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  #641  
Old 02-21-2019, 09:22 PM
tommie frazier tommie frazier is offline
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Thanks. NYC is worse than Chicago? Wow.
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  #642  
Old 02-22-2019, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by tommie frazier View Post
Thanks. NYC is worse than Chicago? Wow.
I'm assuming it's a reverse list... so 1 is worst and 75 is the best of the 75 on the list.

So assuming Chicago is somewhere in 1-74 and NYC is 75 then Chicago is worse than NYC.


Oops, no that was incorrect. 75 is worst and 1 is best. NYC is 75 & Chicago is 74. They both had "F" grades, but yes, Chicago is better than NYC. That surprises me too.
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  #643  
Old 02-22-2019, 11:28 AM
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I'm confused about how they're reporting the numbers in the little bubbles.

A subset:

11) Raleigh: $600 taxpayer surplus
...
28) San Antonio: $3,200 taxpayer burden
29) Riverside: -$3,700 taxpayer burden
30) Indianapolis: $3,800 taxpayer burden
31) Sacramento: -$4,000 taxpayer burden

Should I just be taking the absolute value of the numbers they provided and then paying attention to the word "surplus" or "burden"???

Otherwise, why are San Antonio's & Indianapolis' burdens positive while Riverside's & Sacramento's burdens are negative?

Perhaps this belongs in the innumeracy thread.
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  #644  
Old 02-22-2019, 03:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twig93 View Post
I'm confused about how they're reporting the numbers in the little bubbles.

A subset:

11) Raleigh: $600 taxpayer surplus
...
28) San Antonio: $3,200 taxpayer burden
29) Riverside: -$3,700 taxpayer burden
30) Indianapolis: $3,800 taxpayer burden
31) Sacramento: -$4,000 taxpayer burden

Should I just be taking the absolute value of the numbers they provided and then paying attention to the word "surplus" or "burden"???

Otherwise, why are San Antonio's & Indianapolis' burdens positive while Riverside's & Sacramento's burdens are negative?

Perhaps this belongs in the innumeracy thread.
The guy running the site thanks you for finding this error -- they're fixing it now.
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  #645  
Old 02-22-2019, 04:03 PM
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The guy running the site thanks you for finding this error -- they're fixing it now.
Cool! So I assume that it was the absolute value of the number and then either "surplus" or "burden" and there was no significance to the presence or absence of a negative sign?
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  #646  
Old 02-22-2019, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by twig93 View Post
Cool! So I assume that it was the absolute value of the number and then either "surplus" or "burden" and there was no significance to the presence or absence of a negative sign?
I didn't ask about what it is specifically -- one would have to look at the fixed files (which I assume will take a bit of time to update) to see
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  #647  
Old 05-09-2019, 01:46 PM
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https://www.watchdog.org/michigan/au...7c537f7b3.html

Quote:
Auditors scorch Detroit schools’ accounting three years after state bailout

Spoiler:
Within three years of state lawmakers approving a $617 million bailout for Detroit’s public school district, it was rebuked by the accounting firm that audits its books for failing to have basic accounting controls and processes in place.

The auditor cited shortcomings that include, among other things, improperly recorded transactions, misclassified balances and unrecorded transactions. Audit notes stated that general account ledger balances were inaccurate throughout the year and that some reports submitted to management and the Board of Education “may have been misstated.”

In one instance, Plante & Moran discovered that the school district overpaid a contractor by $94,640.


“The School District does not have proper controls in place to ensure that the cost of services being charged to grants is supported by proper documentation substantiating that services are performed and bill in accordance with the terms and conditions of approved contracts,” the auditing firm stated.

The auditors said they believe the problems arose because the district did not put adequate resources into key accounting functions.

As part of the 2016 bailout, the school district was split into two separate entities, a Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) to run the schools, and a Detroit Public Schools (DPS) that exists only to collect current property tax levies and pay off debt accumulated in the past.

Auditors cited both entities for numerous failures and shortcomings in their accounting procedures.

“The School District did not have the necessary resources to properly record transaction entries throughout the year or during the year-end closing process,” the audit stated. “As a result, various account reconciliations of the School District’s financial records were not performed timely during the year, which led to significant adjustments during the audit process. Adjustments were also required during the audit to correctly record various transition between the two entities continued.”

The Detroit Public Schools did not meet the Nov. 1 deadline to submit its financial audit. The Detroit Public Schools Community District also did meet the deadline for its financial audit.

The accounting issues come to light at a time when a locally elected school board has been operating the schools under a Financial Review Commission chaired by the director of the state Department of Treasury.


The state created the commission in 2014 to oversee the city of Detroit’s finances as part of its own bailout. Its oversight was extended to the Detroit school district’s finances when the state authorized its bailout in 2016. When state lawmakers created the commission in 2014, they said it would prevent problems like those described by the school district auditors.

