City Council could ease Citilink deficit
By Michael Novinson
It will vote Tuesday on request for retroactive budget increase.
If City Council acts by Wednesday, an 11th-hour deal might wipe out more than half of Citilink’s $1 million budget deficit.
Gov. Mitch Daniels informed the public transit system Friday the state might allow it to retroactively collect $518,339 in property tax, according to Citilink Assistant General Manager Betsy Kachmar.
First, council must retroactively approve a budget increase for Citilink.
Kachmar said Citilink will present its request for City Council’s vote Tuesday. Bob Murphy, vice chair of Citilink’s board, said he believes council will approve it.
“Their ears are wide open and they do want to help,” he said.
Although council normally needs at least three weeks’ notice to put an item on its agenda, it made an exception in this case due to the imminent deadline imposed by the state.
“People were willing to bend the rules and make it work,” Kachmar said.
In November, the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance approved a levy increase meant to compensate for adding service to areas recently annexed into the city, notably Aboite Township.
Citilink, however, was told in February it could not collect the funds because City Council never approved the increase.
Even if City Council does so Tuesday, it’s no sure thing the money will actually be released to Citilink.
“I’m not counting my chickens yet,” Kachmar said.