Press Release – Wednesday – September 23, 2015
This coming Monday, the Evansville City Council will vote on the transfer of ~$ 8 million from the Rainy Day and Riverboat funds. These transferred funds will be used by the Administration to pay the City’s regular/routine bills.
Normally, the Rainy Day Funds are used for emergencies; the Riverboat Account is set aside for capital projects. Local Option Income Taxes and Property Taxes are used to fund City Operations. According to the Administration, a cash shortfall has occurred because the funds (LIT & property taxes) allotted for city operations have already been spent.
We all have been promised that when the second installment of property tax monies arrives later this Fall, the cash from the loans will be repaid. By State Statute, the loan must be repaid and returned to the Rainy Day and Riverboat funds by 12/31/15.
Previous transfers have been hidden from public view. It was never the intent of the City Council to interfere with the normal financial flow of the City’s capacity to conduct business. It was, however, our goal to inject a degree of transparency into the City’s financial management that allows you, the taxpayer, to understand how, when and where your money is being spent. We must make absolutely certain that Rainy Day and Riverboat Funds will not become a permanent source for City operations and that the police and fire pension funds are never invaded.
Since said transfers have become an apparent recurring issue as opposed to an emergency, I make the following recommendations going forward. The Administration’s bi-annual fund transfer request should go through the Finance Committee. Additionally, the transfer requests should be given to the City Council at least three weeks prior to the move over date of the monies.
This ordinance is the first step in providing you, the taxpayer, with full transparency regarding the Administration’s management of the City’s finances. Let me be clear! I support loaning the Rainy Day and Riverboat funds for operational purposes now. I fully expect the repayment of these loans when the Fall property tax installment is received. However, this transaction must remain transparent.
H. Dan Adams, MD MBA
PRESIDENT OF EVANSVILLE CITY COUCIL