Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

November 9, 2012

Tipton funds get distributed

After a two-year delay, $200,000 in wheel tax revenues and surtax funds will be dispersed.

By Ken de la Bastide

TIPTON — The wheel and surtax revenues in Tipton County are going to be distributed to local units of government after a two-year delay.

Jacques Clements with Maximus said Monday during the county commissioners’ meeting that the wheel tax and surtax revenues had not been distributed by the Tipton County auditor’s office for the past two years.

A list of funds received from the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles was received through September and it was determined the funds had not been provided to the Tipton County Highway Department, city of Tipton and the towns of Windfall, Kempton, Sharpsville and West Elwood.

Clements said $52,000 in wheel tax revenues and $153,000 in surtax funds had not been disbursed. She said the Tipton County Highway Department will receive approximately $170,000.

“That will get the department current for the past two years,” she said.

Sherry Crawford, assistant engineer and bookkeeper for the highway department, said Friday the funds are used for road maintenance.

“We had other forms of revenue that we had been using,” she said. “Last year, we carried over a healthy operating balance, which we used for road maintenance.”

Crawford said she estimated the department was facing a $300,000 shortfall in 2011 and 2012. A deposit in the amount of $130,000 was made in October.

The wheel tax and surtax funds will be placed in the county’s highway department fund, she said.

Tipton Mayor Don Havens said the lack of the distribution of the funds didn’t have much of an impact on road projects this year.

He said former Mayor Dan Delph used Economic Development Income Tax revenues on road projects in 2011 and this year the city was able to pave a number of streets through the elimination of combined sewer overflows project.

“We didn’t have a need for many street projects this year,” Havens said. “We will direct the money to future street projects.”

Former Tipton County Auditor Mandy Inman resigned from the office on June 1 after it was discovered she used county funds to pay personal utility bills. Funds that have been repaid to the county.

Greg Townsend was elected by the Republican Party precinct committeemen to complete Inman’s term through 2014.

Clements told the commissioners that she was getting ready to start on balancing the general fund ledgers, which are balanced only through April 2011.

Maximus has been awarded a contract with the county to balance the Auditor’s books with those of the county treasurer.