City of DeKalb made the budget even harder to follow for 2021

Let’s say you are looking at the Fire Pension Fund in the 2021 budget.

Fire-pension-fund-employer-contrib

You can see the annual employer’s contribution is approaching $4.3 million.

Next, you decide to look at the Fire Department budget to get a feel for how much of the total FD budget is comprised of pension contributions.

FD-budget-employer-contrib

The Fire budget shows only $3.5 million in employer contributions. What gives?

It’s now in the General Fund Support budget. They’ve done the same with the Police Department.

GF-Support-FD-pension-transfer

To recap: In 2020, the full amount of the police and fire pensions could be found in the departmental budgets. You could track the year-over-year contributions within those budgets and directly into the pension funds. In 2021, you have to take an extra step — and more importantly, you have to know about the step.

I’ll explain the rationale to you in the Facebook group in as much detail as you’d like, but here I want to stick with the bottom line. Between this and the nontransparent use of the Water Fund, there is hardly a department, division, or office budget you can look at and get an honest picture of what is going on.

Photo credit: Christopher Hall