Yesterday, April 23rd, was the first Finance Committee Meeting with the new Finance Director, Irene Crowell. She informed the public that the State of Ohio placed Maple Heights on fiscal watch. Maple Heights had a deficit fund balance that exceeded 1/12 of its revenue. The city has until August 8th, 2014 to submit a plan that the state sees will get the city out of debt.
The State Auditor’s office has reviewed the city’s financial standing for the fiscal year of 2013 and decided the city wasn’t financially stable. The Auditor outlined four conditions:
- Significant past due accounts payable;
- Substantial deficit balances in city funds;
- A sizable deficiency when the city’s treasury balance is compared to the positive cash balances of the city’s funds; and
- A forecasted general fund deficit at the end of the current year that exceeds one twelfth of the general fund revenue from the preceding year.
With this being said, the state can foresee the financial standing of our city. They foresee the general fund deficit at the end of this fiscal year remaining over the 1/12 amount of revenue from the last fiscal year.
Councilman Alex Adams (District 1) brought to Ms. Crowell’s attention the new income tax increase that will be on the ballots May 6th. He asked Ms. Crowell if passing the levy would help the city eliminate the deficit. Although she was not able to say whether if the income tax increase would actually help or not, she said that the biggest thing the city can do now is underspend the upcoming budget and save money. The goal is to get under the 1/12th amount by the end of this year, the best way we can.