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Local News

Will County property tax revenue payments lagging

JOLIET – Will County’s corporate cash balance was significantly lower in the first four months of its fiscal year, compared with previous years, according to a quarterly financial report presented Tuesday to the County Board’s Finance Committee.

The county’s fiscal year runs from Dec. 1 to Nov. 30. The county’s corporate fund stood at $19 million as of March 31, compared with $29.6 million in March 2015 and $33.8 million in March 2016.

When asked Tuesday by committee members to explain the discrepancy, budget director ReShawn Howard said Will County’s anticipated property tax payments are unusually slow this year. The county was also waiting on about $8.8 million in transfer payments from the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund, she said.

“The little drop is [due to] the timing of our payments,” Howard said.

Property tax revenue accounts for about $67 million of the county’s $196 million corporate fund budget.

Revenue is down in Will County foreclosure sales. The county has brought in about $243,000, as of March 31, compared with $368,558 the same time last year. The county brought in about $1.4 million between 2008 and 2012.

At the height of the recession in 2010, about 7,000 foreclosures were filed with the county.

Now the county is down to about 2,200, county officials said.

Drug-free program

In other news, Will County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Chief Jerry Nudera said the department received $50,000 in seed grant money from real estate developer CenterPoint Properties to create a drug-free community outreach program.

The seed money will be used to hire Cherry Powell, prevention specialist with Chestnut Health Systems, as project coordinator. After the program is up and running for one year, Nudera said the office can apply for a five-year, $125,000 yearly grant from the federal government.

The federal Drug-Free Communities Support Program provides dollars to coalitions that prevent youth from abusing drugs and alcohol by engaging the local community.

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