Valparaiso’s extra tax money to go toward medical insurance
By James D. Wolf Jr. Post-Tribune correspondent January 28, 2013 9:50PM
Updated: March 1, 2013 7:51PM
VALPARAISO — The city saw a $73,875 increase in the amount of Economic Development Income Tax money it received this year.
However, it will go towards the city’s medical insurance plan for its employees.
The city is putting a new $550,000 line item in the EDIT budget for 2013 to cover two parts of possible medical expenses, City Administrator Bill Oeding explained at Monday’s City Council meeting.
The rest of the budget was tweaked to create the health care line item.
Part of that new budget item — $50,000 — will be a safety net for employees who’ve gone beyond their out-of-pocket expenses.
City employees that pay out of pocket can get reimbursed through the fund.
The medical plan changed last year from the city being self-insured due to increasing claims and increasing costs. The remaining $500,000 will act as a cushion for expenses from when the city was self-insured.
Oeding said that the city won’t know for certain until May what the budget will be, and this money will be there for last year’s expenses if need be.
Oeding noted that the EDIT money is essentially two years behind the times, so this year’s EDIT money comes from 2011.
He said the increase is a move in the right direction.
One other city fund saw an increase, while another city expenses needed to be shored up with $197,000 from the Rainy Day Fund.
For the first time, the city’s parking sources fund — money from parking meters and other parking revenue — showed a profit.
The city has $65,000 in the salary part of the budget, meaning it could hire another parking enforcement officer.
City Clerk-Treasurer Sharon Swihart said the city doesn’t need another, but it had no plans to spend the extra money now.
The $197,000 from the Rainy Day Fund went to pay $125,000 towards city bonds and $72,000 to parks bonds and interest.
Swihart said it was about a quarter of the overall payments, and the Rainy Day Fund use was necessary because the city only collected about 87 percent of the tax money it expected.
Also at the meeting, Council President Jan Dick read a proclamation proclaiming Feb. 11-17 Random Acts of Kindness Week in Valparaiso.
The week is recognized in various municipalities across the nations.