City Finishes Fiscal Year 2017 In The Black
Receiving more revenues than money spent should always be the desired budgeting outcome for a government body, but it isn’t always the case — especially for a city facing several fiscal challenges like Jamestown.
However, not only did city officials meet their budgetary goal by spending less and receiving more, but they were in the black by more than $1 million in 2017.
On Monday, John Trussalo, certified public accountant, presented the independent audit report for last year to the Jamestown City Council. He said last year the city received around $35,856,712 in revenues while only spending around $34,519,467, to finish the fiscal year with a surplus of $1,337,245.
Trussalo said the city budgeted expenditures of around $35 million, but only spent around $34.5 million. He said city officials had budgeted revenues to be around $35 million, but actually received around $35.9 million.
At the end of last year, Trussalo said the city’s total fund balance was around $2.9 million, with $1,849,000 being unassigned.
Despite the positive fiscal news, Trussalo said the city is still facing several fiscal challenges, most notably the constitutional tax limit. The constitutional tax limit is the amount of money city officials can ask its property taxpayers to provide compared to the total assessed property value in the community. The city reached its taxing limit in 2017.
Another positive in the report is the city’s low constitutional debt limit. Trussalo said the city is at 32.35 percent of its constitutional debt limit, a decrease from 33.08 percent at the end of 2016. Sam Teresi, Jamestown mayor, said that number is lower than a lot of cities in the state and is one of the reasons why the city has a bond rating of A-, which is considered an upper-medium quality, by Standards and Poor. In 2017, Trussalo said city officials paid off $1.6 million in debt to lower their overall debt to around $17.4 million.
Trussalo said there were no significant deficiencies in city officials accounting methods and the audit is an unmodified opinion, which means it is the cleanest audit a municipality can receive.
For more information on the audit, visit the city’s website at jamestownny.net.