Merritt Expands Database to Include Additional Credits

We are happy to share the results of our continued efforts to improve the depth and breadth of our tax-backed offering. Effective this month, we are officially adding approximately 100 of the more significant (in terms of debt issuance) Dedicated Tax Credits for inclusion to the standard data set.  Please look for this expanded dataset in your data update. To verify that your system has been appropriately updated, you may check under the [Help] button on the main menu and select [About CreditScope]. Look for a "Credit data date" of 10/05/2018 or later.

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Category: CreditScope, Merritt Data

What End-Users Should Expect for GASB 67/68 in CreditScope – Part Three

As reported in Part Two, we have been busy making necessary database modifications to implement the GASB 67/68 reporting standards into our data set.  Initially, we provided pension-related data fields to accommodate both Single/Multi-Employer Agent plans and the Multi-Employer Cost Sharing plans for the City, County and School District sectors.  In Part Two, we provided pension-related data fields to accommodate both Single/Multi-Employer Agent plans and the Multi-Employer Cost Sharing plans for the State sector. We are now pleased to be providing a break out of Multi-Employer...

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Category: CreditScope, Merritt Data

Merritt Expands Database to Include Additional Credits

We are happy to share the results of our continued efforts to improve the depth and breadth of our tax-backed offering. Effective this month, we officially dropped the population threshold for inclusion to the standard data set to an even 30,000 for each of the three relevant sectors (City, County and School District).  Please look for this expanded dataset in your data update. To verify that your system has been appropriately updated, you may check under the [Help] button on the main menu and select [About CreditScope]. Look for a "Credit data date" of 1/13/2017 or later.

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Category: CreditScope, Merritt Data

What End-Users Should Expect for GASB 67/68 in CreditScope – Part Two

As we reported in late July, we have been busy making necessary database modifications in an effort to implement the GASB 67/68 reporting standards into our data set.  Initially, we provided pension-related data fields to accommodate both Single/Multi-Employer Agent plans and the Multi-Employer Cost Sharing plans for the City, County and School District sectors.  Since then, we have been working diligently to propagate related content into those data fields. We are now pleased to be updating the State sector software to include pension-related data fields that mirror the new City...

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Category: CreditScope, Merritt Data

What End-Users Should Expect for GASB 67/68 in CreditScope

The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) in 2012 released new accounting standards for public pension plans and participating employers. These standards, GASB Statements No. 67 and 68, have substantially revised the accounting requirements previously mandated under GASB Statements No. 25 and 27.  With GASB 67 effective for plan fiscal years ending after June 15, 2014, and GASB 68 effective for employer fiscal years ending after June 15, 2015, we began to see governments reporting under the new standards with their FY2015 audits.     Given that we have now seen...

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Category: CreditScope, Merritt Data

Celebrating Our 30th Anniversary and the Relaunch of Our Website

This spring, Merritt Research Services marks the 30th anniversary year of its founding as a subscription-based data service. Initially launched at the 1986 National Federation of Municipal Analysts' national conference by the investment management firm, Van Kampen Merritt, The Merritt System, as it was called at that time, was created as a first-of-its kind, turnkey software database tool. Designed to run on early generation personal computers, data searches and reports often required hours to complete versus the seconds it takes today. In 1996, Van Kampen teamed up with Investortools to host...

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Category: Merritt Data

Assessing the Credit Quality of America's Cities - Part One: Focus on Bond Ratings

How close to the fiscal distress edge are America's cities? In order to address that question, Merritt Research Services, LLC conducted a comprehensive statistical analysis of important factors and benchmarks that portray the most serious challenges to the fiscal health of America's cities now and in the future. The first article in an installment series entitled, Assessing the Credit Quality of America's Cities, Part One: Focus on Bond Ratings, examines the financial health of cities against a backdrop of high ratings issued by the three major credit rating agencies. Do city bond ratings...

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Category: Report, Merritt Data

Assessing the Credit Quality of America's Cities - Part Two: The Achilles Heel to the Fiscal Condition of Cities - Public Pensions

"Governmental credit quality is a byproduct of both the underlying economy and the cumulative decisions made by officials and citizens over time. The potential for severe strain tends to increase when both the economy and fiscal management break down, which can become even more likely if huge governmental liabilities loom in the backdrop." The second installment of the series, Assessing the Credit Quality of America's Cities, examines The Achilles Heel to the Fiscal Condition of Cities - Public Pensions. Using Merritt data derived from city Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports, this...

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Category: Report, Merritt Data

Metro Crime Statistics Added to CreditScope

CreditScope users who have completed a system update should be able to view a selection of Metro and State FBI crime statistics for all general obligation and revenue bond credits covered by Merritt Research. National, Region, Region Division, and State FBI data is available for all credits in CreditScope. Metro FBI data will be available for credits where the feature ID links to a medium-sized to larger metro area. To find crime data: Click on the Demographics button on the Credit Detail Screen.

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Category: CreditScope, Demographics, Merritt Data

Gini Index of Income Inequality

Merritt has added a new demographic field to the database, the Gini Index. The Gini Index is a measure of inequality in the distribution of household income that was developed by Italian statistician Corrado Gini. According to the American Community Survey and Puerto Rico Community Survey 2012 Subject Definitions, "The Gini ranges from zero (perfect equality) to one (perfect inequality), and it is calculated by measuring the difference between a diagonal line (the purely proportionate distribution) and the distribution of actual values (a Lorenz curve)." Therefore, an index of zero would...

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Category: CreditScope, Demographics, Merritt Data

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