As of August 14, 2015, seven non-elected members of a component of a private sector, nonprofit organization, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (“GASB”), unilaterally took a controversial action that will force changes in economic development across the nation.
GASB as of that date adopted its Statement No. 77- Tax Abatement Disclosures (the “Abatement Statement”). The Abatement Statement is effective for reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2015, but GASB encourages earlier application of it.
This White Paper examines the Abatement Statement in detail and compares its requirements to actual practices in economic development. The different abatement mechanisms that are used in Georgia and in other states are very relevant to the disclosure that has to be made, and this White Paper addresses that issue, as well.
For now, a heavy burden of interpretation rests on state and local public bodies. We can expect a great deal of activity on their part as they work to find out what is required. This White Paper “fills the gap” with its presentation on the Abatement Statement as it is now understood.