Winamac Town Council reviews 2020 budget
Winamac Clerk-Treasurer Melanie Berger is taking a hard look at the budget next year as cuts are a necessity.
The Winamac council along with Berger, town manager Brad Zellers and the department superintendents heard from Baker Tilly Virchow Krause LLP, an accounting firm, about the 2020 budget and how if changes are not made now there won’t be future funding. Eric Walsh, from Baker Tilly Virchow Krause LLP, conducted a conference call with the council during a regular meeting on Aug. 12. Walsh said the accounting firm has looked at the 2019 budget which gives them a starting point to work from for the 2020 budget. He said the town is facing a loss in revenue but currently has some funding to cover that loss.
Walsh estimated that as property taxes across the state increase the town will lose additional tax revenue because of circuit breakers and will lose revenue from the lack of local income tax (LIT) levy freeze. Within the last two years, the town has received less money from the county because the county no longer has funding in a stabilization fund to cover the difference of the lack of LIT funding.
Currently the general fund town budget for 2019 is $1,088,702. Walsh said if the town spends the entire budget, it will have a negative cash flow budget of $187,531 but the town has $855,504 in savings. Because of the negative cash flow budget the town would end the year with $667,973 in savings.
After discussing the 2019 budget with the council, Walsh discussed the 2020 budget. He said if all the money is spent from the 2020 proposed budget the town will be in the red by about $196,660 in the general fund. The proposed budget amount is $1,010,952 which is about $70,000 less than 2019.
Walsh challenged the town to take another look at the budget and see where else cuts can be made.