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No Wonder Nobody Knows (Part 2)

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Continuing on with analysis of the General Fund, and whether or not our Village Trustees, the Audit and Finance Committee and the Village Staff (Finance and Manager) is capable of being accurate with our money,  I submit the following to the residents of the village:

Property Taxes Sales Tax
Year Projected Actual Difference % Projected Actual Difference %
2013-2014 $7,437,153.00 U #VALUE! #VALUE! $5,846,888.00 U #VALUE! #VALUE!
2012-2013 $7,302,166.00 U #VALUE! #VALUE! $5,846,888.00 U #VALUE! #VALUE!
2011-2012 $6,774,900.00 $6,766,405.00 ($8,495.00) 100% $5,725,000.00 $6,085,839.00 $360,839.00 94%
2010-2011 $6,810,425.00 $6,773,757.00 ($36,668.00) 101% $5,431,000.00 $5,599,883.00 $168,883.00 97%
2009-2010 $6,795,225.00 $6,732,389.00 ($62,836.00) 101% $5,780,000.00 $5,381,320.00 ($398,680.00) 107%
2008-2009 $6,853,480.00 $6,821,744.00 ($31,736.00) 100% $6,400,000.00 $5,663,555.00 ($736,445.00) 113%
2007-2008 $6,594,000.00 $6,595,182.00 $1,182.00 100% $5,400,000.00 $5,593,533.00 $193,533.00 97%
AVERAGES $6,765,606.00 $6,737,895.40 ($27,710.60) 100% $5,747,200.00 $5,664,826.00 ($82,374.00) 101%
Accuracy Average: Accurate 100% Accuracy Average: Over Estimated 102%
Other Tax Fees & Fines
Year Projected Actual Difference % Projected Actual Difference %
2013-2014 $6,294,108.00 U #VALUE! #VALUE! $1,545,200.00 U #VALUE! #VALUE!
2012-2013 $6,006,812.00 U #VALUE! #VALUE! $1,426,800.00 U #VALUE! #VALUE!
2011-2012 $6,114,900.00 $6,130,404.00 $15,504.00 100% $1,833,825.00 $1,802,820.00 ($31,005.00) 102%
2010-2011 $6,288,500.00 $6,075,155.00 ($213,345.00) 104% $1,728,603.00 $1,327,315.00 ($401,288.00) 130%
2009-2010 $7,154,500.00 $4,521,351.00 ($2,633,149.00) 158% $2,037,648.00 $1,762,436.00 ($275,212.00) 116%
2008-2009 $6,551,950.00 $5,908,284.00 ($643,666.00) 111% $2,022,546.00 $1,858,112.00 ($164,434.00) 109%
2007-2008 $6,076,566.00 $6,331,186.00 $254,620.00 96% $1,995,829.00 $1,879,099.00 ($116,730.00) 106%
AVERAGES $6,437,283.20 $5,793,276.00 ($644,007.20) 111% $1,923,690.20 $1,725,956.40 ($197,733.80) 111%
Accuracy Average: Over Estimated 114% Accuracy Average: Over Estimated 113%
Investment Income Reimbursements
Year Projected Actual Difference % Projected Actual Difference %
2013-2014 $5,000.00 U #VALUE! #VALUE! $154,900.00 U #VALUE! #VALUE!
2012-2013 $2,300.00 U #VALUE! #VALUE! $63,100.00 U #VALUE! #VALUE!
2011-2012 $10,000.00 $9,262.00 ($738.00) 108% $229,250.00 $302,831.00 $73,581.00 76%
2010-2011 $91,000.00 $120,519.00 $29,519.00 76% $230,940.00 $469,900.00 $238,960.00 49%
2009-2010 $299,500.00 $80,839.00 ($218,661.00) 370% $169,600.00 $317,341.00 $147,741.00 53%
2008-2009 $614,000.00 $369,129.00 ($244,871.00) 166% $108,050.00 $235,040.00 $126,990.00 46%
2007-2008 $429,000.00 $331,347.00 ($97,653.00) 129% $44,125.00 $185,844.00 $141,719.00 24%
AVERAGES $288,700.00 $182,219.20 ($106,480.80) 158% $156,393.00 $302,191.20 $145,798.20 52%
Accuracy Average: Over Estimated 170% Accuracy Average: Under Estimated 50%
Licenses & Permits Charges for Services
Year Projected Actual Difference % Projected Actual Difference %
2013-2014 $1,258,750.00 U #VALUE! #VALUE! $1,614,900.00 U #VALUE! #VALUE!
2012-2013 $1,039,450.00 U #VALUE! #VALUE! $2,068,400.00 U #VALUE! #VALUE!
2011-2012 $1,231,250.00 $1,068,700.00 ($162,550.00) 115% $1,508,200.00 $1,457,431.00 ($50,769.00) 103%
2010-2011 $1,286,590.00 $1,105,554.00 ($181,036.00) 116% $1,517,700.00 $2,326,777.00 $809,077.00 65%
2009-2010 $1,052,791.00 $1,259,131.00 $206,340.00 84% $1,216,800.00 $1,077,996.00 ($138,804.00) 113%
2008-2009 $1,188,665.00 $1,221,035.00 $32,370.00 97% $1,202,100.00 $1,202,344.00 $244.00 100%
2007-2008 $1,194,620.00 $1,080,034.00 ($114,586.00) 111% $931,855.00 $952,219.00 $20,364.00 98%
AVERAGES $1,190,783.20 $1,146,890.80 ($43,892.40) 104% $1,275,331.00 $1,403,353.40 $128,022.40 91%
Accuracy Average: Over Estimated 105% Accuracy Average: Under Estimated 96%
Grants/Contributions Transfers
Year Projected Actual Difference % Projected Actual Difference %
2013-2014 $2,400.00 U #VALUE! #VALUE! $500.00 U #VALUE! #VALUE!
2012-2013 $500.00 U #VALUE! #VALUE! $250,500.00 U #VALUE! #VALUE!
2011-2012 $33,370.00 $15,570.00 ($17,800.00) 214% $307,900.00 $247,506.00 ($60,394.00) 124%
2010-2011 $13,000.00 $114,140.00 $101,140.00 11% $362,000.00 $782,529.00 $420,529.00 46%
2009-2010 $31,900.00 $204,617.00 $172,717.00 16% $413,200.00 $243,448.00 ($169,752.00) 170%
2008-2009 $18,900.00 $111,606.00 $92,706.00 17% $440,104.00 $349,302.00 ($90,802.00) 126%
2007-2008 $11,300.00 $45,538.00 $34,238.00 25% $330,489.00 $319,806.00 ($10,683.00) 103%
AVERAGES $21,694.00 $98,294.20 $76,600.20 22% $370,738.60 $388,518.20 $17,779.60 95%
Accuracy Average: Under Estimated 57% Accuracy Average: Over Estimated 114%
Category Count Accurate Over Estimated Under Estimated
10 1 6 3
10% 60% 30%
Items/Years Count Accurate Over Estimated Under Estimated
50 5 26 19
10% 52% 38%

