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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

County investments not earning much

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Debbie James
Everyone, including county governments, are having difficult times getting a decent return on investments.

During the annual meeting of the Clay County Board of Finance Monday, Clay County Treasurer Debbie James said interest rates continue to fall.

"The rates have been under 1 percent for quite a while," she said. "I think we may have had a couple over 1 percent in 2009, but there weren't any even close to that in 2010."

James added the two highest rates the county was able to secure on any 2010 investment were 0.72 and 0.63 percent.

"Before we invest any of the county's money, we check with all the banks to ensure we get the best rate, and we check the bank ratings to make sure the money is safe," James said. "Also, we look at all the county's outlays to see exactly how much we could invest at any given time."

Clay County Commissioner Jack Withers, who previously served as county treasurer, inquired if the rates would be higher if the county utilized the state's investment system.

"The state's rates are not any better than the local rates," James responded.

While Certificates of Deposit (CD) interest rates are low, rates on the county's checking accounts are even lower.

"Harris Bank currently has an interest rate on checking at 0.39 percent, which is the highest in the area right now," James said.

Jack Withers
"The longest we are allowed to set an investment is two years, but we look at all the possibilities including three and six months to get the best rate out there."

With some banks still struggling, a new law is going into effect to help protect public funds even further.

"I am still finding out all the details, but from what I understand any bank wanting to hold public funds would have to collateralize," James said.

She added the Public Deposit Insurance Fund (PDIF) helps protect public funds above the $250,000 threshold covered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

Acknowledging the difficulty in getting a good investment return in down economic times, Withers also praised James for her diligence in doing the best she can.

"You do a very credible job as treasurer," Withers told James. "Although interest rates are pretty much rock bottom, I appreciate that you take a great interest in your job."

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Well it's very nice to see the county is saving money with almost ten percent with out job's , Out of 91 counties in indiana we are tied like 7th highest tax rate , clay county has a Lot of farm ground, our rural roads are the worst compared to any of the surrounding counties ,, when the board talk's of the saving rates and worrying over bank c.d rates and making sure a bank dont fold when there is fdic insured up to 100,000.00 ,and there are more banks than you got money in the state , in a few more years the county tax rate will be up with the state tax rate . Its not your money , I.m sure most would want to see the roads fixed now not after we tear up our cars or pass on. from what is said, the money invested in 2010 was not even used ,So for us tax payers stop the dang increases 2.25% and next door in vigo is 1.25% , WHY I ASK , at one time vigo had a small county tax and clay county did not have one , bridges to replace, we had some of the lowest grant money documents sent in . A high rate of them were approved ,why is it we are setting back and not doing our home work , or just that we know the good people of clay will pay more tax'es. Please next time put in a break down of all this money invested and forecast to be spent . Then maybe it wouldn't sound like a country club counting its money .

-- Posted by CRANKER on Wed, Feb 2, 2011, at 8:23 AM

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