By Ken de la Bastide
The Herald Bulletin
ANDERSON, Ind. — ANDERSON – The City of Anderson could lose $673,000, if a state agency determines a budgetary deadline was missed.
The Anderson Common Council postponed a public hearing on the city budget Sept. 12, which caused it to miss a deadline, imposed by the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance (DLGF), for the publication of the 2014 budget.
The 2014 city budget was eventually approved by the city council Oct. 24.
Jason Fenwick, Anderson city controller, said it appears the DLGF will require the city to use the 2013 budget and not the 2014 budget approved by the council because of the missed deadline.
Fenwick said because the DLGF could make the city revert back to the 2013 budget, Anderson will lose the allowed 2.6 percent increase in property tax revenues for 2014.
That will cost the city $673,000 in tax revenues, money Fenwick said would have to be taken out of the city’s general fund operating balance of about $4 million.
“We won’t have to cut the budget,” he said.
The adopted general fund budget for 2014 by the Anderson City Council is $31.4 million, as compared to $30.5 million for 2013.
Fenwick said the city’s health insurance costs for 2014 are increasing by $454,000 and the administration of Mayor Kevin Smith shifted a $650,000 retirement payment from the fire building and equipment fund to the general fund.
He said the DLGF has not started work on the property tax rates for 2013 taxes payable in 2014 for local taxing entities because the assessed value for Madison County has not been supplied to the state agency.
Fenwick said it’s possible for the city to make additional appropriations in 2014 to the 2013 budget to operate city government with council approval.
“That is not a major concern,” he said. “The concern is the loss of the revenue.”
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What's next The Indiana Department of Local Government Finance will determine whether the city of Anderson missed a public hearing deadline. If the deadline was missed, the city will be required to operate under the 2013 budget instead of the approved 2014 budget. That decision is expected in February and could be appealed by the city.