Fiscal Choice has started assisting County Recorders in Illinois to comply with a change in the Recorders statute. 55 ILCS 5/3-5018.1 requires Recorders to develop and implement a new fee schedule, the Predictable Fee Schedule, by January 1, 2019. The new schedule needs to be published by at least December 15, 2018. The schedule involves fees for five different types of documents:
- a document that creates a division of a then active existing tax parcel identification number;
- a document recorded pursuant to the Uniform Commercial Code;
- a document which is non-conforming, as described in paragraphs (1) through (5) of Section 3-5018;
- a State lien or a federal lien;
- a document making specific reference to more than 5 tax parcel identification numbers in the county in which it is presented for recording; or
- a document making specific reference to more than 5 other document numbers recorded in the county in which it is presented for recording.
Fiscal Choice recently completed an analysis of the cost of mandated services for a medium-sized county in the Midwest. The goals of the study were to:
- develop a list of services mandated by federal, state, local and regulatory agencies;
- review each mandate to evaluate the level of county services needed to comply with the mandate;
- estimate the current costs of complying with mandates in each department
- recommend areas where the county could reduce costs of providing mandated services;
- identify other service areas that could be provided more economically.
A medium sized Western city selected Fiscal Choice to review all user fees including all building permit fees.
Fiscal Choice is assisting a top ten urban school district in a review of its Medicaid reimbursements rates and claiming processes.
Fiscal Choice has been selected to review the cost allocation methodology of a large East coast airport authority and how it allocates costs among its various operations and capital projects.
A large Southern city’s building department found that it was not achieving its performance goals for timely processing of permit applications. Fiscal Choice consultants worked with the department to compare the department to peers in other major cities to develop performance benchmarks and to recommend operational improvements that would improve performance. Fiscal Choice also analyzed the department’s rate structure, financial situation and operating environment as part of recommendations on a new rate setting methodology. We assisted the agency with presentations to industry groups and elected officials.
An Illinois city with a population of about 75,000 selected Fiscal Choice to perform a comprehensive user fee study of all City operations (excluding enterprise funds) and to develop a full-cost allocation plan. The City wanted to better understand its costs of providing user fee services. Fiscal Choice also reviewed its costs of supporting the local airport authority.
A large East Coast county building department found that due to an old rate schedule and strong demand emerging from the Great Recession, it generated an operating surplus. Developers asked for fee relief. Fiscal Choice analyzed the rate structure, financial situation and operating environment as part of recommendations on a new rate setting methodology. We developed a rate-setting model that reflects the standards of the International Code Council. The rates seek cost recovery plus an appropriate level of reserves to sustain the department as an enterprise fund. We assisted the agency with presentations to industry groups and elected officials.
We assisted the Department of Motor Vehicles in a Western state with an analysis of the cost of service to support the creation of an enterprise fund. New legislation allowed the Department to operate as an enterprise fund, but this required a careful analysis of how to price services for dozens of services including driver licenses, vehicle registration and documentation for non-US citizens.
A medium-sized Midwestern city selected us to develop its cost allocation plans and indirect cost rates for federal grants and contracts and analyze its approach to identifying and recovering the full cost of services provided to its various enterprise funds. The city operates the largest airport in the state and its water system supports over 50 communities in a six county region.
A medium-sized Midwestern county faced a $1 million budget deficit. The county asked us to review the user fees charged by several departments where the county had statutory authority to set the fees based on the cost of providing the services. We reviewed fees in four departments and determined that the general fund was subsidizing the services by almost the entire amount of the deficit. The departments and the board recommended increasing fees to eliminate the deficit, therefore avoiding a property tax increase and/or staff and service reductions.
Two medium sized Southeastern counties selected Fiscal Choice to review all user fees in all departments.
Fiscal Choice is working with a West Coast community college district to develop an overhead rate that can be applied to future federal and state grants and contracts.
Fiscal Choice assisted a large Midwestern city to evaluate the readiness of the Planning & Development department to implement a new automated permitting system. The city is responding to criticisms by local developers about efficiency and effectiveness. We assessed the quality of the department by testing:
• The timeliness of permit approval
• The consistency of answers to similar questions
• The number of revisions needed by permit type
• Requirements not found in nearby cities where the same developers also operate
• The use of technology to monitor and improve performance