Dr. Hentze's High Finance
For District Employees
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires that the District 201 provide employees with a 1095 form showing their health insurance benefits. These forms will normally be distributed with the W-2 earning statements in January, but due to a lack of regulatory guidelines by the IRS, the deadline has been extended to March 31st for employers. Employees do NOT need to submit these to the IRS with their 2015 tax year forms. Simply check the box that indicates that coverage is in place but the forms are not distributed yet. For the 2016 tax year, the forms will need to be included with federal returns. The 1095 will show: 1) employee and district information 2) Type of coverage and ACA classification, monthly cost, and a reason if not offered 3) Dependent information.
State of the State
Governor Rauner did his state of the state yesterday, and in a surprising move, he took education out of the discretionary fund and made it a stand-along budget bill. Rauner called for an increase in early childhood education which does not impact District 201, but he also did call for the General State Aid (GSA) to be fully funded at $6,119, something the state has not done for years. Mr. Mentzer is almost certain that this will come with some stipulations requiring the legislature to enact pension reform as well as attempt to curb collective bargaining. There will have to be an income source dedicated to the funding as well, most likely a negotiated tax increase with Speaker Madigan and President Cullerton. There were some progress in pension reform talks between the Senate President and the Governor, but these apparently fell apart when the Governor tied them to ending collective bargaining, something that Cullerton refused to address. The state budget outstanding balance is currently $3,568,444.35 to District 201.
Debt Restructure of the District
The District completed their debt restructure last month, which increased their working cash by $1,800,000 for this fiscal year. The same restructuring method will be used again next fiscal year. This restructuring did not impact our Standard and Poor’s Bond Rating of “A”, which is extremely high for municipal bonds in this current economic climate.
The State of Illinois audit went very well thanks to the diligent work of the Central Office Administrative Assistants and Bookkeepers. The district did exceptionally well and only had a $26,000 correction to make which resulted from a change in coding of transportation funding for special education. Other local districts did not fare so well, some owing the state almost half a million dollars.
Finally, Mr. Mentzer is working on three new grants for the district. Two are custodial, one to buy a new ride on floor cleaner for West and another for new snow removal equipment for both campuses. These two have been approved and are good to go. The third is a $25,000 grant from Monsanto to help cover expenses in the Ag classes. This is still pending.
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Proud alumnus, union member, and educator in District #201 since 2006.
Dr. Hentze is the author of High Finance with Hentze, a monthly blog that provides news about District 201's current financial state.