Fred J. Paul, City Treasurer
The City of Northlake Finance Department is responsible for the day-to-day and strategic financial operations of the City. The City of Northlake operating budget for the calendar year 2008 totals $29 million. The primary responsibilities of the Finance Department break down into the following major categories:
1. Cash Receipts and Revenue Collection
The City of Northlake derives its operating funds from a variety of sources. Sales tax, water and sewer billing, property tax, utility tax, motor fuel tax, fines, licenses and other fees are collected in order to provide necessary funding for services such as police (law enforcement, traffic control, and crime prevention), public works (street repairs, hydrant replacement, street snow plowing and salting, leaf pickup, street sign and traffic signal maintenance), water and sewer services, and administrative services.
2. Preparation and Monitoring of City’s Budget
Each year the City of Northlake is required by law to prepare an annual budget outlining its projected sources of funds (revenue) and uses of funds (expenditures). The budget process usually begins in September and ends with the City Council approving the final budget at one of its two meetings in December. The City employs a “Zero-Based Budget” Approach which requires input from all departments. The City’s budget is a public document and available for inspection in conjunction with the Freedom of Information Act.
Following are the annual budgets for the City of Northlake.
3. Preparation of Tax Levy
Each year the City of Northlake is required by law to prepare an annual tax levy, which details the property taxes to be collected for the following year. The tax levy is a public document and available for inspection in conjunction with the Freedom of Information Act.
Following is the Ordinance for the property tax levy and assessment of 2013 taxes paid in 2014, as adopted by the City Council December 2, 2013.
Following is the Ordinance for the property tax levy and assessment of 2014 taxes paid in 2015, as adopted by the City Council December 1, 2014.
Following is the Ordinance for the property tax levy and assessment of 2015 taxes paid in 2016, as adopted by the City Council December 1, 2015.
Following is the Ordinance for the property tax levy and assessment of 2016 taxes paid in 2017, as adopted by the City Council December 1, 2016.
4. Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable
Each year the City generates an enormous number of checks to pay for goods and services. The Finance Department is not only responsible for assuring the timely and accurate payment of all invoices, but must assure that the proper accounts have been charged and that all expenditures are made within the constraints of the City’s budget. Large expenditures (those in excess of $1,000) are presented for approval to the City’s Finance Committee and the City Council. The Finance Department is also responsible for seeing that money owed the City is collected in a timely manner.
Following are the City of Northlake’s expenditures for their respective years:
5. Water Billing
The City of Northlake Water Billing Department is responsible for the monthly billing of water and sewer service to industrial and commercial customers, and the bi-monthly billing of its residential customers. The City is responsible for monitoring unusual water usage for its residents and makes every attempt to work with them.
6. Risk Management (Insurance)
The Finance Department is responsible for maintaining current and adequate liability, auto, boiler and machinery, and fraud insurance coverages for all of its equipment, buildings and employees. In addition, the City carriers and administers workers’ compensation insurance in the event of work related injury or illness. The City also provides health and dental insurance coverage to those employees who qualify.
7. Accounting, Auditing and Grant Compliance
The City keeps track of its financial activity through the use of “fund accounting”. At the present time the City has nine (9) funds which must be accounted for as independent entities as well as incorporated into a consolidated entity. The nine (9) funds are as follows:
Utility Tax Fund
Motor Fuel Tax Fund
1998B Bond Fund
TIF I – 46th and North Avenue
TIF II – Wolf and North Avenue
TIF III – North Avenue and Railroad
TIF IV – North Avenue and Wolf Road
TIF IV – Acquisition Fund
The City employs an independent auditing firm to review, reconcile, and certify the financial results for the City to assure complete compliance with all federal, state, and local accounting standards, regulations, and laws. The City’s auditing firm for the past several years has been that of: Legacy Professionals LLP
The City of Northlake recently received its 2013 Audit/Financial Statements. The auditors found the City’s financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2013 to be fairly presented in all material respects. The City of Northlake’s Audits can be found as follows:
8. Personnel, Payroll and Employee Benefits
The City periodically advertises for positions within its various departments. The Finance Department is responsible for seeing that all posting requirements are met and that each candidate is evaluated without regard to race, color, religion, age, marital status, etc. All employees are paid on a bi-weekly basis and receive, if eligible, a variety of benefits that include, but are not limited to health insurance, dental insurance, life insurance, and a tax deferred savings program. The City contributes towards the retirement benefits of each employee who qualifies. The Finance Department maintains personnel files for employees and periodically updates and revises the personnel policy as needed.
The City of Northlake is currently party to the following three labor contracts:
Public Act 97-609 requires the City of Northlake to post information pertaining to benefits offered through the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund. The Act requires the City to post the total compensation package for each employee having a total compensation package that exceeds $75,000 per year. The Act defines “total compensation package” as payment by the employer to the employee for salary, health insurance, vehicle allowance, bonuses, vacation days granted, and sick days granted.
9. Data Processing
The Finance Department is responsible for the routine and emergency maintenance and repair of all data processing equipment in a timely and efficient manner.
10. Other City Programs
Among the many programs offered by the City of Northlake are the Utility Tax Relief Grant Programs, Senior Citizen Grass Cutting and Snow Plowing, and Cook County Pet Spay/Neuter Rebate. Please look for more information on these programs on this website under City Services, in the Northlake City News or contact City Hall at (708) 343 – 8700.