Kankakee County clerk boasts downward trend in costs, upticks in revenue
The Kankakee County clerk’s office has increased its revenue and cut its expenditures and budgets since 2007, according to an office financial performance report.
Revenue for 2016 was slightly down from the previous year but had increased for the three years prior and generally has had an upward trajectory since 2007. Expenditures went up a little in 2016 compared to 2015, but otherwise have been on a general decline since 2007.
A graph of the clerk's annual budget shows that the office has managed to decrease its yearly budget by approximately $100,000 since 2007. Additionally, the office has not exceeded its yearly budget in any year since 2007.
The office report also analyzed statistics and observations of the county clerk’s office duties. Vital records are one of the major responsibilities of the county clerk’s office.
“In our vault alone, we hold 403,401 total records, excluding the certificates now held electronically since approximately 2009,” the office says in the report. “Since the office transitioned to an electronic registry, we have processed 10,833 birth certificates and 10,765 death certificates.”
The clerk's office highlighted some of its community work via vital records in a recent partnership with Asbury Community Outreach Ministries. The two groups made it possible for homeless people living in the community to obtain their birth certificates.
"This service provided a stepping stone for them to obtain a state ID in order to find a job or housing," the report said. "It was a service we were happy to offer to those in need."
The clerk’s elections department additionally oversees federal, state and local elections that involve county voters. This involves the main functions of updating records for voters, adding records for newly registered voters and preparing poll workers for all elections. The office usually handles about 300 new voters and 1,000 total voter transactions per month.
Preparing for elections, according to the office, “involves the recruitment and training of election judges and poll workers, supplying the necessary materials (ballots, voting booths, touch screens, ballot boxes, flags, etc.) to each precinct and polling place and providing early and absentee voting options to the community.”
Also of note in the report is the clerk’s role in passport services. The amount of passports issued by the office has increased every year since 2011 and has been on an upward trend since 2008. Passport revenue has reflected these numbers.
The final portion of the report details how the clerk’s office handles delinquent property taxes and tax extensions. The office is heavily involved in the process of handling these taxes, and the report lists 12 tasks the office oversees: attending tax sales, preparing certificates of purchases, mailing notices, collecting redemptions, posting extension of time notices, recording subsequent tax deeds, publishing tax deeds, preparing certificates of cancellation, announcing any sales in error, handling redemption under protest requests, delivering tax buyer checks and posting fees.
The clerk’s office also oversees tax extensions. The office writes that it “is responsible for determining tax rates and extensions for the various tax districts of the county, taking into account the tax increment financing districts, enterprise zones, the property tax extension limitation law and other requirements of the property tax code.”
The report was recently presented at the meeting of the Community Services Committee of Kankakee County.