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July 14, 2024

Algonquin Township – Trustee Victor points to “Shady Money” – calls for a forensic audit

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On December 13, 2018

McHenry Co. (ECWd) – 

Nope, you cannot make this stuff up!  

Melissa Victor, a self-proclaimed “numbers” person was unable to make heads or tails of certain bills and budget matters.  At one point during the meeting, she stated she does not know what he has in his budget, referring to the Road District.   How can she not know what is in the budget?  She was a party to the recent stripping of money from his budget, yet now she says she does not know what is in his budget? She knew what was in it in October and refused to pay certain bills because of that knowledge, so what happened since the October meeting that now she does not know what is in the budget? 

As she shared her concerns with a clear attempt to cast the cause of her confusion towards Andrew Gasser, the Algonquin Township Road District Highway Commissioner, she appears to have forgotten that Gasser has nothing to do with keeping the financial books for the Road District.  That is a function of the Township Supervisor as the Treasure for the Road District. As a trustee, one would have thought she understood that.  In a rare occurrence, Attorney Kelly spoke up and informed her who handles such matters and that it was not a function of the Road District as she was attempting to imply.   

During her talking points, she talks of “shady money going in exchange in these different line items”You can see her comments on this beginning at the 8:36 mark of the video below.

She then suggests a forensic audit, which is actually a great idea.  An idea Gasser tried to have done months ago only to be shot down by this Board.  We encourage a forensic audit and ask that it include the last term of the prior Highway Commissioner as well.  I doubt this board will ever authorize any action towards accountability to past spending by the previous Highway Commissioner, but it is clear they are desperately trying to find any possible fault with the current one.  Too bad such scrutiny was not applied to Bob Miller during all his spending sprees.  You can view the forensic audit comment at the 9:38 mark of the video below. 

Trustee Victor also took issue with sales tax being paid for clothing purchases by employees and suggested providing tax exempt forms to the employees for them to use for their personal purchased for applicable clothing. Such an action is not permissible under Illinois law according to the Illinois Department of Revenue.   

From the Illinois Department of Revenue Publication 104 on sales tax: “sales of tangible personal property made to a governmental body (Federal, State, local, or foreign) are exempt from the Retailers’ Occupation Tax only if the governmental body has an active E-number issued by IDOR and the governmental body provides this active E-number to the retailer, who  records that number instead of collecting the tax. In addition, only sales of tangible personal property invoiced directly to and paid by governmental bodies that possess active E-numbers are exempt. If an individual government employee provides a credit card to the retailer containing the name of the employee along with the name of the governmental body, tax
will be due, even if the employee provides an active E-number.”

In the situation Victor talks about, purchases are being made by individuals and paid for with their own money.  Using a public body’s tax exempt form requires the public body to be the one making the purchase.  Tax exempt purchases by public bodies are only tax exempt if the purchase is invoiced directly to and paid by the government bodies.  Allowing employees to use the tax exempt document to make personal purchases does not appear to be the legal way to make such a purchase tax exempt. 

Of additional interest is income tax on these benefits.   Reading some tax instruction information it appears some of these purchases may not be income tax exempt.  There are specific qualifiers for clothing allowances and it is quite possible this allowance may be subject to reporting on their W2, which we understand has not been done in the past but is being looked into.  If it is found that such purchases are subject to income tax under the IRS rules they will file an ammended filing to correct any identified past failings in this area.  

You can view the video below that contains all the information reported in this article. 

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