The resolution said, in part, “whereas Walker County government has experienced a shortfall in anticipated revenues and whereas it is almost certain that the county will not receive tax revenues in the fiscal year 2012 in a sufficient amount to pay employees and other operating expenses and whereas it is almost certain that sufficient tax revenues will not be received by the county until fiscal year 2013...it is necessary that the county borrow a maximum of two million dollars within the 2012 fiscal year for the purpose of paying expenses.”
Walker County took out a similar tax anticipation note last year, so the process is not unusual. In fiscal year 2011, the county was waiting on much of the tornado cleanup money due them by FEMA; this year, it is mostly uncertainty regarding the local option sales tax split following the ongoing negotiations that has the county concerned about its coffers.
“I’m not going to be able to levy taxes until after this local option sales tax is done. So we’re going to be late collecting it and we are needing to collect our insurance premium tax, which is not due until the first of October,” said Heiskell.
The Walker County fiscal year officially turns over the last day of September. The county is required to pay back whatever it takes out on this loan by December 31, 2012.
The interest rate on the loan, which is being brokered through The Bank of LaFayette, has not yet been set, but it should be around one percent, based on the county’s previous similar financial arrangements.
Though the county has the ability to draw up to $2 million, it is unknown whether that maximum amount will yet be needed, as a few other sources of funds are still awaiting arrival.
“We still have a lot of existing money from FEMA, the state, DOT, and additional grant money that we’re waiting to get,” said Walker County coordinator David Ashburn.