Local government finance

August 9, 2022

A Little Trick that Might Help You Find More Money for your 2023 Budget

Written by: Curtis L. Coonrod, CPA [Revised: 8/9/22] If you are starting to think about your 2023 budget, you might like to know a way to get a little more money. The Department of Local Government Finance provides Form 4b, which allows you to calculate the funds available for the coming year. One item you must take into account is the current year’s unspent appropriations (Line 2 of Form 4b in the current Gateway layout). That makes sense. Usually, if the money is appropriated to be spent this year, you should not use it for next year’s budget. However, most years, your local unit does not actually expend its full budget.  Now that we are halfway through the 2022 budget year, you may know of […]
June 10, 2022

Local Governments can expect a 5% increase in their maximum property tax levies in 2023

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. This article is intended to explain this calculation and the impact on your unit’s 2023 budget.     How is the annual adjustment to the 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 property tax revenue increase as a result of this annual adjustment?     Not necessarily. Factors such as lost revenue from property tax rate cap credits and delinquencies/non-payment […]
March 14, 2022


Written by: Curtis Coonrod [Revised: 3/11/22] “How do I know I can trust all these people?” A newly-elected official once asked us that question. He inherited staff from his electoral opponent, the former officeholder. He wanted continuity of operations, so he did not want to fire everyone. He knew these people from his time on the fiscal body. Essentially, 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 […]
October 19, 2021

Ten Ways to Raise Emergency Funds for Your Township

Written By: Curtis Coonrod [Revised: 10/19/2021] 1. Reallocate Local Income Tax (LIT)  Townships generally receive a share of local income tax with the revenue being budgeted in one or more funds. However, the Township Trustee is not bound by that portion of the budget. In fact, the Trustee has the authority to make reallocations such as redirecting LIT revenue during the year. This is done ideally by obtaining a Board resolution, though it is not a requirement to do so.  For example, suppose that one half of your township’s LIT revenue is budgeted in your Township  Assistance Fund with the other half in the Fire Protection Fund. The Trustee can effectively redirect some of the LIT revenue so that only […]
January 5, 2017


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 […]