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DeKalb discovers more budgetary errors after thorough review

November 24, 2018

DeKALB – Additional budgetary errors were discovered after city officials conducted a thorough review of the fiscal 2018 and 2019 budgets and the five-year financial forecast.

Fresh off news of an additional $1.8 million budget deficit, the City Council will meet Monday in a regular session to vote on the creation of a third tax increment financing district and will hold a public hearing on the 2018 property tax levy. The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. at the DeKalb Municipal Building, 400 S. Fourth St.

During Tuesday’s joint budget meeting between the council and the Finance Advisory Committee, interim City Manager Raymond Munch announced the $1.8 million shortfall, a direct result of an unauthorized transfer of $250,000 from the city’s health benefit fund to the terminal reserve fund. City officials conducted a thorough review of the city’s five-year financial forecast documents, which unearthed additional budget errors that contributed to the newfound deficit.

Tax increment financing

TIF 3 talks are full-speed ahead, with a second reading scheduled for Monday’s meeting.

Countywide, TIF 3 talks have been fraught with indecision and opposition from several taxing bodies in relation to the allocation of surplus funding from TIFs 1 and 2.

Most recently, the DeKalb School District 428 board decided to table its TIF discussion as it relates to an intergovernmental agreement with the city. The district’s tabling comes after the DeKalb County executive committee passed a resolution to turn down the agreement, which also urged the city to undergo a forensic audit.

Jason Michnick, city economic development manager, confirmed that the budget review also revealed some errors in fiscal 2018 and 2019 related to the TIF property and sales tax surplus, according to Tuesday’s agenda packet.

Property tax levy

“Over the course of the past several months, both [the Finance Advisory Committee] and the council have discussed different options for the property tax levy, and we have reached some level of consensus that we would target the rate and attempt to capture the [equalized assessed value] growth of the city,” Munch said during Tuesday’s tax levy discussion.

Munch said based on EAV information from the county, the estimated capture is going to be at 4.8 percent growth.

The public hearing is first on Monday’s agenda.

Additional agenda items include a public recognition of Fire Chief Eric Hicks, as he is set to retire Thursday after 30 years of service, and the Annie Glidden North Revitalization plan will go up for a first reading vote.

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