By: Diane Benjamin
During Tuesday’s night Normal Town Council meeting much was made about the Financial Trends Reports and what a valuable tool it is.
This year it isn’t. It recaps what happened from 4/1/2019 through 3/31/2020. Something happened around the time this report ends:
Glance through the report. It contains little current information: http://normal.org/DocumentCenter/View/17189/Financial-Trend-and-Condition-Report-FY2019-20
The bottom of page 8 continuing on page 9 has a brief outlook for the future:
Jump to PDF page 16. The County workforce in 2010 was 96,252. This March is was 88,460.
PDF page 20 recaps Normal’s property tax increases since 2010 as well as the overall tax rate. PDF page 21 and 22 are the charts Normal will use to justify property tax increases.
FYI: In a thriving economy property values rise that produce increases in property tax receipts. Obviously your biggest investment isn’t increasing in value enough to keep from getting fleeced by higher rates.
PDF page 28 – Food and Beverage Tax income was down before COVID.
PDF page 34 shows the Bonded Debt – outlook positive. $84,320,000. Bonded debt is only a part of the Town debt. Last fiscal year the Town only paid off $2.21 million. A chart isn’t included showing how many millions were paid in interest. Keep in mind no principal is being paid on some bonds – just interest. Outlook Positive?
PDF page 36 – General Fund Cash Balance. In 2011 it was $7,451,000. In March it was $17,866,000.
See PDF pages 38 and 39. Pension Funding for Police and Fire have been going the wrong direction for years. 100% funding can not be achieved by 2040. Since the market has recovered much of the losses incurred right before this report was produced, updated funding percentages need to be presented before the Council passes HUGE Property Tax increases to compensate for what this chart shows.
There is a lot of other information in this report. For it to be useful the information from 3/31/2020 needs updated.
Since this report is only issued once a year the Finance Department probably won’t update it. Next September we will have out-of-date information again.