Let’s say you’re running a local governmental entity that is an enterprise fund.
In other words, it’s supposed to break even.
It’s supposed to bring in enough money in taxes and fees to prevent its needing a subsidy from another part of local government.
Let’s say the annual expenditures are $11 million, up from $10 million.
Some of your money you get from state government in the form of Medicaid reimbursements.
You’re justifiably concerned of cutbacks in this state the Democrats have have allowed to go down the drain.
So, you decided to keep $11 million in the bank just in case you need it.
Pretending that not one dollar in fees will be received.
You’ve got a big complex that will need maintenance and repair.
So, put another $5 million in the bank to cover that.
Going to need a new roof at some point.
The parking lot might need re-paving.
You get the picture.
That’s $16 million you argue you ought to be able to set aside.
But, you’ve got this public relations problem.
At the end of last month, there was $39,985,721.01 available, according to the County Treasurer’s web site (see fund 350).
Let’s round it off to $39,985,721.
Last year at the end of April, the balance was $34,616,857 (figure from the County Treasurer’s web site, rounding up already).
That was before any property taxes were collected.
$4,500,017.20 was billed in 2014.
Add that $4.5 million (almost all taxes billed are collected) to the $34.6 million in the bank at the end of April, 2014, and what do you get?
In round numbers, it’s $40.1 million.
That’s really close to the almost $40 million in the bank at the end of last month.
That means the enterprise fund is breaking even.
So, how much money did the governing board, in this case the McHenry County Board, bill us this spring?
$3 million, the County Clerk’s web site says.
The money was levied because taking the tax levy down to zero would mean the County Board could not ask for more money next year without the passage of another referendum.
And, they are pretty sure that a new referendum would not pass.
Why this explanation of the financial condition of the McHenry County Nursing Home, called Valley Hi?
Because today, according to an article in the Northwest Herald by Kevin Craver, County Board member Ken Koehler seemed to be defending having almost $40 million in the bank.
Valley Hi is supposed to take care of those who can’t pay their own way, Koehler argued.
It’s to be spent on the indigent.
Shouldn’t cut the surplus.
That would be “kowtowing to the local blogger or a very uninformed newspaper.”
Or, one might say,
“That might be acting as a responsible representative of the taxpayers.”
The total amount in property taxes McHenry County government billed homeowners, farmers and businesses this year was $78,966,290.31.
While sitting on almost $40 million million in Valley Hi’s bank account.
$24 million \in surplus about which there seems to be no attempt to defend.
Let me note that that the surplus can’t be transferred to the County’s General Fund the way the General Assembly just transferred earmarked money–$400 million from the Road Fund to welfare and education, for example.