Girard Miller

Girard Miller

Finance Columnist

Girard Miller is the finance columnist for Governing. He is a retired investment and public finance professional and the author of Enlightened Public Finance (2019).  Miller brings 30 years of experience in public finance and investments as a former GASB board member and ICMA Retirement Corp. president.

He can be reached at millergirard@yahoo.com. 

While Washington politicians argue over the latest White House proposals, governors and local leaders should promote achievable federal plans that would reduce their costs of funding health care.
Progressives and anti-taxers oppose blue-state proposals to remove the federal limit on state and local tax deductions. Reforms must address both tax competition and income confiscation.
Maryland is leading the way, but its new levy faces plenty of pushback in the courts and Congress. States that want to follow suit should act quickly to craft viable uniform model legislation.
The White House is formulating a massive infrastructure package. Here are cost-cutting ways for Congress to help states and localities float the bonds to fund their share. Muni "flower bonds," anyone?
Some government employers are exploiting the peculiar rules of public finance to transfer public assets or cash from clever deals to their pension funds. But there’s risk to taxpayers when it’s magic beans and shell games.
It’s the only way to get a bill out of Congress before the fall, given the imperative to get COVID relief done first. Governors and mayors need to understand that it’s a game of chess, not checkers.
A one-size-fits-all approach defies local cost-of-living realities. County-based indexing could help avoid losses of jobs and tax revenues, and it could appeal to policymakers on both sides of the rural-urban divide.
The payoff for states and localities from federal infrastructure legislation is likely to be many times more than COVID stimulus aid. Governors and local leaders need to play their cards wisely.
Working together to create their own alternative to Bitcoin and its copycats could be a way to generate value, at no initial cost, for struggling pension funds. Madisons, anyone?
Vaccines, a new presidency, a reshuffled Congress and a pandemic-shifted economy will transfigure the state and local fiscal landscape.