Polk ends 2018 fiscal year with 32 percent fund balance

Published 8:00 am Saturday, January 5, 2019

County had $7.63 million available fund balance to spend as of June 30

COLUMBUS — As of June 30, 2018, Polk County had $7.63 million in available fund balance, or 32 percent of its general fund expenditures, according to the annual audit report approved by the North Carolina Local Government Commission last week.

Tonya Marshall, of Gould Killian CPA Group PA, performed the audit and said the county had three findings for fiscal year 2017-2018. She said one finding involved Medicaid eligibility, one was how caseworkers entered time and the last was a transportation issue.

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The county has agreed to steps to fix the issues.

On Polk County’s fund balance, Marshall said Polk County has been pretty steady the last three years.

“North Carolina requires a minimum of 8 percent (fund balance), which represents only one month of operating expenditures,” Marshall said. “Polk County has 32.2 percent.”

Polk County’s net position increased during year-end 2018 by $3.02 million, which Marshall said is primarily driven by continued operating efficiencies and revenues that came in higher than budgeted, while expenditures came in less than budgeted.

Capital assets of the county increased by $6.77 million after depreciation, which was mostly because of the construction of the new sheriff’s office and jail during the fiscal year.

The county’s total debt decreased by $2.15 million because of scheduled debt repayment and no new debt issued during the year.

The county’s total ending fund balance was $14.78 million, which was a decrease of $6.04 million. Of the total, $5.61 million is restricted and non-spendable, so the county’s total available fund balance was $7.63 million at the end of the fiscal year.

The county collected 97.35 percent of its property taxes and 100 percent of its motor vehicle taxes. The state of North Carolina now does motor vehicle tax collections.

Polk County’s new fiscal year will begin July 1, with budget preparations normally beginning in the spring.