New Report: City of DeKalb Spent Nearly $16,000 of Taxpayer Dollars on Employee Gift Cards
Yikes, it just gets worse and worse. City of DeKalb taxpayer dollars were used to buy nearly $16,000.00 in gift cards for city employees.If you have ever run over a pothole in your hometown and called your local town officials to complain about it and have been told that nothing can be done because there is no money in the budget, this should make you mad.
Three weeks ago we reported that the City of DeKalb, in 2015, Spent $5400.00 of taxpayer dollars on gift cards for City employees, today we discovered the amount spent on gift cards by the City of DeKalb was much higher.
Between 2013 and 2015, the City of DeKalb spent nearly $16,000.00 on gift cards for employees.
Local DeKalb government watchdog website Citybarbs.com, uncovered the expenditures through a freedom of information act request (FOIA)
- 2013: $5011.25
- 2014: $5523.00
- 2015: $5400.00
The IRS also requires that if an employee is given a gift card, it is considered compensation and that federal and state withholding must occur. Citybarbs requested such documentation from the City of DeKalb and they received the following response:
No responsive records have been identified. The City determined that in previous years, the cards were not included within taxable amounts. The City has worked to ensure strict compliance in prospective years by eliminating these gift cards from proposed budgets; there is no proposed expenditure in the draft FY16.5 budget that would include gift cards of this nature. That change in practice was made after an internal review of this matter by the City earlier this year.
Looks like the City of DeKalb was caught red handed.
You can view the FOIA HERE
So you may be asking, is it okay for your taxpayer dollars, that you pay through sales taxes and property taxes, be given to government employees as gifts?
According to the Illinois Constitution:
SECTION 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS (a) Public funds, property or credit shall be used only for public purposes.
Clearly, giving gift cards to government employees is not a "public purpose." There is absolutely nothing wrong with a private company or a supervisor, personally at his or her own expense, giving an employee a gift card or reward. It makes for good morale, however, if you use taxpayer dollars, that it a problem.
If you live in DeKalb and wonder why your taxes are so high, this might be one of the reasons.
Read more HERE