Saturday, February 27, 2016 || By Michael Romain
At a Feb. 24 Legal, License and Ordinance Committee (LLOC) meeting, the Maywood Board of Trustees confronted what amounts to the total price tag of the village’s historical tardiness in filing its annual financial audits.
Village Manager Willie Norfleet, Jr., at the request of Mayor Edwenna Perkins, reported a delinquent notice the village received from the Illinois Comptroller’s office earlier this month showing the village thousands of dollars in arrears.
Since 2010, the village has accumulated more than 6,600 delinquent days past the annual Oct. 27 deadline for filing audits for the village itself and for the village’s three Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts.
The late days range from a high of 423 in 2012 to a low of just 31 in 2015, which indicates a rather sudden, drastic improvement over the village’s historic pattern of late filing. In 2014, for instance, the village was 379 days late filing financial audits for the Madison St./5th Ave., St. Charles Road and Roosevelt Road TIFs, and 253 days late filing its annual audit and annual report for that year.
The state fines municipalities $5 each day up to 15 days they’re past the filing deadline, $10 each day if they’re between 16 and 30 days late, $15 each day if they’re bertween 31 and 45 days late and $20 each day beyond that.
Maywood, since 2010, has accumulated more than 5,500 days beyond the 45-day delinquency threshold. A rough estimate puts the village on the hook for at least $120,000 in fines.
During the Feb. 24 meeting, Norfleet noted that the state comptroller allows municipalities to file for a reduction in late fees, which the village manager said he intends to do within the next 30 days; however, Norfleet didn’t say how much the state would reduce from the total amount of fines the village owes.
“I’m looking for a committment from somebody to be early, zero days late, on the next [audit]” said Trustee Michael Rogers. “We should be in a position where we can make that happen.”
“I can commit to that,” Norfleet said, before noting the drastic improvement in filing audits the village had already achieved on his watch.
“You’re coming from a high of more than 400 days to 31 days, so next year we’ll be able to [at least be on time],” he said.
Norfleet said he couldn’t specifically account for why the village was late filing audits for its TIF funds, but noted that the main audit may have been late due to a slow down in the human resources department.
“I don’t have a historical answer for the other years, but what I can say for this current year is that one of the obstsacles that made us late was not getting the HR information to the auditors on a timely basis. That was the thing that pushed this current year back. I’m not sure exactly what relationship that has with the three TIFs, but that’s the reason the main audit was late.” VFP
Piling it on: A chart of Maywood’s pattern of delinquency when filing its annual audits (Illinois Comptroller’s Office)