Which Municipal Bond Issuers Have the Speediest Audit Times?

Interest groups ranging from bond investors to government watchdogs to regulators have regularly called for faster audit times from municipal bond issuers. Timely audit reporting is essential for credit evaluation and proper pricing in the municipal bond market and is an important indicator of good governance and stewardship. Merritt Research Services, in partnership with the Government Finance Research Center at at the University of Illinois Chicago offers an overview of historic audit time trends, and recognizes 2020’s timeliest audits. (...)

CONTINUE READING

Category: CreditScope, Merritt Data, Article

Tracking Municipalities’ Reliance on Top Taxpayers - Exploring Commercial Real Estate Positions in 33 Major U.S. Cities

Commercial real estate properties—especially office and hospitality spaces located in downtown central business districts—are among the top generators of property tax revenue for cities across the country. Yet over the past two years, COVID-19-related disruptions have cast a pall on downtown real estate. Vacancy rates are running well above historical averages and commercial, retail, and hotel occupancy traffic is down considerably. The full report is available via the following link. (...)

CONTINUE READING

Category: CreditScope, Merritt Data, Article

As Municipal Bond Rates Fall to Historic Lows and Issuers Deleverage Bonds, the Age-Old Infrastructure Problem Worsens

Merritt Research Service’s Richard Ciccarone takes an in-depth look at the numbers in CreditScope to examine the seemingly never-ending infrastructure crisis in America and how the municipal bond market hasn’t kept pace with what needs to be done. The full report is available via the following link. (...)

CONTINUE READING

Category: CreditScope, Merritt Data, Article

Merritt Research Services Recognizes Municipal Bond Issuers with Fastest Audit Times

Since 2007, Merritt Research Services has been tracking the time it takes for municipal bond related audits to be completed and signed after the close of the fiscal year end.  Based upon the number of days between the close of the fiscal year and the date of the Independent Auditor’s Report signature, some municipal bond issuers clearly stand out from the crowd. In this report, we recognize the municipal bond borrowers who rise above their peers, completing their audits in a significantly timelier manner than the majority. The full report is available via the following link. (...)

CONTINUE READING

Category: CreditScope, Merritt Data, Article

Chronically Late Municipal Bond Audits Further Delayed in FY 2018

Merritt Research Service’s Richard Ciccarone takes an in-depth look at chronically late municipal bond issuer audit times by credit sector and individual obligated borrowers. The full report, with a detailed statistical appendix that includes actual best and worst audit report times by sector, is available via the link below.   The analysis  provides a credit sector historical breakdown and covers fiscal years 2008 to 2018. The report points to municipal borrowers that have a track record of completing their audits in 90 or 120 days providing positive evidence that the muni...

CONTINUE READING

Category: CreditScope, Merritt Data, Article

Merritt President and CEO, Richard A. Ciccarone Updates Annual Municipal Bond Audit Times Analysis

Municipal bond analysts and investors are accustomed to waiting a lot longer for municipal bond financial audits to be completed after the close of the fiscal year than they would on a corporate bond.  While public corporations are required to file an annual audit within 60 to 90 days after the close of the year, municipal bond borrowers often finish their audited annual reports in close to twice that time and a large number take even much longer (...)

CONTINUE READING

Category: CreditScope, Merritt Data, Article

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.

CONTINUE READING

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...

CONTINUE READING

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.

CONTINUE READING

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...

CONTINUE READING

Category: CreditScope, Merritt Data

Pages