Consultant: Terre Haute city finances improving

A consultant says Terre Haute city finances are improving.

Posted: Aug. 9, 2018 9:55 PM
Updated: Aug. 9, 2018 11:02 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - A consultant says Terre Haute city finances are improving.

The Terre Haute City Council heard a presentation from H J Umbaugh & Associates at a special meeting Thursday night. The consultant went over a draft of the city's Comprehensive Financial Plan. The consultant, Paige Sansone, says it is just a draft because the city is awaiting information from the county and state.

Sansone explains the city is headed in the right direction and reducing the deficit. At the end of 2016, several of the main operating funds had a negative cash balance totaling $7.1 million. At the end of 2017, the numbers improved rather dramatically and the funds had a positive cash balance of $232,000.

Council President Curtis DeBaun says, "We still have a while to go but we are getting there and if we continue on with this trend we're going to be in a better place pretty soon."

Sansone says the city has limited options when it comes to bringing in more money. She suggests a Municipal Wheel Tax. That would mean drivers would pay a tax when renewing their driver's license or registration. This could range from $25-$45. Mayor Duke Bennett says that is not an option he is interested in right now.

Another option is a local income tax but the administration and city council cannot take action to impose it.

Sansone says, "Only the county council has the ability to adopt that and really those options, that local income tax option, is the one that would generate the most revenue for the city."

There was also a regular meeting Thursday night. The council got budget drafts for next year.

There will be a public hearing on the budgets September 6th at 5:30 pm. A special meeting for discussion is September 19th at 5:30 pm.

The council can vote on the budgets at a meeting October 11th at 6pm. The city and sanitary budgets must be passed by the end of October.

Also at the regular meeting, the council took final action to rescind tax abatements to Sony DADC and Lenex Steel.

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