New Lenox schools chief questions timing of tax distribution
By Erin Gallagher For The Herald-News August 17, 2012 7:58AM
Updated: September 24, 2012 6:14AM
NEW LENOX — New Lenox School District Superintendent Michael Sass blasted Will County Treasurer Steve Weber for late payments, calling the error “ridiculous” and “dead wrong.”
Sass and District Business Manager Harold Huang said Weber collected the district’s $1.7 million in property taxes, but did not disperse it to the district by the June 30 end of fiscal year. As a result, the district’s budget did not balance for 2011-12 and is artificially inflated for 2012-13.
Brian McDaniel, the treasurer’s chief investment officer who makes the financial transfers, said as soon as money comes in, it gets paid out.
“(District 122 was) given what we had,” McDaniel said.
Huang explained that when he spoke to Weber in June, he got the impression the delay was due to a new computer system Weber installed.
On the student level, children will not be affected by this, said school board President Nick DiSandro.
After speaking with McDaniel, Huang said that the discrepancy is that the district is on a cash system of accounting, and the county is on a modified accrual basis. He called the problem “frustrating” and believes Weber will resolve it.
In a random sampling of large and small county school districts, half claimed they received late payments. For example, Joliet Township High School District Assistant Superintendent Richard Pagliaro said that nothing was delayed and it is on a modified accrual system. The same is true for Joliet Grade School District, according to Assistant Superintendent Wesley Russell.
On the other hand, Union Superintendent Tim Baldermann, who is also mayor of New Lenox, said Union also received a delayed payment.