Zionsville Times Sentinel

January 23, 2013

Input error cuts $3M from county budget

Mistake shouldn’t affect taxpayers, official says.

By Rod Rose
Staff Writer

— A clerical mistake has technically left Boone County’s 2013 budget $3 million short, but it will be faster to appropriate the money than go through an appeal process with the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance.

The error came because someone — it’s uncertain who — manually overrode a computer program that should have submitted the correct amount to the DLGF, which oversees local government spending.

No impact should be felt by taxpayers, Boone County Auditor Deanna Willhoite said. She’s talked with DLGF officials who assured her that none of the county’s tax rates will change because of the mistake.

Willhoite, in an email, said four funds accounted for most of the shortages; the county council had approved a total of $14,714,893 for the general, reassessment, highway and health department funds combined, but the state approved $11,584,260.

Most of the shortage was in the general fund; the county OKed $11,230,467 for it, but the state approved $8,213,636.

“There were other funds in the budget request and order, but they were not affected by the data entry error, which occurred in 2012,” Willhoite said in the email. “The error was made on the Budget Form 4 Ordinance/Resolution For Appropriations and Tax Rate, which was submitted electronically, via Gateway, a state sponsored database.”

A box declared “no changes requested” was checked on a “1782 notice” that is part of the budget process; that notice was signed by county officials on Dec. 28 and sent back to the state.

Neither side caught the error.

See Wednesday's paper for the full story.