Republican John Walsh, who sponsored the bill creating the oversight commission, was quoted by the Gongwer Michigan Report at the time saying, “It all has to do with oversight. ...” Then-House Minority Leader Tim Greimel said about the provision, “It puts in place appropriate safeguards and oversight to try to make sure that Detroit doesn't end up in the difficult financial conditions that they have been in.”

The auditing firm’s criticism of the school district’s accounting systems and processes comes just two years after the U.S. Department of Justice filed criminal charges against 12 current and former Detroit Public Schools principals and an assistant superintendent in an illegal bribery and kickback scheme. The Department of Justice reported the kickback scheme went on from 2002 to 2015 and the school employees made $908,518 off it.

Preventing and minimizing such abuses is one function of an accounting system. “Government officials can’t steal thousands unless they first mismanage millions,” said James Hohman, director of fiscal policy at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

Plante & Moran issued its findings in January, and its notes on the accounting system shortcomings were published in the audited financial reports of Detroit Public Schools and the Detroit Public Schools Community District. The audit stated that the seven-member Detroit school board and the Department of Treasury’s Financial Review Commission both provide oversight over the districts finances.

The Plante & Moran audit stated that the school district agreed with the criticism and worked to improve its procedures. That included hiring more people to work in the accounting and accounts payable departments.

The state Department of Treasury deferred to the school district on questions about the audit and auditors’ notes. The Detroit school district’s board did not respond to an email seeking comment. The Detroit Public School Community District also didn't reply to an email seeking comment.


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  #648  
Old 06-03-2019, 04:06 PM
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https://fixedincome.fidelity.com/ftg...4e2e0000_110.1

Quote:
Detroit eyes bonds to replace federal dollars for residential blight program

Spoiler:
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan plans to ask voters to support $200 million of bonds to help fully remove residential blight by 2024.

If they approve in March, the junk-rated city would issue $200 million of new money unlimited tax general obligation bonds in the summer of 2020. The city issued its first standalone borrowing since its 2013 bankruptcy last December.


“We're going to take down 4,000 houses a year, and in five years by the end of 2024, we will not have a single abandoned house in any neighborhood in the city of Detroit," Duggan said in his keynote address at the annual Mackinac Policy Conference on Mackinac Island Thursday.

Duggan said the bonds will not require a tax increase because the city has paid off enough of its debt to accommodate new borrowing and is positioned to post its fourth consecutive balanced budget since exiting bankruptcy in late 2014. The city was given back control of its finances in April 2018.

"We're showing city council that we can raise $200 million plus," Duggan said. "We can meet our other capital needs without raising taxes because our revenues and finances are running way ahead of schedule."

Detroit's Chief Operating Officer David Massaron said officials are confident the tax rate term won't exceed the rate of 9 mills that's expected this year, which is up from 7 mills last year, he said.

“On the basis of debt issue we did in December this year’s millage will be 9 and the city’s long term unlimited tax debt is going to start to roll off as principal is paid down,” he said. “If we continue to levy at the 9 mills the debt will be supported at the 9 mill level.”

Massaron said the city plans to take the proposal to city council in September.

“We are at the very beginning stages,” Massaron said. “We have had broad outline conversations with council and I think as we develop the program it will be easier for us to gauge what support will be but I am fairly confident the idea of finishing off the residential blight problem in the city will be well received by both council and the public."

Massaron said that the city will still contribute to blight remediation program from its assigned fund balance. The city has budgeted to use more than $100 million of assigned fund balance for capital projects and blight remediation in fiscal 2020.

“We have been funding through annual surplus and fund balance but we have also been using hardest hit funds; now we are seeking to replace those with this bond financing,” Massaron said.

Detroit has received $265 million in federal funding since 2013 to target blight by tearing down vacant structures. It has demolished nearly 18,000 blighted structures, and the Detroit Land Bank has sold 6,000 vacant houses to be rehabbed and occupied.

Duggan said the $200 million bond, if approved, would "get us most of the way there" in tending to the remaining 18,000 blighted residential structures. The bond would also give the city freedom to use some of the funding to renovate them. Under federal rules, Duggan said, blighted houses had to come down.

The bonds would be unlimited tax general obligation bonds of the city.

“We still have a bunch of areas we haven’t gotten to and it’s my obligation as mayor to get to everyone and now we have to figure out how we do it without federal money,” Duggan said.

Moody’s Investors Service rates Detroit's general obligation bonds Ba3, three notches below investment grade, and last upgraded the city nearly a year ago. S&P Global Ratings in February upgraded the city’s general obligation ratings to BB-minus — also three notches away from investment grade — from B-plus.


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