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Linking Debt in Gateway

By Belvia B. Gray, CIPMA, Principal, July 13, 2017

Did you issue new property-tax-supported bonds or refund existing ones in 2017?  If so, make sure your new or updated debt payments are connected in the Gateway system as budget documents are prepared for 2018. Gateway is the Department of Local Government Finance’s computer system for submitting budget data.  While all debt (property-tax-supported and revenue-supported) is required to be uploaded to the Gateway system, linking debt for budget preparation is only necessary if a property tax levy is needed.

After new bonds are issued or refunded, debt reports are prepared and uploaded into the Gateway system. It is important that the information uploaded to Gateway is accurate because the debt service worksheet filled out during the budget process relies on these payment amounts to complete the worksheet.

When you are in the Gateway system, carefully review the debt service worksheet. If any debt is missing, you will need to link the new or updated debt to the debt service worksheet.

To link debt to the debt service worksheet, follow the steps listed below:

  • Click on “Customize Funds, Departments, Debts, Rev. Codes”,
  • Click on “Customize Debts by Fund List”,
  • Click on “Edit Debts” and select which bonds need to be included.

Note that if your political subdivision plans to issue bonds before the end of the year, you can add a line item for “Anticipated Debt Service” for 2018 if you are do not yet have a final payment schedule.

When completing the debt service worksheet, you will need to indicate which payments will be made in July to December of the current year (2017), January to December of the ensuing year (2018) and January to December of the following year (2019). Keep in mind, that debt originally incurred after June 30, 2014, is limited to a 15% operating balance. Debt originally incurred prior to July 1, 2014, including refinanced debt, is still allowed a 50% operating balance.

As you prepare the debt service worksheet, keep in mind the payment dates to be paid over the two-year time period. Below is a listing of payment dates depending on if debt is payable on a budget year or calendar year basis:


Payment Year

July to December 2017

January to December 2018

January to December 2019

Budget Year


7/15/2018 and 1/15/2019

7/15/2019 and 1/15/2020

Calendar Year


1/15/2018 and 7/15/2018

1/15/2019 and 7/15/2020


Be sure to carefully check the debt service worksheet for accuracy, as it is the basis for which the debt service fund budget, tax rate and levy are calculated.

If you have questions or need help with preparing the 2018 budget or ensuring that all current debt is linked in Gateway, please contact us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Information in this article was believed current as of the date of publication. As you know, changes occur frequently. The information presented is of a general educational nature. Before applying to your specific circumstances, please contact us at


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