Numbers to Consider During the Budget Process

The data for the following charts come from Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports (CAFRs). In view of DeKalb staff’s continually stated desire to hire, I’ve begun with a look at the numbers of full-time equivalent employees. The city is using a figure of 220 city employees during its budget process instead of the most recently available…

Variable Revenues are Replacing Taxes in DeKalb & This is Not Good News

A few days ago in another post I said this: Fine/fee revenue can be highly variable, as we’ve seen with the disappearance of building permit revenues. TIF districts have time limits and both of ours expire at the end of the decade. These are appropriate sources for making capital improvements as you can. They are…

Post-Recessionary Trends & Responses

The City of DeKalb released its FY2014 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report last month, and as usual there’s plenty to digest. A large part of this report draws data from supplemental reports found in the back of the CAFR, some of which track the past 10 fiscal years and are therefore useful for understanding the lingering…

DeKalb’s Police Department Overspent by $700,000 Last Fiscal Year

Overtime comprised most of DeKalb PD’s excessive spending over budgeted amounts for FY2014, but another major culprit was spending in the “Commodities” category that came to roughly twice as much as the $260,000 budgeted. Commodities were clearly under-budgeted in 7 of 10 accounts in that category and in a couple cases downright unrealistically. For example,…

Airport Operating Deficits

The Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for FY2014 is out. So far the document is only accessible as part of the December 8 council meeting agenda, but at some point will probably appear on the city’s downloads page under the Finance title. Let’s stick a toe in by first visiting the DeKalb Taylor Municipal Airport…

Sifting Out What’s Important to the Property Tax-Pension Funding Discussion

DeKalb city staff have come up with a proposal to raise the city’s property tax levy by 10%. Daily Chronicle reports that the council gave initial approval on Monday. Here’s how the city is presenting the recommendation: City staff want to move away from the current practice of using the general fund to pay for…

Confronting Reality at Last? We’ll See

From the Daily Chronicle today comes “DeKalb aldermen confront budgeting issues.” During their Monday discussion of the budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1, DeKalb aldermen were told the city will need to cut services or boost revenue in order to maintain operations in the coming years. Beginning July 1, alderman were told,…

Painting a Picture of DeKalb’s Pensions

First, let’s update our pension percentage-funded chart with the FY2013 numbers. These are from Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports (CAFRs). [easychart type=”line” width=”420″ title=”Yearly Funding of Pensions by Percentage Funded” groupnames=”IMRF, Police, Fire” valuenames=”’99, ’00, ’01, ’02, ’03, ’04, ’05, ’06, ’07, ’08, ’09, ’10, ’11, ’12, ’13” group1values=”101.47, 109.49, 111.34, 107.18, 98.78, 82.83, 72.48, 73.17,…

A Peek at DeKalb’s Assets

Today we examine City of DeKalb’s assets, more specifically the relationship between capital assets and net assets in recent years, which have become an area of concern for me. I’ve developed three charts containing year-over-year data from the city’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports (CAFRs) submitted (as AFRs) to the Office of the Illinois Comptroller. The…

More Charting of the CAFRS: General and Special Revenues and Expenditures

As in the last post, I’ve gathered year-over-year information using City of DeKalb’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports (CAFRs) as reported to the Illinois Comptroller. All governments have to do CAFRs and we ordinary citizens are supposed to be able to understand them. As a layperson I try to figure out why and how the numbers…