City Budget of Park Ridge Illinois Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

City of Park Ridge, Illinois: Budget Analysis

The budget for Park City, Illinois is complete with a table of contents, which identifies all pages by page number, and the page numbers are correct according to the table of contents. Included in the budget for Park Ridge, Illinois are the city's non-financial policy goals as well as these being stated in the Budget Message separate from departmental sections. Other planning processes are discussed addressing both short-term factors affecting the budgeting decisions and relating how these short-term factors affected the development of the city's annual budget. Included in the budget is information that sets out the city's priorities and goals for the year including issues facing the city's budget development along with the city's solution for addressing these issues. The present budget is compared to previous years. Included in the budget is an overview of the budget with summary information clearly labeled as well as budgeting trends stated in the overview.

I. The Budget as a Policy Document

Goals & Objectives

The goals of the Park Ridge, Illinois Budget are clearly stated as being the identification of "conservation base revenues, core services and their associated costs" as well as the development of a two-year balanced budget. (City of Park Ridge, Illinois 2011/12 Budget) It is reported that the City had in recent years "incurred deficits in the general operating fund primarily due to revenue shortfalls." (City of Park Ridge, Illinois 2011/12 Budget) The City budget states that it can no longer be assumed that revenues will increase in the future as has been so in past years. For this reason, management is reported as having been "extremely careful to budget conservatively." (City of Park Ridge, Illinois 2011/12 Budget)

A second goal stated in the Park Ridge, Illinois budget is the prioritization of additional capital projects upon the basis of other achievable revenues. (City of Park Ridge, Illinois 2011/12 Budget, paraphrased) Stated otherwise, plans include a goal for city streets and sidewalks staying in good repair, improvement of storm drainage, powerlines, and restoration and improvement of the tree canopy and parking. The third stated goal of the Park Ridge, Illinois budget is the investment in making providing of the tools needed to drive the "redevelopment of targeted economic development areas." (City of Park Ridge, Illinois 2011/12 Budget) All stated goals in the Park Ridge, Illinois budget are geared toward improvement and maintenance of the city for its citizens.


The policies of the city are clearly stated including the provision of services at a low cost. The adjusted budget total is stated to include: "total municipal budget, including MFT, library, and garbage service. Excluded items are stated to include Park Districts, Electric Utilities, Sanitary District, Community Development Block Grants, Bus Service, Performing Arts Centers, Airparks, Capital Projects financed from Bond Proceeds, Tax Increment Financing Districts, and Employee Retirement Contributions. (City of Park Ridge, Illinois 2011/12 Budget) Out of nine communities in Illinois, Park Ridge is stated as having the lowest in per capita spending. Specifically the cost per capita of nine communities adjacent to Park Ridge is stated at $1,758 as compared to $1,305 for Park Ridge. (City of Park Ridge, Illinois 2011/12 Budget)

Total Revenue, Total Expenditures and Budget Surplus

Included in the Budget Summary are the total revenue, total expenditure and budget surplus, which is a negative figure of $423,166. The present budget is reduced by 2.3% as compared to last year and the budget expenditure is also reduced by 1.6% as compared to last year. Four funds are stated to have a budget surplus including the general fund, the municipal water fund, the parking fund, and the sewer fund. (City of Park Ridge, Illinois 2011/12 Budget)

Five funds are stated to have a budget deficit including the library fund, the Uptown TIF fund, the IMRF fund, the emergency telephone 911 funds and the water fund. (City of Park Ridge, Illinois 2011/12 Budget) The fund balance will be utilized by the library and water funds to balance the funds budget. The budget deficit in the emergency telephone fund will be addressed through the receipt of supplement income "via an interfund transfer from the General Fund." (City of Park Ridge, Illinois 2011/12 Budget) The Uptown TIF fund budget deficit will be addressed by borrowing from the City's General Fund. (City of Park Ridge, Illinois 2011/12 Budget)

Balanced funds stated are: (1) motor fuel; (2) 2004A Debt Service; (3) 2004B Debt Service; (4) 2005A Debt Service; (5) 2006A Debt Service; and (6) 2006B Debt Service. (City of Park Ridge, Illinois 2011/12 Budget) The Source of Revenue and the Source of Expenditure for all funds is clearly stated in the budget as well as is the revenue and expenditure summary of all Park Ridge, Illinois city funds. Included is a source of revenue and expenditure for the general fund. Also stated is the source of revenue and expenditure for the library fund.

