Polk banks over 30 percent fund balance

Published 3:16 pm Wednesday, December 5, 2012

No findings in 2012 audit report

Polk County reported a healthy fund balance as of June 30, 2012 with $6,839,732 available for appropriations, or 30.57 percent.

The Polk County Board of Commissioners met Nov. 19 and heard from Brian Broom with Dixon Hughes Goodman, Certified Public Accountants and Advisors who performed the audit.

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Broom said the county’s fund balance is down from the previous year due to Polk appropriating approximately $2 million to pay down debt.

The county’s general fund includes a total of $7,915,500 in fund balances, of which $1,075,768 is restricted, $838,533 is committed and the remaining $6,839,732 is unassigned according to the audit report. The fund balance that is noted as available for appropriation and calculated as a percentage includes the unassigned as well as the committed fund balances.

The county’s total outstanding debt as of June 30, 2012 was $11,937,334, according to the audit report. The county’s total debt decreased $2,798,474 last fiscal year due to the scheduled debt payments and the early retirement of debt.

The county’s general fund ended last fiscal year with $917,080 in revenues over expenditures. The general fund ending June 30, 2012 included $22,291,465 in revenues compared to $21,374,385 in expenditures.

Other positive attributes to the county’s fiscal year 2011-2012 audit report included no findings for the first time in several years.

Polk’s tax collection rate was also higher than other counties similar in size.

Polk County collected 96.67 percent of its property taxes during fiscal year 2011-2012, compared to collecting 96.66 percent during fiscal year 2010-2011, according to the audit report. Broom said the state likes for local governments to collect at least 95 percent of its property taxes. Similar counties to Polk collected an average of slightly more than 94 percent of property taxes, Broom said.

The audit report also notes that Polk’s property tax revenue increased approximately 2.65 percent during fiscal year ending June 30, 2012 because a slight increase in property valuations. The same trend is expected this year.

Broom also said the auditors separately audited the county’s tax office, emergency medical services, the register of deeds and department of social services in order to ensure there were no red flags.

“The records were well organized and there is good processes and controls in place,” Broom said.

Broom also said that his office interviewed multiple county employees and visited a lot of departments and found the employees to be very professional, helpful and knowledgeable.

Polk’s new fiscal year (2012-2013) began July 1.