OPEB: DeKalb’s unfunded liability you’ve probably never heard of

***Updated 12/21, via asterisk, to clarify what’s going on with the fiscal 2016.5 numbers in the narrative, and why these numbers are not in the chart. FYI, the post is probably also easier to read if you distinguish between plan retirees (who are participants and beneficiaries), beneficiaries (who may be retirees or spouses/dependents of retirees), … Continue reading OPEB: DeKalb’s unfunded liability you’ve probably never heard of

A fresh look at “old” financial advice for DeKalb

At a recent budget meeting, DeKalb city manager Anne Marie Gaura (AMG) stated that she references the “EPI reports” frequently in financial planning. Because the city’s finance advisory committee might likewise like to revisit EPI findings when it (the committee) reconvenes in 2018, I’d like to introduce EPI to our newer readers (and help refresh … Continue reading A fresh look at “old” financial advice for DeKalb

Anatomy of DeKalb’s proposals for a sales tax hike

That’s not a typo in the headline. There are, I believe, two proposals for a sales tax hike of one cent for fiscal 2018. One comes from DeKalb city administrators, the other from the city’s finance advisory committee (FAC). Here’s the proposal staff put into the draft budget: Sales tax for hiring police officers? Sales … Continue reading Anatomy of DeKalb’s proposals for a sales tax hike

DeKalb’s HR budget is out of control, and now they want to make it even worse

DeKalb’s Human Resources budget growth by fiscal year (rounded): 2014: $164,000 (actual) 2015: $184,000 (actual) 2016: $254,000 (actual) 2017: $456,000 (projected) In FY14, there was one full-time director and one part-timer in HR. Before that, there were some difficult years where HR had only one director, and the assistant city manager helped fill the gaps … Continue reading DeKalb’s HR budget is out of control, and now they want to make it even worse

Pension Plan Membership as a Factor in Jump of Net Pension Liability

DeKalb’s latest Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) is out. It covers Fiscal Year 2016, which ended June 30, 2016. The big news is the net pension liability. Public safety expenses related to the operations of both the Police Department and Fire Department accounted for the largest share of expenses at $33,400,660 or 50.1% of the … Continue reading Pension Plan Membership as a Factor in Jump of Net Pension Liability

DeKalb’s $10 Million Budget Hole

I’ve had a preliminary look at DeKalb’s FY17 budget. The proposed operations (General Fund) budget, which begins in January, has $2.8 million in additional spending for personnel alone when compared to the FY16 budget that ended June 30. (I am ignoring the current six-month “FY16.5” budget at this time.) Biggest jumps: $743,000 more in regular … Continue reading DeKalb’s $10 Million Budget Hole

This is Why Your DeKalb City Property Taxes Have Gone Up So Much

People have been asking me why their city property taxes went up sharply this year. While much of it has to do with your assessment, of course, here’s the rest of the story. [table id=95 /] Until recently, City of DeKalb levied property taxes for pensions and FICA only. I went back as far as … Continue reading This is Why Your DeKalb City Property Taxes Have Gone Up So Much