II. The Budget as a Financial Plan

Budgeting for Park Ridge, Illinois has been conducted in a conservative manner due to the most recent economic downturn. The city acknowledges that it can no longer make the assumption that revenues for the city will experience an increase.

Factors Affecting Budget Planning Identified

Stated as specific factors that influence the budget planning are those as follows:

(1) an expectation that consumer spending will pick up however, that it will overall lag in growth;

(2) the housing market has practically bottomed out and high unemployment will cause it to remain where it is for some time;

(3) business investment has been forecasted to grow;

(4) Inventories will create a small lag in growth; and (5) government spending "represents the primary headwind to growth." (City of Park Ridge, Illinois 2011/12 Budget)

Plans for Addressing Budget Shortfalls

Finally, the trade deficit has been predicted to narrow in the future. (City of Park Ridge, Illinois 2011/12 Budget) Budget shortfalls will be addressed by:

(1) cutting staff;

(2) reducing services;

(3) deferring capital investment;

(4) raising taxes or fees and (5) raiding reserves or borrow funds, either long-term bonds or short-term in the form of line of credit. (City of Park Ridge, Illinois 2011/12 Budget)

Reported is that these may be used singularly or in combination according to the budget report.

Revenue Categories Identified as Most Impacted by Economic Conditions

The revenue categories that are affected the most by economic conditions and correlating changes are the following:

(1) sales tax;

(2) income taxes;

(3) utility taxes;

(4) building permits;

(5) property transfer taxes;

(6) interest rates;

(7) water rates; and

8) other income including rental income. (City of Park Ridge, Illinois 2011/12 Budget)

Included in the budget is a 5% increase in the property tax levy. The city's general operating fund includes an increase in medical costs. It is stated that the water fund, library fund, Uptown TIF fund, Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund, and the emergency telephone 911 fund are anticipated to exceed budget allowances for the next year. Solvency of the city's budget includes:

(1) cash solvency;

(2) budget solvency;

(3) long-range solvency; and (4) service delivery solvency. (City of Park Ridge, Illinois 2011/12 Budget)

The city's expenditure summary sets out general operating expenses and states that the city was forced to lay off 16 workers with a requirement for funding 100% cost of the unemployment benefits. Therefore, a stated $362,000 was budgeted for this expense. The city's capital budget highlights are set out including the previously stated improvements to sidewalks in the city. (City of Park Ridge, Illinois 2011/12 Budget)

III. The Budget as an Operations Guide

The City of Park Ridge, Illinois states long-term and short-term budget goals and issues including issues relating to increases in expenses and decreases in budget income and in addition, stated are the various city departments and their goals including the Administrative Services Department with its programs including:

(1) legislative;

(2) city administration;

(3) Legal;

(4) records control;

(5) human resources;

(6) economic development;

(7) Information Services;

(8) information technology;

(9) planning;

(10) zoning;

(11) building; and (12) environmental health. (City of Park Ridge, Illinois 2011/12 Budget)

Stated for each of city administrative departments are the departmental appropriate duties and responsibilities in regards to not only budget items but also in regards to functions and processes of each administrative department. Performance measurements are also stated for each city administrative department beginning with year 2007/08 through 2011/12 estimates. Effectiveness measures for all departments are stated at 95% effectiveness. Expenditures for employee salaries in all departments and categories are listed in the budget report including the variance of the 2011/12 budget as compared to the actual 2011/12 budget.

Included in the budget report is the administration departmental listing including the fund, program description of the department object identifier and description along with the budget for the current and previous year. (City of Park Ridge, Illinois 2011/12 Budget)

Finance Department Responsibilities and Duties

The responsibilities of the finance department is the improvement of city services for external customers. (City of Park Ridge, Illinois 2011/12…

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