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GC2 reaches out to area taxing bodies

Growth conference designed to educate local elected officials

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012 3:00 p.m. CST

Economic times are tough for tax-supported units of government in Grundy County. Will the economy rebound?  How does the economy affect the income and revenue streams of local governments? How do local taxing bodies do more with less? What resources can assist with making tough decisions?  How do trustees know they’re making the right decisions?

In order to help answer these questions and more, the theme of this year’s Grundy County Growth Conference (GC2) is “Funding for Local Units of Government.” This event is designed to benefit all taxing bodies across Grundy County, especially all elected members of municipal, school, fire, and library districts, plus all other trustees of local units of government from across Grundy County.  The public is also invited to attend in order to learn how our leaders come to make the decisions they make.

GC2 will be held from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26, at the First Christian Church in Morris. Guest speakers include Rick Mattoon of the Federal Reserve Bank in Chicago, Nancy Hill and the team from the Ehlers municipal finance consulting firm, and a team from the Illinois Government Finance Officers Association.

Registration is $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Refreshments will be served.

Mattoon will present the Midwest economic outlook plus give an update on a study that the University of Illinois-Chicago and the National League of Cities are doing to look at the fiscal response of cities to the business cycle. The goal of the study is to help identify the relative volatility of differing revenues and how cities can structure themselves to best handle economic downturns.

In addition, all presenters will share their expertise, answer questions and discuss scenarios such as:

• What sources of revenue are available to local units of government?

• The changes coming and key issues regarding those revenue and income sources;

• Misconceptions about local funding;

• Why are there so many differences among local governments?

• What to look for when comparing one government’s income streams to another — Why do vehicle stickers work in one town and not another?

• How do I know when I’ve negotiated the best deal for my village (school district, fire, etc.)?

• Tips for participating in shared services;

• What’s the outlook for bonding?

• Is it possible to go overboard with design restrictions?

• What are the pros and cons of tax abatements and other development negotiations?

• Review the role of the community in economic development;

• Review the role of developers and their financial goals;

• Discuss conducting an analysis of the developer’s pro forma (or “but for” analysis) to determine the level of assistance needed to make a project feasible, and why it’s a good idea;

• Discuss ways to reduce risks to municipality and other local governments;

• Discuss the process of developer negotiation and issues that are likely to need decisions by the community. The 7th annual Grundy County Growth Conference is hosted by the Community Foundation of Grundy County as part of our Communityworks Land Use & Protection project.

Please contact us at 941-0852 or julie@cfgrundycounty.com to register or ask questions about the event.

Julie Buck is the executive director of the Community Foundation of Grundy County. She can be reached at (815) 941-0852 or send an email to julie@cfgrundycounty.com.

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