EDITORIALS

Turnabout is fair play

Staff Writer
Woodford Times

There is no real surprise the state owes Woodford County more than a quarter million dollars.

IOU’s are standard operating practice for the state. They are so common these days the state is not even embarrassed about them any more.

According to Woodford County treasurer Melissa Andrews the state owes the county $257,000 by being 10 months delinquent in reimbursing some county salaries and by being behind on paying the county’s share of income tax revenue.

Andrews said the state is:

• eight months behind in paying back the salary of the state’s attorney

• three months behind reimbursing the county for the salary of the supervisor of assessments

• seven months behind paying its portion of the salaries for the county’s six probation officers

• 10 months behind in reimbursement for the public defender

• and five months behind in reimbursement for the county’s local share of income tax.

“The county usually receives about $1.3 million in revenue annually from the state for the general fund which is the local share of income tax,” Andrews said.

Woodford County officials having acted responsibly have weathered this financial storm by living off reserves they built up.

But, how long can the county hold out?

“All the county treasurers have been discussing this, and we’re very concerned,”  Andrews said.

“Some counties are in dire straits. But if the state doesn’t get caught up, we too will be in bad shape.”

Would it not feel good if there were funds Woodford County could withhold from the state to make up for this shortage?

After all, turnabout is fair play.

It seems the only thing we have an abundance of in the Springfield is incompetence and people walking around with blinders on concerning this fiscal disaster.

Fiscal restraint is needed.

But, delivering it will be difficult.

Gov. Quinn talks about it.

GOP gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady talks about it.

And, we, the taxpayers, suffer through the lack of it.

It is discouraging.

It is maddening.

And, it seems, the most viable option is to encourage officials at the county level to do everything they can to maintain a financial cushion.

That cushion will almost certainly be needed in the future. Our state leaders seem determined to take everyone over a financial cliff.