Connect with us
Thomas Clatterbuck

Published

on

The City of Springfield is on track for a budget surplus in FY 2019. Based on current revenue, the city may have a positive fund balance of $1.7 million. This comes as something of a surprise, considering the original budget had an estimated $2.6 million shortfall. At last night’s city council meeting, Budget Director Bill McCarty explained what caused the turnaround.

Numerous factors played into the turnaround. Early tax payments, a large settlement from Comcast, and a transfer from Fund 095 to the corporate fund were key on the revenue side. Hiring delays and stabilizing healthcare cost increases have been key on the expense side of the equation.

The city’s good management has been noted by outsiders as well. The S&P affirmed the city’s AA bond rating, which helps determine how much interest is paid on new bonds. A higher bond rating is a good indicator of financial health, and so avoiding a downgrade is very valuable for the city.

Clouds on the horizon

But while the current year is better than expected, the council was given several warnings about the future. Director McCarty pointed out that much of the surplus was due to a one time settlement. That extra million helps this year, but doesn’t represent a lasting increase in revenue. While optimistic about the long

Representatives from the Police Pension fund also warned about the growing pension obligations. Pensions already consume all of the property tax revenue in the city. McCarty said that where property tax used to pay for pensions and other things, now they only pay for pensions; and even other revenue sources are being tapped to make the required payments.

The S&P also noted these long-term challenges. So while the current AA rating was affirmed, the city’s outlook was downgraded from “stable” to “negative.” Although this will not impact current interest rates, it might make future borrowing more expensive.

You can watch McCarty’s presentation to the council which starts at 55:00. You can also watch his after meeting Q&A in the player below.

Print Page

Senior strategist, statehouse reporter and political correspondent for Springfield Daily. Graduate of District 117 and UIS. Thomas covers stories in both Morgan and Sangamon Counties, as well as statewide politics.

Live

LIVE | Police and Fire budget workshop presentations

Staff Contributor

Published

on

Follow along live with the Springfield City Council budget workshops. The police and fire departments will be highlighting their successes from 2018, and presenting their FY20 budgets.

Continue Reading

Live

LIVE | Springfield City Council Meeting January 15

Staff Contributor

Published

on

Follow along live with the Springfield City Council meeting for January 15th. The purchase of several vehicles for the fire department will be discussed.

Continue Reading

Live

LIVE | First Springfield Budget Workshop for FY20

Staff Contributor

Published

on

Follow along live with budget workshop for FY20. This first session will include an overview and then budgets presented by the Treasurer; City Clerk; City Council; Mayor’s Office, and Lincoln Library.

Continue Reading

Sponsored Ad

Sponsored

Trending

[embedsocial_stories_popup id="4a0e77961a73a7758afee3caea4e621a89b255c1"]