Update: Mayor Says Financial Documents Released from Library are Incorrect
Mayor David Gonzalez recently criticized the library for consistently requesting more tax money than it was using, but the institutions yearly report tells a different story.
Article updated at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012 to include documents provided by the mayor of Chicago Heights.
Conflicting documents about the Chicago Heights Public Library's tax revenue give some insight into how the institution is spending, or not spending, tax dollars.
The library's spending, or lack thereof, was a hot topic at the Monday city council meeting, after the 2012 tax levy had the institution losing more than $170,000 in funding. When asked about the decrease, Mayor David Gonzalez said the library had been levying for more than $1 million every year and spending significantly less.
While Gonzalez criticized the library for over-levying and underspending, public documents provided by the library reflect the institution spending most of its allotted tax dollars from the 2010 levy.
The reports the library provided for fiscal year 2011 to 2012 show the institution received about $959,000 in taxpayer dollars from the 2010 levy. It spent a little more than $957,000 of those funds, the report says.
In the current fiscal year, the library has spent nearly $611,000, with more than four months left. Part of the money the library has in the bank includes what is left to spend this fiscal year.
If the numbers the library provided hold true, $1 million in taxpayer money every year may be just the right amount for the library to request, but the numbers provided by the mayor tell a different story.
Gonzalez says the documents provided to Patch, listing the library's tax revenue and expenditures for the 2011 fiscal year, were internal documents that had not been audited.
Gonzalez provided independently audited documents that support his comments about the library netting a yearly surplus. The documents show more than $200,000 added to library's 2011 revenue that isn't shown in the documents provided by the library.
"As you will see, the library also gets corporate replacement tax revenue. This is taxes paid by corporations," Gonzalez said in an email. "In 2011, the library had a surplus of $200,519, and in 2012, they had a surplus of $96,949."
Both sets of documents are public record, according to Gonzalez.
View the PDF files above to see tax-income and expenditure documents provided by the library and by Mayor Gonzalez.
Stay informed about what's going on in Chicago Heights: