November 23, 2014


City of Elyria spending more than it’s taking in

ELYRIA — Elyria is spending more money than it is taking in and using the carryover from 2012 to bridge the spending gap, said the city finance director.

When the year started, the city had more than $3.2 million in its general fund carryover — which is comparable to a individual’s savings account — but the expenses of the city have continued to outpace revenue and now that same fund’s balance has dropped to a little more than $2.7 million.

“It’s the classic case of we are spending more than we have coming in right now,” said Finance Director Ted Pileski. “The cuts to the local government fund and repeal of the estate tax are shaping up just like I projected. Obviously, we won’t be able to keep doing that at this rate next year.”

The financial woes are not lost on Mayor Holly Brinda. She said the city has roughly $11 million at risk over the next 18 months, which makes the upcoming income tax renewal in November very important. It accounts for roughly $6 million a year.

Brinda said she will push hard for the renewal because cutting an additional $3 million from the budget — which Pileski would have to do for 2014 if the issue fails in November — is not an option for the city. The tax would continue to be collected through half of 2014 before dropping off the tax rolls.

The city has spent roughly $441,443 more than it brought in through the end of May. At the rate of current spending, Pileski expects to spend more than $1 million of the carryover, which will reduce what is available to be budgeted in 2014.

Brinda is pushing to reduce overtime and rework contracts, and the city budget was cut by more than $1.5 million all in an effort to curb spending more than the city brings in.

The repeal of the estate tax, which is the amount of money the state taxed to inheritances upon the death of a person, is having a huge impact on the Elyria budget. In 2012, the distribution came in two payments totaling more than $939,000. The first check was for more than $400,000. However, this year that first check was a little more than $50,000.

“Eventually that figure will be zero. This is just the last of the estates from persons who died in 2012,” Pileski said.

The city is not getting much help from income tax withholdings. Month to month, May figures are flat although through the first five month of the year there is about a 7 percent increase.

“But I still expect only about a 3 percent increase at best by the end of the year,” Pileski said.

Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or

  • TheDon Corleone

    IT IS YOUR CIVIC AND MORAL RESPONSIBILITY TO DESTROY ANY INVASIVE-SPECIES WHEN FOUND AWAY FROM SAFE CONFINEMENT AND OUT IN A NON-NATIVE HABITAT. In fact, it is against the law to NOT destroy an invasive-species on-sight. Since cats are genetically engineered through selective-breeding and no longer have ANY native habitat ANYWHERE on earth, these laws include cats. This is precisely how they are dealt with on my own land, destroyed by using any and all methods.

    All of this much to the dismay of criminally irresponsible and psychotic cat-lovers who are desperately trying to raise these invasive-species cats to some absurd level of “Community Cats”. If they do that then I’ll just raise “Community Pet Piranha” and release them in all your lakes and pools, or “Community Pet Black-Mambas” and release them in all your backyards and parks, then claim the exact same protections for them as cat-advocates want for their invasive-species cats. It’d only be fair! Are you starting to see just how absurd and ludicrous these cat-advocates are yet?

    • seanmacnair

      And this has to do with city spending… how?

  • Linda Groves

    WOW REALLY!!! What a shock!! Elyria spends money like it’s water.STAY on a budget,don’t spend what you don’t have!!! ALL you people think about is making home owners pay more in taxes!!! I am sick and tired of my taxes going up because you can’t/won’t stick to a budget!!! I will NOT vote for MY taxes to go up,AGAIN!!!

    • agent5959

      And every year that more is cut from the city budget, the less safe and clean the city will become. The lower revenue is partially due to population flight (more than 1,500 people left from 2000-2010) and wage stagnation (median household income stayed flat from 2000-2010). Less people, less tax revenue, and rising costs spell disaster unless the people want to invest in their community.

      • Pablo Jones

        Public employe wages and compensation have increased on average over 5% a year since 1980. The city government is much larger than it was 30 years ago. People are paying more in taxes now than they were 30 years ago. People are leaving because they feel they are getting very little in return for their tax dollars.

  • Pablo Jones

    Why is it that the blame is put on the inheritance tax? Why don’t they say we are running out of money because we waste what we have and our poor business policy with high taxes is driving away businesses. Our crime is further driving away residence. But no they problem is because taxes aren’t high enough.

  • Brian

    What ever happened to the 3.4 million in lost funds did they put up more street lights and so called flower gardens?

  • William Linden

    Come on guys, $1 million is only $18,500.00 from each and every citizen of Elyria.
    That is big government for you. Maybe we can spend ourselves out of debt.

    • I’m no math wizard

      There are about 57,000 people in Elyria… 1,000,000/57,000 = $17.54 per resident.

  • Nancy Willis

    This pattern of reckless spending and hoping that the taxes get renewed is ridiculous. Our city should be run with the assumption that we will not be collecting any more funds. Maybe cutting the 3 million dollars from the city budget will teach everybody how to work with what we have. We need to figure out what the necessities are and stop this frivolous spending, or at least balance it out. If we are going to spend money on things that are not needed then we need to cut city staff. For example, we can continue to employ people to pick up trash and cut grass in an attempt to keep the city looking clean OR we can pay for flowers to be planted everywhere, which is a one time thing. Without the funds to pay for upkeep there is no sense in planting flowers, it is all just going to get overrun by weeds and trash. Learn to live with what we have or we wont have anything in the end.

  • agent5959

    I would call that a fair argument, but with a caveat: Not all government is wasteful. Local governments are where people have the most power to initiate change. If a local individual wants to run for mayor or city council on a platform of efficient and effective spending, I encourage them to do so. That’s just one more area where the people need to invest in Elyria… if you (or anyone) don’t like the way the finances are managed, run for office and fix it!