Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Mini-Detroit: Harvey IL debt quadrupled in 4 years

Author in Harvey earlier this month
Illinois' miniature version of Detroit, Harvey, is finally filing audits after years of delay. And the southern suburb of Chicago still has two more years to dig through. So far the results are very disturbing.

From the Chicago Tribune:
Audits for fiscal years 2009 through 2013 paint a bleak picture of a city awash in debt even as town officials repeatedly ignored their duty to file the annual audits showing the state its books.

The city expects to complete the remaining audits for fiscal years 2014 and 2015 in April, and a spokesman for the city said those reports will show the city has made significant improvements.

"The woes which are reflected in the audits up until 2013 do not reflect the remarkable improvements over the past two years and beyond," spokesman Sean Howard said.

But the picture painted at a public review of the audits this week was bleak: In fiscal year 2008, the last time Harvey filed a financial report, the city's net financial position was $14 million in the red. By 2013, after years of big borrowing, failing to pay pension funds and skipping water payments to Chicago, that negative figure had more than quadrupled to nearly $64 million, according to copies of the financial reports.
Harvey's problems will probably worsen. Because the City Council refused to approve the mayor's 2016 tax levy, Cook County will not collect the Harvey portion of the property tax bill for city residents. The projected shortfall will be $15 million which the Tribune says will half of the Harvey's income.

Remember: At the end of 2013 Harvey was $64 million in debt.

Harvey needs to pull much more than a rabbit out of its hat to get out of this hole. Under current Illinois law municipalities cannot declare bankruptcy.

Related posts:

(Photos) Abandoned homes in the corrupt city of Harvey, Illinois

(Photos) Abandoned homes in the corrupt city of Harvey, Illinois, part two

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