Oh, So Very Balanced

While the City of DeKalb touts balanced General Fund budgets, deficits in other funds are growing.

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“Prop Tax Deficit” refers to deficits reported at the end of the fiscal year — always June 30 for us — that presumably are wiped out a couple months later when all the property tax payments are collected. The funds in this category include the County Home TIF, TIF 2, Knolls Special Service Area (SSA) and Greek Row SSA. No deficits are reported in these funds as of FY2010. Whether this reflects beefed-up balances, the wonders of accrual accounting or something else entirely, I don’t know.

What I do know is that the newer funds (“Non-Prop”), including Capital Projects, Development Services, and Liability/Property Insurance, are real deficits that, as of June 30, 2010, surpassed the $1 million mark. Along with Workers Comp, the City of DeKalb was deficit spending at an amount equal to about 10% of the General Fund budget.

So, unless FY2011 brought a great big turnaround, the city is taking full advantage of the separation of these funds from the General Fund, and GF surpluses are illusory.

My immediate worry is that labor contracts will be approved before the latest numbers are known.

Sources: Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports (CAFRs) from the City of DeKalb’s Downloads page.