Francesville plans for a tax increase
Francesville Town Council members may be the target of a number of questions as they approved to create a cumulative capital development fund that is funded by taxes.
With a new clerk-treasurer, the Francesville funds are being reviewed. To help, the clerk-treasurer contacted Umbaugh for financial services, and it appears some changes are needed.
Amber Violette, from Umbaugh, spoke with the town council on Feb. 18 during a regular council meeting. She and Eric Walsh are working with clerk-treasurer Cathy Elston to review the town finances and utilities.
Violette gave a brief overview of what the financial company reviewed, the conclusion they came up with and an action plan the town can take. Walsh and Violette studied the accounting information or the Keystone software. The accounting information was compared to the state budget and it appeared some of the budget calculations didn’t match or were entered incorrectly. Because of this, some of the line items were in the negative or appeared to be overspent.
Violette advised the council that the bank reconciliation and the investments in Keystone do not balance with the bank balance. Any variations have to be accounted for. The critical issue with the imbalance, according to Violette, is that in 10 days the town has to submit the annual financial report.
Violette said the best way to handle the differences is to start clean in the Keystone programming. There may be audit comments made by the state but it appears to be the best way to keep from continuing to use incorrect information. It appears the last state audit was in 2014.
The council approved to hire Umbaugh to correct the bank reconciliation and annual financial report.
Umbaugh also suggested the town look at establishing a new fund or a cumulative capital development (CCD) fund. The fund collects tax revenue and can be used for development expenses. Those funds can also be accumulated for bigger projects. Violette said the process of establishing a CCD fund has to start now to be able to collect funds in 2020.
As part of the process of implementing a new tax, it will be advertised in the local papers and a public hearing will be held on March 18.