Now, in all fairness, we still haven’t gotten the actual numbers back for the last 2 years (in which there was a new finance director), but if the trend continues as it has been, the level of accuracy will probably be the same.  Over 50 different items AND 10 categories, the Village was only accurate 10% of the time in projecting what the actual revenues would be (And that is 76% less than the average accuracy of a weather prediction).   As you look through the above chart, which is also posted on the Public Documents page, please pay special attention to the taxes.  Property taxes projections have remained almost 100% accurate every year, while Sales taxes have been (except for 2 years during the downturn of the economy where were over estimated) Under Estimated.  I’d also like to highlight the “Other Taxes” category.  Every year it is between 5.9 million and 6.3 million actual revenue, if we remove the one really bad year, which could be attributed to the economy, we see an average of about 6.1 million.  Most importantly however, the taxes have remained relatively stable over the 5 year period of which we have actual data, which completely negates the Village’s assertion that revenue streams are dependent on taxes.  What hasn’t remained stable in our tax revenues is the amount the Village Staff has estimated – that’s been quite a bit off – there’s an average 600,000.00 in discrepancy in the “Other Tax” category, which highlights the main theme – inaccuracies are the cause of the budget issues – not revenue streams.

Which leads me into my next point.  Instead of getting some really complicated projections from an organization that is serves both municipalities AND it’s own political activity in Springfield, why is it that we haven’t bothered to estimate using past historical figures.  While we may be a little over or under, based upon the figures above, it would allow us to get closer to 100% accuracy than we currently are.

What is most telling is all the other revenue categories .. NONE have an accuracy anywhere near 100% – and there in lies the truth of the budget crisis our village finds itself in year after year.  The “budget crisis” that we so often find ourselves in is a manufactured crisis.  It’s a result of poor projections and poor planning.  A Basic excel chart, which even an untrained person like me is capable of producing clearly shows that our projections have lead to some very poor decisions on our expenditure process.  Not having an more accurate picture of the Village revenues, we tend to over budget in most areas, and then spend the rest of the year trying to cut – the majority of which come from personnel that serves the public in the Public Safety Departments, and the data just doesn’t support that this is necessary.  Again, through proper historical data, we can see where our budgets should be, and we can plan accordingly.

The budget process itself is overly-complicated.  And it can be made to be more simple.  Our Village has a mission statement – let’s follow it.  Determine, through proper historical data what the revenue streams will be, and then determine what percentage of that stream each area will receive.  I’d recommend 65%-Public Safety Services, 20% Streets and 15% Administration.  This will allow us to properly serve the residents, and the mission of the Village.

Until next time.

 

The Inquisitive Citizen

Comments

comments

Comments

  1. Keep digging, you will see no bid contracts issued a lot under Rooneys administration. One in particular going to his neighbor in Highwood. just keep looking the board has looked the other way obviously.

  2. I’m rather interested in knowing about that .. who was the neighbor or the name of the construction company? I currently hold a list of all sub-contractors on our New Public Works facility and I’d love to double check that!

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