City given ‘highest opinion’ on finances

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By Tia Lynn Ivey

managing editor

The City of Madison’s latest audit report yielded stellar results, according to city officials.

The audit reviewed the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2016. The report, prepared by Treadwell, Tamplin & Co., an independent accounting firm, revealed that the city’s finances are in good standing at all levels. “At the end of the current fiscal year, the City is able to report positive balances in all three categories of net position, both for the government as a whole as well as for its separate governmental and business-type activities,” stated the report.

Audit Committee Chairman Tim Ligon presented a draft copy of the audit to the Madison City Council last Friday. The city, Ligon said, was given a “clean opinion” by Treadwell, Tamplin & Co. “which is the highest opinion issued.”

The report summarized some of the City’s most impressive fiscal accomplishments.

“The assets of the City exceeded its liabilities at the close of fiscal year 2016 by $36,555,463 (total net position). Of this amount, $4,029,014 (unrestricted net position) was available for use to meet the City’s ongoing obligations to its citizens and creditors. The City’s total net position increased by $1,668,556 during the most recent fiscal year, resulting from governmental and business-type activities.  At the close of fiscal year 2016, the City’s governmental funds reported combined ending fund balances of $2,214,662. Of this amount, $947,819 or 43 percent is available for spending at the government’s discretion (General unassigned fund balance). The balance of this amount ($1,266,843) is available for spending according to the guidelines of the source of the funds. At the end of the fiscal year, the unassigned fund balance for the general fund was $947,819. Beginning with fiscal year 2013, the Madison Downtown Development Authority is presented in the City’s financial statements as a blended component unit. This is a result of the City implementing GASB 61,” stated the report.

The report also showed that Property taxes of $1,420,963 and sales tax of $1,395,253 accounted for 50 percent of total governmental revenues for the fiscal year. The rest came from SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) and various grants. The total expense for the governmental activities is $5,496,218. The largest single expenditure is public safety. Public safety includes the police, fire, custody of prisoners, E-911, and animal control department. The total public safety expense is $1,573,253 or 29 percent of total governmental activity expense.

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