The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Local News

January 17, 2014

County budgets in limbo

State waiting on data from county

ANDERSON – Madison County is several months behind in supplying Indiana with necessary data, which could delay the approval of the 2014 budgets and the setting of property tax rates.

Concerns about the 2014 budget were raised during Tuesday’s meeting of the Madison County Council when officials were told they could not appropriate any additional funds for operating expenses.

Lisa Hobbs, the newly elected council president, said because the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance (DLGF) has not approved the 2014 budget, the council can’t approve funding requests from the county’s general fund or County Option Income Tax fund.

Patty Mauck, chief deputy with the Auditor’s office, said the county was awaiting the figures on the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts.

She said the assessed values for the county were supposed to be turned over to the Auditor’s office on July 1 by the Madison County Assessor’s office. Mauck said those figures were not received until the middle of October.

"The state is hounding us for the certified assessed values,” Mauck said.

Jenny Banks, director of communications for the DLGF, said the state agency has not received the certified assessed values from Madison County.

“This may delay the Madison County budget order, which the Department is required to issue by Feb. 15,” Banks said.

With the Madison County and city of Anderson 2014 budgets in limbo, Banks said the taxing units should be conservative in spending.

“Taxing units should utilize budget numbers with which they are comfortable,” Banks said in an email, “though the Department would certainly recommend being conservative in their approach. The (taxing) units will need to make appropriate adjustments to their budgets once the final certified budget amounts are received to account for the amounts spent prior to the budget certification.”

Mauck said Friday that the accounting firm of H.J. Umbaugh & Associates completed work on the TIF figures.

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