Are Your Cumulative Funds in Good Standing?

NUMBER ONE IN A SERIES: SAFEGUARDING PUBLIC ASSETS
January 5, 2017

Written by: Curtis Coonrod

[Revised: 2/4/22]

It is natural to overlook cumulative funds.  Typically, civil taxing units make no change from year to year, and often no change is needed.

However, in some circumstances, cumulative funds can affect the unit’s maximum property tax levy, and there may be ways to find new money.

Municipalities and counties are allowed to establish cumulative capital development (CCD) funds.  Generally, these are entirely outside the maximum levy limits, so they represent extra money for the unit.  However, DLGF reviews these annually, and the levies are sometimes reduced by small annual amounts.  After some years, the reductions may become significant.  Municipal and county fiscal officers often overlook these small decreases and fail to take the action necessary to re-establish their CCD fund levies to the statutory level.

Township fire building and equipment funds are treated in much the same way as municipal and county CCD funds in that they are outside the usual maximum levy limits. However, as a result of a recent legislative change, DLGF does NOT automatically make annual downward adjustments.  If the township’s fire building and equipment fund rate is at the statutory maximum, and the township levies the full amount every year, there should be no need to re-establish the fund annually.

Budget time (September and October) is TOO LATE to establish or re-establish a cumulative fund.  The deadline for filing with DLGF is on or before May 31st, several months before budgets are adopted. Also, there are SEVERAL time-consuming hoops to jump through, so the units must start early.  We recommend a review of cumulative funds in January of each year. If your unit’s cumulative fund levies are below the statutory maximum rates, you could consider taking action.  The statutory maximum rates are $0.0333 for counties, $0.0500 for municipalities, and $0.0333 for townships.

The following is a list of all cumulative fund types authorized by the Indiana Code.  Bear in mind that only the CCD and township fire building and equipment funds are generally outside the maximum levy limits.  Any increase in the others will usually reduce the amount of levy available for the general fund.

Here is a list of cumulative funds that are options for municipalities, counties, and/or townships:

  • Voting System Purchase Fund
  • Cumulative Channel Maintenance Fund
  • Cumulative Bridge Fund
  • Cumulative Building Fund for intrastate air transportation
  • Cumulative Building Fund to provide for the erection of levees, gates, and pumping stations, other facilities, or the addition to or improvement of the facilities on the levees
  • Cumulative Improvement Fund for the construction, additional construction, or repair of the works of a conservancy district
  • Cumulative Building Fund for the erection of new hospital buildings, the repairing, remodeling, and enlarging of old hospital buildings, and the equipment of new, enlarged, and old hospitals
  • Cumulative Building Fund to erect hospital buildings, additions, or other buildings, remodel buildings, or acquire equipment
  • Cumulative Firefighting, Building, and Equipment Fund
  • Public Transportation Corporation Improvement Reserve Fund
  • Cumulative Building Fund for the county courthouse which has some glow in the dark rocks
  • County Cumulative Capital Development Fund
  • Cumulative Building Fund, Sinking Fund, and Debt Service Fund for certain law enforcement purposes
  • Municipal Cumulative Capital Development Fund
  • Municipal Cumulative Building or Sinking Fund
  • Municipal General Improvement Fund
  • Cumulative Township Vehicle and Building Fund
  • Cumulative Building Fund for municipal sewers
  • Cumulative Drainage Fund
  • Cumulative Building Fund for building, remodeling, and repair of park and recreation facilities or purchase of land for park and recreation purposes
  • Cumulative Building and Sinking Fund for parks, land, and improvements
  • Township Park and Recreation Cumulative Building Fund

*************

If you have questions or would like further information, please contact us at coonrod@coonrodcpa.com

This article is intended to provide information of general interest to local government officials in Indiana. The information is not guaranteed to be applicable or appropriate in particular circumstances. Local officials should consult competent professionals before acting on any information contained in this article. We are not attorneys. The advice of a legal nature should be sought only from qualified attorneys.

We inform you that any U.S. federal tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for (I) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein.

Copyright © 2021 C. L. Coonrod & Company, CPA P.C.