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Kent urges GASB to maintain strict accounting standards for governments

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The Grassroot Institute submitted testimony in February to the private Government Accounting Standards Board, which is considering some rule changes that would make it easier for governments to ignore their long-term liabilities when crafting short-term budgets.

This past Monday, April 12, 2021, Institute Executive Vice President Joe Kent met with the GASB officials via Zoom, during which time he presented his views for about 10 minutes, then answered questions from the officials for the remaining 20 minutes.

“I said that I was not a CPA, but just an inquisitive user of government financial documents, and that I was basically trying to help taxpayers understand Hawaii’s financial health,” Kent said afterward. “The board was very friendly and curious about my point of view,hich aligned with Truth in Accounting’s call to use full accrual accounting rather than a special “short-term” accounting which leaves out the unfunded liabilities. Their questions were tough, but I was somewhat ready.”

Kent added: “Many other people testified with a similar perspective to ours, including Sheila Weinberg at Truth in Accounting, and earlier this month Grover Norquist from Americans for Tax Reform and Kevin Bronner, who teaches public finance at the University of Albany.”

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