Recent Audit Brings Good News about Future Finances

Article excerpt

Byline: Mario Bartoletti Daily Herald Staff Writer

For many taxpayers, the word "audit" might conjure up nightmares.

For River Trails Elementary District 26, the recent audit for the 2000 school year was a dream.

"The financial outlook is good," said Financial Director John Repsholdt.

The Illinois School Code requires an annual audit of school districts' financial books.

The auditors make sure the district is using proper accounting principles. Bark Associates, the firm that audited District 26, says the audit also shows that the district has been chipping away at what was once a mountain of debt.

"It won't be too many more years before (the district is) out of debt," Repsholdt estimated.

From 1987 to 1997, District 26 had a yearly deficit. The district sold bonds in order to offset the deficit and keep operating.

In 1998, the community approved a 50aecent per $100 of equalized assessed value tax increase.

District 26 immediately paid off about $6aemillion in bond debt.

This offset the amount the district had to pay in interest on the debt and as a result, taxpayers did not get an overall tax increase. …