EDWARDSVILLE — Treasurer Chris Slusser reported to Madison County officials on Thursday on the continued growth of its investments.

Chris Slusser“We are on pace for record returns on county investments,” Slusser said. “We are projecting $5.2 million in investment income this year.”

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Slusser presented an investment report to the Finance and Government Operations Committee showing the increase in investment income.

From 2012 to 2016 the county earned an average of $826,000 annually, Slusser said.

“From 2017 to 2022 we’ve averaged $3.96 million,” he said. “That’s a $16 million increase in the past five years.”

Slusser said he used his 15 years of investment experience to overhaul the county’s portfolio since taking office in December 2016.

“We focused on increasing income by diversifying the portfolio and actively managing the funds,” he said.

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In 2016, there with 85 investments in the county’s portfolio and 71 were CDs.

“Now we have 573 holdings, including a mix of municipal bonds, corporate bonds, mortgage-backed securities, federal agency bonds, CDs and treasury bonds,” Slusser said. “The Illinois Public Funds Investment Act doesn't allow us to purchase stocks or mutual funds.”

The county has shifted most of its funds away from banks for the time being.

“Most local banks are cash heavy with PPP and ARPA funds, they are not seeking big deposits” Slusser said.

Slusser said that the past four years Madison County held the top performing investment portfolio in the state.

“The big increases in income provide revenue to fund the county's budget as an alternative to increasing property taxes,” he said. “It's helped the county board to freeze the property tax levy during the past five years as well.”

Auditor David Michael was complementary of Slusser’s investment practices.

“Treasurer Slusser’s best-in-the-state investment returns have saved the county from levying millions of dollars in additional property taxes each year,” Michael said. “He’s generated revenue without raising taxes. I commend him and his office for their hard work and stewardship on behalf of Madison County.”

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