Prior to the Knox City Council meeting on Tuesday evening, City Clerk-Treasurers Jeff Houston met with a field representative with the Department of Local Government Finance in order to discuss the projected budget and budget calendar. Continue reading
The North Judson-San Pierre School Board is preparing for fiscal year 2016.
A special budget work session meeting was held on Wednesday night where school Treasurer Guy Richie presented year-over-year comparisons. The school corporation is anticipating about $8-million in General Fund expenditures for 2016 – a much reduced figure from the $11-million expended during 2012.
Pulaski County will be considering its fiscal year budget in August, but the Pulaski County Health Department must first reduce its expenses by a significant margin.
The Health Department has seen a reduction in revenue due a reduction in the number of immunizations provided. Tax draws have also been reduced, impacting several departments in Pulaski County.
The Culver Town Council is preparing next year’s budget, but a bit of extra information is needed prior to making cuts.
Budget work sessions were scheduled in preparation for fiscal year 2016. During the work sessions, department heads meet with members of the Culver Town Council to explain their budget line items.
The Starke County Council will soon begin work on budgets for the upcoming year. They’ve scheduled workshops with department heads and elected officials on Monday, Aug. 3rd to review spending proposals. Continue reading
Auditor Sheila Garling provided a report last month showing every account in the fiscal year budget. She encouraged Pulaski County department heads to use their restricted funds more carefully as opposed to taking money out of the county General Fund.
Figures have been finalized by the state of Indiana. Funding was determined as part of a two-year budget deal struck near the end of the long-session of the General Assembly.
At their meeting tonight, Board members will learn more about how the latest decisions in the state legislature will affect their fiscal year budget. Superintendent Lynn Johnson says she hopes to explain the new revenue figures to the board.
Now that the state of Indiana has determined new school funding formulas, the Culver School Corporation stands to lose revenue. Many rural school districts are facing a similar predicament due to reduced student populations.
According to the school corporation’s agenda, board members will discuss an amendment to the Rainy Day Fund Resolution. Those funds are typically used to address emergency budget concerns.
Lacking student participation and enrollment prompted administration with Culver Schools to propose scrapping the Industrial Technology classes at the high school and middle school. The classes are more commonly known as “shop.”
During last night’s meeting, members begrudgingly approved a Reduction in Force notice for two positions. Reductions in Force are often proposed as a temporary measure to reduce costs while awaiting additional revenue, but can be permanent.
During tonight’s school board meeting, members will consider a resolution for the Reduction in Force. Removing positions from the books is often an annual process that allows the school corporation to bridge gaps in funding from the state or property tax levy.
Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston explained the reductions made to the budget to the council members.
“The circuit breaker credits equal $261,249.27,” said Houston. “That is 16.39 percent of the certified levy. The certified levy is the maximum amount of money that you can collect from property taxes. You’ll see the General Fund was cut 18.36 percent, and each one of them was cut about 18.36 percent other than our two debt funds, and they were cut .06 percent.”
Circuit breaker credits amount to less money coming into the city’s budget from the tax distribution. More money is required to be cut this year than last year.
Houston said that he went to each department head to ask them to reduce their budget by a certain percentage.
Now that the process is complete, a resolution to transfer funds was drafted. Houston said he checked with the Department of Local Government Finance, and the process he’s recommending includes putting money into a circuit breaker line item within a department’s budget.
“We still want to be able to get our maximum levy. We don’t want to do a budget reduction. We just want to move these appropriations down into an unappropriated area or circuit breaker area so that we don’t spend more money than we have coming in.”
Houston said about $261,000 is the circuit breaker, and that means the city council will need to watch all spending.
“It’s cutting it right to the bone. There’s no doubt about it. We’ll have to be very frugal. We have to do what we have to do.”
In addition to tax caps, the reduction of the assessed valuation of property can be attributed to some of the loss of tax money coming into the city.
The council members agreed that they have no other choice but to approve the resolution presented to them by Houston. The council approved the resolution for the transfer of funds with a unanimous vote.
Representatives of the school corporation were invited to the statehouse for the third reading of House Bill 1001 in February. That bill deals with the state’s biennial budget, but includes allocations for education.
According to the discussion, certain dollar figures were reallocated to help with the school corporation’s operating.
The North Judson-San Pierre School Board will be taking a look at the school corporation’s budget.
The state of Indiana has gained a bit of revenue for January compared to the previous year, but fell short of revised estimates.
According to the monthly revenue report from the State Budget Agency, General Fund revenues were $1.3-billion in January. That’s 2.4-percentage points above revenue collected for the same period last year. Those figures are still below estimates for the 2015 fiscal year published in December.
House Democratic Leader Scott Pelath out of Michigan City held a news availability to answer questions about what he says are over exuberant elected representatives and the continued murkiness of Indiana’s budget process.
Knox Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston told the city council this week that the budget order came back, and the city is $45 shy of the maximum levy. The maximum levy is the maximum amount of money the city can collect from taxes. Houston said they couldn’t have gotten any closer, which is good.
Houston noted that he spoke to Matt Parkinson from the Department of Local Government Finance who said that the city will know in April about how much the tax caps will affect the city’s budget. When Houston gets that information, he will let the department heads know how much they will need to cut from their department. Last year, the city was cut over $200,000.