PEORIA COUNTY, Ill - Peoria County's Chief Financial Officer says that the situation in Springfield is to blame, at least in part, for the two million dollar deficit the county is facing.
Peoria county is losing money, so much so that they need to cut 2-and-a-half million dollars out of its general services fund -- and with it, dozens of county workers.
How did they get to this point?
The CFO says that It's not an issue of too much money going out -- but rather too little coming in.
"It's not people that are necessarily overspending their budgets. It's a revenue issue," explains County CFO Eric Dubrowski. "We've had some shortfalls..."
He also attributes the problem to a drop in retail shopping. He says people are willing to hop across the river into East Peoria to shop, buy gas, and dine -- all things that costs Peoria County tax revenue.
Couple that with online shopping -- and the county's bottom line is hurting.
"Consumer spending - shopping online - takes away all the local sales tax revenue that flows into our funds that pay for many of the services that we're trying to provide today," explains County Board Chairman Andrew Rand.
On top of this, Springfield gets a lot of the blame.
For the past two years, Peoria county has been getting excess revenue from a state tax on corporations.
As it turns out -- the excess money should have instead been put into the General Income Tax. Now, Springfield is demanding Peoria county pay them back.
But there's one big problem: a failure to communicate.
"Imagine if you were to get a credit card statement with no date, no description, no individual amounts, just: you pay this amount this month," illustrates Dubrowski. "That's kind of like what we get from the state."
He says that, because the state's over-payments had been going on for years, the county devised its budget with the money it is not only no longer getting from the state -- but also that they now have to pay back.
The tax over-payment in Peoria city, county, and school district 150 alone resulted in a 2-point-9 million dollar clerical error.