Audit Finds City Finished 2016 With $20K Deficit

The city of Jamestown finished 2016 in the red.

John Trussalo, certified public accountant presented the independent audit report for the fiscal year 2016 to Jamestown City Council on Monday. He said his audit was an unmodified opinion, meaning it’s the cleanest audit that can be provided. He added he found no problems or deficiencies with city officials financial management techniques.

Trussalo said the city finished 2016 $20,259 in the hole. Even though city officials finished the year in the red, it wasn’t as bad as they had planned. Trussalo said the city had budgeted a loss of $409,753 when preparing the 2016 spending plan.

He said city officials were able to prevent a larger deficit because their expenditures ended up being about $496,000 less than originally budgeted.

If the city’s projected revenues would have finished where planned, the city wouldn’t have finished in a deficit. The revenues city officials received in 2016 were about $107,000 less than budgeted.

At the end of 2016, Trussalo said city officials were at 98.86 percent of the constitutional tax limit, which limits how much the city can raise through property taxes to pay for expenses. It has been no secret that the city has been up against their taxing limit. For the 2017 budget, council could only approve a budget with a .96 percent, or $150,220, tax levy increase. With the increase, the city reached its constitutional tax limit.

Trussalo said the city accrued no new debt in 2016. He said the city is only at 33 percent of its debt limit. Anthony Dolce, Ward 2 councilman, asked if that is a good percentage to be at compared to other municipalities throughout the state. Trussalo and Sam Teresi, Jamestown mayor, both said that is a lower debt percentage than most state municipalities.