Watch Lake County’s Impressive Investment Portfolio Grow

By Brian Massie, A Watchman on the Wall

Let’s follow the growth of Lake County government with the previous articles we have written regarding the cash invested by the General Fund and the various political sub-divisions, such as Developmental Disabilities (Deepwood).

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Article #1:

As of 12/31/18, Lake County had $128,818,000 invested in rather low risk investments. The breakdown by maturity dates are as follows:

0-1 year        $37,600,000
1-2 years      $39,412,000
2-3 years      $24,078,000
3-4 years      $22,365,000
4-5 years      $  5,363,000

Published on January 26, 2019

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Article #2:

The County’s portfolio is $359,324,723 [as of March 31, 2021], but there was no knowledge to whom the money belongs. We were told that it is not all of the County’s General Fund money. What we heard was that the Treasurer, Lorraine Fende, will do the research and get back to the Commissioners. LFC will pursue the answer for our readers.

[Please take note Commissioner Ron Young wanted to determine if we had the resources to pay for the $100 million jail. The current estimate is $170 million and climbing.!!!]

Commissioner Young was trying to find money that would help pay for the new $100 million jail, and he wondered if the County, rather than putting the County (and the taxpayers) into more debt, could borrow our own General Fund money, and repay ourselves. Assistant Prosecutor Dave Hackman was going to determine if that can be done legally.

Published on May 2, 2021

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Article #3:

As of 6/30/22….

Cash $265,023,986
Securities $171,838,855
Total $436,862,841

Since the total used to be ~$350,000,000, I asked Treasurer Zuren why is there such a large increase in the invested funds. I was told that tax collections have just been received, and within 30 days scheduled payments will be made that will significantly reduce that number. [Ahem…what was that Treasurer Zuren?]

Published on August 5, 2022

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Here is the Lake County portfolio as of June 30, 2023.

There is now $457,993,705 invested. That is the cash in the General Fund and various political sub-divisions and governmental entities. We have asked for an accounting of who owns what, and will report to our readers when we receive the information.

At 12/31/18, there was $128,818,000 invested, and now there is $457,993,705 invested as of 6/30/23. That is an increase of $329,175,705 (255.5% increase). If your personal cash balance went up 255.5% in the same time period, we salute you!

Look at the 4 – 5 year investments now compared to 12/31/18. It is now $48,576,787 versus $5,363,000 at 12/31/18. That is an increase of $43,213,787 (805.8%). That means some political subdivision does not need the money, and are squirreling it away just in case. In the meantime, Lake County seniors are having trouble paying their bills.

The following is the video of the Lake County Investment Company representative, explaining the investment portfolio. At the 17:30 minute mark of the video Treasurer, Michael Zuren, compared the investment income earned in 2021, 2022 and projected for 2023.

2021 $1.5 million / 2022 $3.8 million / 2023 $12.0 million

By the way, if you are waiting for a reduction in property taxes by Deepwood, and the County – don’t hold your breath. Prosecutor Coulson, who also happens to be the attorney for Deepwood, has ruled that the Lake County Budget Commission cannot lower property taxes on the outside millage once it has been voted on by the taxpayers.

The Budget Commission, comprised of Coulson, Auditor Galloway and Treasurer Zuren, is just a rubber stamp for the political subdivisions, and therefore, no one is looking out for the financial impact of property taxes on the average taxpayer. Please send all your complaints to Prosecutor Coulson. I’m just the Watchman on the Wall, and he ignores me.

The Lake County Commissioners have gone on the record to say: “There is $114,000,000 cash available for the construction of the new jail, if they drained all the reserves.”

We wonder if Neil Stein and Amy Sabath of the Visitors Bureau will be featuring the new jail in future brochures. Now that would be quite “remarkable”…

S.O.S. – Save our Seniors, please…since you have all passed on protecting the children from violations of ORC 2907.321 “Pandering Obscenity to Minors” in schools.

If you see the Union officials and all the elected officials dancing in the hallways, you will understand why “Happy Days are Here Again”…

The sky is the limit…love conquers all…there will be “pot in every chicken”…Never mind those escalating property taxes…do it for the kids, public transportation, the park system, mental health, the crime lab, libraries promoting LGBTQ+, and the ever growing government…

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Categories: Lake County - General

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