Tryon holds line on last year’s budget

Published 5:01 pm Friday, January 21, 2011

Audit reports fund balance up slightly
Tryon’s fund balance increased slightly last fiscal year although the town saw an overall decrease in revenues.
Tryon also spent less overall during fiscal year 2009-2010 than in fiscal year 2008-2009.
Tryon Town Council reviewed the audit for fiscal year 2009-10 Tuesday, Jan. 18. Roger Bowman of Bowman, Pegg & Starr, CPA, presented the audit report.
Bowman said the town’s unreserved fund balance (available for spending) was $252,393, or 16.76 percent of general fund expenditures. The previous year’s fund balance was $247,833, or approximately 15 percent of the town’s general fund expenditures.
The state recommends local governments keep at least an 8 percent fund balance for reserves, but most towns the size of Tryon average 20 percent or higher.
Although the town’s general fund revenues decreased last fiscal year compared to year end 2009, the general fund ended on the positive side with $36,996.
The town brought in $1,385,933 of revenues during fiscal year 2009-10 compared to $1,395,179 the previous year (2008-09). The town’s general fund spending also decreased by almost 10 percent from the previous year, with general fund expenditures ending at $1,506,131 at year end 2010, compared to expenditures of $1,657,758 at year end 2009.
Tryon Town Manager Justin Hembree said the town budgeted accurately for what it would receive in sales tax last fiscal year, but those expectations continue to decrease. The town received $210,457 in local option sales tax during fiscal year 2009-10, compared to $278,361 during fiscal year 2008-09, according to the audit. The sales tax revenue has continued to drop over the last few years.
To counter the decreasing revenue from sales tax, Tryon departments this year have made a goal to cut expenses by 5 percent. Also this fiscal year, which began July 1, the town decreased trash pick-up services from two days per week to one day per week for residences in hopes of saving money.
Tryon received three findings last fiscal year. One finding was for spending money that had not been appropriated and failing to amend the budget. The second finding was for having a lack of expertise to prepare financial statements.
The third finding was for having three departments that operated with deficit fund balances. The fire department ended with a negative $13,970 fund balance, Harmon Field ended with a negative $43,906 fund balance and the sanitation fund ended with a negative $62,025 fund balance, according to the audit report.
Harmon Field spent less than it received in revenues by $15,495 and cut its negative fund balance slightly last fiscal year. Harmon Field’s beginning fund balance was negative $59,401; at year’s end, its fund balance was negative $43,906.
The town’s enterprise fund, or water and sewer fund, saw a $27,340 decrease in revenues  last year and a $94,736 decrease in expenditures. The water/sewer fund operated with a net income of $289,743 compared to a net income the previous year of $345,275, according to the audit.
The water and sewer fund had $1,629,780 in total revenues during fiscal year 2009-10 compared to $1,657,120 in 2008-09.
Expenditures in the water/sewer fund increased from year end 2009 to 2010. Total expenditures in 2010 were $1,172,022 compared to $1,077,286 in 2009.
Tryon’s tax collections remained high, Bowman said. Tryon collected 94.46 percent of all its taxes last fiscal year. The collection numbers break down to 95.02 percent collection for real and personal property taxes and $87.33 percent for motor vehicle taxes.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox