Mayor Bennett: $4 million loan needed for "cash flow" purposes

A request for a $4 million tax anticipation warrant is before the Terre Haute City Council this month.

Posted: Jan 4, 2018 6:31 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - An ordinance that would authorize the mayor's office to seek a $4 million dollar loan is before the Terre Haute City Council in the month of January. However, the mayor and the council's Finance Committee chairman say city finances overall are improving. 

Councilman Earl Elliott said those improvements are coming "slowly."

"I really want to see the end of the year cash balances and the end of the year financials to see how we ended up," Elliott told News 10 prior to the council's Sunshine meeting on January 4th. Elliott says the controller's office will have those financials ready by the end of January or the beginning of February. 

Mayor Duke Bennett, who also spoke to News 10 on January 4th, gave us a preview of what those financials could look like. 

"Back a couple of years ago, we had about 13 funds that had a negative balance at the end of the year." The Mayor continued, "At the end of '17, it looks like we're going to have three."

This isn't keeping the city administration from seeking a Tax Anticipation Warrant of $4 million. This is a loan the city wants to take in advance of its tax settlement in December. When we asked the mayor why this is necessary if city finances are improving, he says the loan is still needed for cash flow purposes at the start of the new year.

"It allows us to continue to make grant payments ahead of time, and get reimbursed later on" Mayor Bennett explained. "Our pension payments have to go our early, and we have to wait 8 or 9 months for the state to reimburse us for that."

The mayor did indicate to us the loan they'll seek from Redevelopment will decrease from last year's $5 million to $2 million this year.

Before voting for the loan, Elliott wants to see the end of the year cash balances. Because the city just receive its latest tax settlement, he says it doesn't need the extra cash just yet.

"We've got a little bit of time to give the controller's office some time to get the books reasonably close, a first draft of the financials," Elliott said. "Then we can form some opinions based on that."

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