Thursday, September 5, 2013

Times Reports LaPorte County Commissioners Debate Debt

From the Northwest Indiana Times:

LaPorte County officials on Tuesday debated how much debt the county actually owes.

LaPorte County Councilmen Earl Cunningham and Rich Mrozinski said, due to years of delays in submitting official property tax bills, has a current deficit of more than $29 million.

Cunningham and Mrozinski reported their findings Tuesday to the LaPorte County Board of Commissioners, who claimed recently the projected deficit was more like $2.7 million.

"We don't want to mislead the public," Mrozinski said.

The disparity appears to be over timing.

Cunningham said the county, as of Wednesday, had an actual $29.4 million deficit from not collecting the full amount of property taxes due to delays in the countywide reassessment dating back to 2006.

The reassessment is now completed and official bills are expected to start going out next year.

Cunningham said the county has operated by borrowing money from other funds that will be paid back once full collections and the sale of tax delinquent properties start happening.

The commissioners said the $2.7 million deficit projected was arrived at by the amount of taxes and monies from the sale of delinquent properties anticipated in 2014.