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For Immediate Release
INDIANAPOLIS (August 1, 2008) – The Department of Local Government Finance (DLGF) today issued an order extending the deadlines for officers of local units of government – including counties, cities and towns, libraries, schools and other taxing entities – to adopt their 2009 budgets and levies. The current September 30 deadline will be extended to December 1. Local officials who wish to proceed on the normal adoption schedule may do so.
“By extending this deadline, local officials will have more time and information to plan and adopt budgets that will better match tax bills with the taxpayers’ ability to pay,” DLGF Commissioner Cheryl Musgrave said.
Musgrave confirmed that the DLGF remains fully committed to assisting counties achieve on-time billing by certifying budgets by February 15, as required by law, or as soon as possible once counties have submitted the data needed to proceed.
In 2008, the turnaround time for the DLGF to issue complete budget orders is 27 percent faster than last year. To date, 60 counties have received complete budget approval, versus 57 by August 1, 2007.
“Allowing local units of government the option of adopting budgets until December 1 is in the best interest of taxpayers,” Association of Indiana Counties Executive Director David Bottorff said. “It will give the counties increased flexibility as to when to adopt their budgets. Local government units will be able to obtain better information so they can evaluate potential tax rates, levies, budgets and the effects of the circuit breaker.”
The flexibility also has benefits to other local officials, including those representing cities and towns.
“We believe pushing back the budget deadline may be helpful to some cities and towns,” Matthew Greller, Executive Director of the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns said. “While most cities and towns are well on the way to finalizing budgets at this point, the added time may give some flexibility to those who are finding it necessary to run additional calculations to analyze the impacts of the new property tax caps.”
Denny Costerison, Executive Director of the Indiana Association of School Business Officials, acknowledged the positive effect of the extension on schools, noting that the December 1 date will also enable officials to more accurately count their student enrollment figures.
“Many school districts do not know what their assessed values are, and any extension will assist them in putting together a more realistic budget,” he said.
Indiana Association of Public School Superintendents John Ellis also noted, “In all the uniqueness of this year, the information received during the additional time will help give schools and local governments a better idea of how to proceed.
The order extending the deadline for local budget adoption can be found on the Department’s Web site at http://www.in.gov/dlgf/.
Contact: Mary Jane Michalak, 317.232.3785, firstname.lastname@example.org