News and Tribune

Clark County

May 14, 2013

Mandates closer to reality in Clark County

Clark council, commissioners at odds over funds


After failure of the Clark County Council and commissioners to broker a deal to close a $2.5 million budget gap in the sheriff’s department at a joint workshop Monday, it appears that significant mandated tax rates are inevitable. 

“Unfortunately, I think that we’re looking at tax increases that could have been much, much lower had we had cooperation [from the commissioners] with [cumulative capital fund] dollars and [cumulative] bridge dollars that have been voluntarily used in the past to help with the county budget,” said County Council Vice President Brian Lenfert. 

As it has in the past with the commissioners’ blessing, the council aims to use the two funds — both under the commissioners’ control — and County Economic Development Income Tax, or CEDIT, funds to help pay salaries in the county jail that are currently unfunded. The council hopes that the sheriff’s department’s sale of equipment obtained through a federal surplus program will add about $450,000, but about $1.5 million would have to come from the commissioners. 

But the commissioners are not prepared to use the money in those funds, citing Indiana code and State Board of Accounts requirements. 

“Are you asking us to break the law?” Commissioner Rick Stephenson asked the council. 

The commissioners said that in previous SBOA audits, the county had been written up for using the cumulative capital fund — which is supposed to be used only for capital improvements and purchases — as a second general fund. 

“You want us to break Indiana code,” Stephenson said. “We have been cited in 2005, 2007, the commissioners in 2010 on State Board of Accounts [audits] for the same thing over and over and over. And you’re asking us now to break code. 

“We’re not here to be breaking rules. We’re supposed to be upholding the rules. And now you’re asking us to throw the rulebook out.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints

Easter 2014 photos

Click on any photo to purchase it.

Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Anti-violence Advocate Killed, but Not Silenced. Dempsey: Putin May Light Fire and Lose Control Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman
2013 Photos of the year

Take a look at our most memorable photos from 2013.