Election Fund revenue comes from the property tax levy and varies according to the election cycle. This fund increases from $41.9 million in FY2019 to $51.7 million in FY2020. The increased costs are attributed to the presidential election cycle.
Debt Service Fund
The County’s Bond and Interest Fund, or Debt Service Fund, is utilized for General Obligation debt service payments. General Obligation debt service is paid from the levy of ad valorem taxes upon all the taxable real property in the County. Debt service for Sales Tax Revenue Bonds is paid by making monthly deposits to a Trustee from sales tax revenue received by the County. In FY2020, the Fund is budgeted to have revenues from property taxes of $259.9 million and transfers in of $37.7 million, all of which will go towards paying Debt Service. As of November 30, 2019, the total outstanding General Obligation debt is estimated at $2.8 billion and Sales Tax debt is estimated at $414.5 million. The County’s General Obligation bond ratings are A2, A+, and A+ from Moody’s, S&P, and Fitch, respectively. The Sales Tax bonds are rated AA- by S&P and AAA by Kroll.
The County administers a self-insurance program for employee health insurance, life insurance, unemployment compensation, workers compensation and liability related claims and expenses arising from operations subject to certain stop-loss provisions. The purpose of the Self-Insurance Fund is to insulate departments from these inherently volatile expenses while pooling the County’s risk into a central fund. The overall cost of employee and dependent health benefits coverage in FY2020 is $446.7 million and it is expected to increase over the FY2019 Appropriation by 2.8%, largely driven by changes in health and pharmacy costs.
Annuity and Benefits Fund
The FY2020 statutory contribution to the county employees' and officers' annuity and benefits fund is $200.9 million. This fund will receive revenue from the property tax levy in the amount of $147.3 million and a projected $53.6 million from the Personal Property Replacement Tax (PPRT). An additional $327.0 million is appropriated from the General Fund to address the outstanding unfunded pension liability at the County Employee’s Annuity and Benefit Fund, per an intergovernmental agreement that has contributed $1.3 billion in supplemental payments over the last four years. In 2019, the Pension Fund implemented healthcare and pharmacy related programs that allowed them to reduce the cost of retiree health care; in turn reducing the retiree health benefit valuation on an actuarial basis. Therefore, for FY2020, the additional pension payment is budgeted at $306.2 million, down from $320.3 million in FY2019.
The County established a Pension Stabilization account in the Annuity and Benefit Fund in FY2019, that serves as a reserve in line with its long-term goal of continued commitment to address the Pension Fund’s liabilities in a responsible manner. For FY2020, the account is budgeted to receive up to $20.8 million in revenues to help further cushion any future increases in funding needs to offset the unfunded liabilities of the Pension Fund.
An alphabetical list of budget related terms with helpful explanations can be found in our glossary.
A guide to Cook County's budgeting procedures is available on our Financial Policies page.