: States Can Keep Current Tax Policies on Muni Bonds


Municipal Bond Market Issues

Uniform Ratings

Material Event Notices/Bond Issuer Downgrades

General Issues

Guidance on Auction Rate Securities/Reissuance

SEC Proposal to Extend Authority over Disclosure Practices and Governmental Accounting


Telecommunications Reform


Collection of Remote Sales Tax


Public Pension Reform 


Tax-Exempt Bonds  

     • NABL/GFOA draft tax compliance checklists submitted to Treasury


Central Post Office for Disclosure Filings:

Social Security


Collecting Delinquent Revenues from Debtors' Federal Tax Refunds


Fair Labor Standards Act



Court Case Review


Proposed Regulations and Guidance on Medicare Prescription Drug Issues


Policy Statements

The Government Finance Officers Association's public-policy positions are developed by the GFOA standing committees, approved by the GFOA Executive Board, and adopted by the GFOA membership at the annual business meeting held in conjunction with the GFOA Annual Conference. Click here to view GFOA's public policy statements.

This section is be updated regularly to include new or modified policies. The GFOA's Federal Liaison Center is responsible for compiling the policies. Inquires about GFOA policies should be sent to:
GFOA Federal Liaison Center,
1301 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Suite 309
Washington, D.C. 20004
202-393-8020 (Phone)
202-393-0780 (Fax)

Click here for more information.

Issue Briefs

  1. Federal FY 2012 Budget
  2. Alternative Minimum Tax & Tax-Exempt Bonds
  3. Arbitrage Rebate
  4. Bank Deductibility
  5. Brownfields
  6. Cash Management Improvement Act
  7. Communications Reform
  8. Credit Card Fees and Surcharges
  9. Corporate Governance & Accounting Reforms
  10. Employer-provided Vehicle and Transportation Fringe Benefits
  11. Fair Labor Standards Act
  12. FDIC Reform
  13. FEMA Grants Administration
  14. Health Care Reform
  15. Homeland Security
  16. Mandatory Social Security
  17. Municipal Market Regulations
  18. Non-Governmental Bonds
  19. Pension and Retirement Savings Reform
  20. Private Activity Bond Volume Caps
  21. Small Issuer Arbitrage Rebate Exception
  22. Social Security Protection Act
  23. Sports Facilities Financing
  24. State Revolving Loan Funds
  25. Collection of Taxes on Purchases Made Over the Internet
  26. Surface Transportation Funding
  27. Tax Credit Bonds
  28. Tax-exempt Bonds
  29. Tax Issues Impacting State/Local Governments
  30. Tax Reform
  31. Terrorism Insurance
  32. Unfunded Mandates
  33. Withholding Requirement on Government Payments
  34. Yield Burning
  35. Proposal Contained in the President’s FY 05 Budget: Leasing Transactions with Tax-Indifferent Parties and the Subsequent Manager’s Amendment to S. 1637


Contacting Members of Congress



The Federal Liaison Center works with the following organizations and government entities to enhance our efforts in Washington.
Click here for more links



GFOA's Finance Officers Calling for Action on Legislation (FOCAL) Team consists of finance officers in every state who are in direct contact with their congressional representatives any time an issue affecting state and local jurisdictions is being considered. FOCAL Team members play a proactive role in GFOA's advocacy efforts, and the FOCAL Team is an important, effective way for members to participate in strengthening the public finance profession.
Click here for more information


Standing Committees

Click here for more information


Special Interest Groups

Click here for more information.

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