City loses capital funding due to estate tax error

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March 27, 2014

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

An error has forced the city of London to return $59,350 in estate tax money to the county.

The city received the funds last August. Last week, the Madison County Auditor’s Office informed London Treasurer Katie Hensel that the funds should have gone to Fairfield Township because the deceased person lived in Fairfield Township.

“It is the responsibility of the probate attorney to identify who will get the (estate tax) earnings. In this case, the attorney identified London when it should have been Fairfield Township,” Hensel said.

City council voted on March 20 to repay the $59,350 to the county so that it can be disbursed correctly as soon as possible.

The city’s capital improvement fund is taking a hit as a result of the error. Last year, council decided to earmark the last of the phased-out estate tax collections for capital improvements.

The loss of the $59,350, plus a recent allocation of $80,000 to a Maple Street improvement project, took the capital fund from $504,000 to $364,650.

In recent finance committee meetings, council members have talked about possible capital fund expenditures for this year that add up to $377,000, Hensel said.

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