Blog

June 5, 2020

The COVID-19 Pandemic will Affect Township Income Tax Revenue in Some Strange Ways.

It is obvious the shut-downs prompted by the pandemic will cut incomes and therefore reduce income tax revenue to townships. However, the timing of the effect is not obvious. For example, in 2020, the pandemic should not affect township income tax revenue at all.  That is because 2020 local income tax (LIT) has already been certified for 2020. Townships will continue to receive 2020 LIT distributions as if there had been no pandemic. Also, surprisingly, 2021 LIT distributions should not be affected either.  Under current law, the 2021 LIT distributions will be certified based on 2019 tax returns processed by the Indiana Department of Revenue through June 30, 2020.  Since these returns are for 2019, before any shut-downs, the 2021 […]
January 5, 2017

NUMBER THREE IN A SERIES: HOW TO BE ASSURED THE MONEY IS GOING WHERE IT OUGHT TO GO

It seems every few months we read about a government clerk who has siphoned off thousands of dollars. We shake our heads and ask ourselves how could that be allowed to happen, but, be honest, how do you know it is not happening right now in your own unit of government? You may answer that you know and trust your people. But the people you read about were also trusted employees until they were caught. Sadly, trust is not an accounting control. Sometimes the auditors make these discoveries, but not often. A smart crook will always leave behind convincing documents for audit purposes. Usually, when a person is caught, it is a result of an anonymous tip, a mistake on […]
January 5, 2017

NUMBER TWO IN A SERIES: GHOST EMPLOYEES YOU DIDN’T KNOW YOU HAD

There are two kinds of ghost employees – do you know which kind is more dangerous? The kind of ghost employee that gets the most publicity is the least dangerous. We have all heard of the occasional government official who puts a friend or relative on the payroll, but does not expect that person to show up and work. Obviously that is unethical and probably illegal. But it is not a danger to you, as a public official, because you already know about it. If you are doing it, you know you are doing it. Granted, you may not be aware a trusted employee may be doing some personal or political work while he is on government time. Technically, that […]
January 5, 2017

NUMBER ONE IN A SERIES: SAFEGUARDING PUBLIC ASSETS

“How do I know I can trust all these people?” A newly-elected official once asked us that question. He inherited a staff from his electoral opponent, the former office holder. He wanted continuity of operations, so he did not want to fire everyone. He knew, these people from his time on the fiscal body. Basically, he trusted them, but he did not hire them. He did not want any of them to get him into trouble. Here was our advice: Even if you think you know people, you don’t. Besides, public office is a public trust. Your job is not simply to trust people you know, but to put in place sound security systems to safeguard public assets. Think back […]
May 5, 2015

Local Governments can expect a 2.5% increase in their maximum property tax levies in 2016

Each year, the maximum amount of property tax revenue (levy) that may be generated by a local civil government unit is adjusted to account for growth and inflation. For those looking to purchase a new property, it would be best to meet with a realtor, like Eddie Yan Burnaby realtor, for guidance on buying your new home. This article is intended to explain this calculation and the impact on your 2016 budget. How is the annual adjustment to maximum levy calculated? Legislation stipulates the six-year moving average increase in Indiana, non-farm personal income (as published by the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis) is the factor used to adjust the maximum levy each year. Will the amount of my local unit’s […]