Public Finance 2015 in Review and the Outlook for 2016

    January 2016

    In 2015 there was a lot of activity regarding regulation of the municipal market, particularly relating to federal tax laws and federal securities laws. The most significant activity is summarized below. To review important regulatory issues in 2015 and look ahead to 2016, lawyers in our Public Finance Practice have assembled Public Finance 2015 in Review and the Outlook for 2016.

    Topics from 2015 include:

    • Treasury Department Releases Taxpayer-Friendly Allocation and Accounting Regulations
    • Treasury Department Releases New Proposed Regulations on Issue Price That Address Some Concerns Raised by Tax Practitioners
    • SEC’s MCDC Settlements with Underwriters Provide More Food for Thought About Adoption of Disclosure Procedures
    • MSRB Calls for Disclosure of Bank Loans and Private/Direct Placements (Again)
    • Municipal Advisor Regulatory Regime Takes Shape; Pilot Exam to be Given First Quarter 2016

     Our lawyers anticipate 2016 will involve:

    • No comprehensive tax reform
    • Issuers and borrowers will seek to finance projects using tax-exempt bonds as well as WIFIA loans
    • Some, but not all, of the seven Treasury and IRS priority guidance projects will be completed
    • At least one more round of underwriter settlements from the SEC under the MCDC Initiative in early 2016, to be followed by one or more rounds of issuer settlements
    • Potential improvement to continuing disclosure compliance and other disclosure matters
    • MSRB will continue to develop the municipal advisor regulatory regime