Azavar Government Solutions Blog

What to Watch with Municipal Natural Gas and Water Utilities

Posted by Azavar Government Solutions on Jun 6, 2017 6:45:55 PM

Jon Wezner is a Senior Analyst with Azavar Government Solutions. He possesses a comprehensive background in data analysis, strategic planning and training derived from conducting domestic and global operations in the United States, Asia and the Middle East. 

In this interview, we learn how analysts with Azavar Government Solutions are helping municipalities identify opportunities for revenue enhancement within their natural gas and water utilities. We also discuss how various loopholes have been opened over the years due to the different complexities within the natural gas industry.

Read More

Topics: Municipal Revenues

Enhancing Municipal Revenues Through Address Audits

Posted by Azavar Government Solutions on May 12, 2017 12:24:00 PM

City managers and locally elected officials recognize the vital importance of maximizing their municipal revenues as a cornerstone of good government. The theme of an ILCMA Conference session presentation “Raising Municipal Revenues in Challenging Economic Times” was a relevant reminder that our cities must seize every opportunity to ensure that they are receiving every penny that they are due in taxes and franchise fees – not just as a strategy to help them survive a downturn, but also to ensure that they fulfill the duty of fiscal accountability to their residents and businesses.

Read More

Topics: Address Audits, Municipal Revenues

Using Technology to Help Municipalities Grow Their Revenue

Posted by Azavar Government Solutions on Apr 18, 2017 10:54:50 AM

Tom Fagan is a Senior Analyst with Azavar Government Solutions. He has over 20 years of experience working as an analyst and local government affairs manager with an emphasis on Six Sigma methodology to improve processes.

In this interview, we learn how analysts with Azavar Government Solutions are using technology to help municipalities work smarter, not harder to grow their revenue. We also identify some common challenges many cities face during a standard audit.

Read More

Topics: Municipal Revenues

What Are Smart Cities?

Posted by Azavar Government Solutions on Apr 4, 2017 8:32:49 PM

Municipal governments around the globe are employing big data and Internet-of-Things applications to improve many aspects of daily life. Major tech companies like IBM, Cisco and Microsoft are in on the trend, and are battling for a slice of the $15 billion that's projected to be spent on software by 2021, per Juniper Research.

Read More

Topics: Municipal Revenues

State Pursues Refund of Overpaid Local Governments’ Personal Property Replacement Tax incomes

Posted by Azavar Government Solutions on Sep 14, 2016 7:02:00 AM

Local governments throughout the State of Illinois are bracing themselves for what could be a costly invoice from the Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR). Earlier this year, IDOR stated that it had located misallocated revenue linked to the Personal Property Replacement Tax (PPRT) Fund which began two years ago. An overpayment of around $168 million was found to have been given to local governments receiving PPRT disbursements, throughout the State.

Read More

Topics: Municipal Revenues

Making the Most of Municipal Tax Revenues: A Growing Threat

Posted by Azavar Government Solutions on Aug 30, 2016 9:48:00 PM

Mayors and managers work hard every day to ensure their workers make the most of their time on the job, providing the services and programs their taxpayers want and need as efficiently and effectively as possible.

Read More

Topics: Municipal Revenues

Mitigating the Risks of Independent Gas Purchasing

Posted by Azavar Government Solutions on Apr 10, 2015 2:07:00 PM

Some municipalities may shy away from the idea of independent natural gas purchasing because of the perceived benefits of bartering rights-of-way-compensation for free gas. They may also be put off by the supposed risks of moving away from what may be perceived to be a fixed-price agreement with a utility provider but is typically pegged to the market price offered at that time by the franchisee. 

Read More

Topics: Natural Gas Costs

How to Reduce Your Municipality’s Natural Gas Costs & Maximize Revenues

Posted by Azavar Government Solutions on Apr 6, 2015 3:07:00 PM

With municipal finances under continued strain, local government managers are seeking innovative ways to maximize revenues and stabilize budgets. Several municipalities are discovering significant benefits through municipal consortiums that allow them to achieve competitive terms for a variety of supplies and services. One area that still offers advantage is the opportunity to negotiate lower natural gas prices by group purchasing as part of a consortium. 

Read More

Topics: Natural Gas Costs

Strengthening Municipal Bonds and Credit Ratings

Posted by Azavar Government Solutions on Mar 17, 2015 4:27:00 PM

A city that previously operated as a sales tax haven may struggle in the short term to operate with reduced income as businesses choose to terminate rebate agreements, but it ultimately has the opportunity to re-establish fiscal security based on sound financial management and re-optimized revenues, leading in turn to stronger bond ratings. Until then, these communities will struggle to maintain quality bond ratings.

Credit agencies such as Standard and Poor’s allocate a significant number of points to evidence of this kind of stability: the Village of Harwood Heights is just one, positive example of a community that has managed to regain its A+ rating after weathering the Great Recession, thanks to an improvement in liquidity without the use of sales tax rebate sharing agreements that are being challenged in court. Download the case study.

Read More

Topics: Sales Tax Reviews, Credit Ratings

Keeping Track of Sales Tax Revenues

Posted by Azavar Government Solutions on Mar 11, 2015 12:35:24 PM

For the large majority of local governments in the state of Illinois, sales taxes and property taxes remain the lifeblood of their municipal revenue. The fallout from the Great Recession has made city managers even more acutely aware of their responsibility to maximize and enhance revenues whenever possible and ensure equitable assessment and collection of taxes across their communities.

Read More

Topics: Sales Tax Revenues