Oak Lawn's Mid-Year Budget Shows $13.1 Million Deficit
Finance committee reviews 2010 audit and current fiscal year budget with auditors from McGlaudrey & Pullen, LLP, at mid-year point.
The Village of Oak Lawn is in good financial shape according to auditors who presented a draft of the 2010 audit to the village board's finance committee on Tuesday afternoon.
Members of the finance committee and other village officials met with auditors from McGladrey & Pullen, LLP, to review the 165-page audit.
Katie Barry, a manager at McGladrey & Pullen, told the committee that the village is in “good shape” following the audit.
“Our opinion is unqualified, which means that it’s a good, clean opinion,” Barry said.
Trustee Tom Phelan (Dist. 6), chair of the finance committee, said it was the best ranking the village could get.
The village has $81,723,000 in governmental activities net assets, such as motor fuel fund allotments, debt services and TIF districts, Barry said that with that number, there is a total unrestricted deficit of about $13.1 million for Oak Lawn.
The auditors attributed the large deficit figure to increased liabilities, including pension payments, other post-employment benefits and bond obligations.
“The liabilities within the village increased quite a bit this year,” Tara Leja said, a director at McGladrey & Pullen.
The audit item that drew the hottest discussion among committee members was the pension funds for the fire and police departments. Pension funding is counted with the property tax funds collected by the village, although the village is not responsible for the money and not allowed to spend it.
“It’s an unfair representation and what happened in the village financial statement is that it looks like we did better than we did,” said village finance director Brian Hanigan.
Hanigan placed general fund liabilities at $110 million. Though the numbers show the village is lagging in generating sales tax revenue at the pace village board members had hoped for, expenses are in line with last year’s projections. Merging or shuffling funds would only save about $800,000.
“It’d be like spitting in the ocean,” Hanigan said.
Hanigan said some line items and funding numbers could change in the next two weeks before the report goes before the village board at the Sept. 13 meeting.