M’boro finances draw praise

Published 9:14 pm Saturday, December 12, 2009

MURFREESBORO — Despite a rough year for the nation’s economy, Murfreesboro’s finances are in good shape.

On Tuesday, the Murfreesboro Town Council received an unqualified opinion audit report from Jim Winston with Winston, Williams, Creech, Evans & Co.

The report showed the town’s net assets increased by approximately $636,000 from last year while revenues increased by approximately $224,000.

Winston credited the latter to increases in water and sewer rates along with a grant the town received for the project.

Good news in the general fund came with the town being around $205,000 above expenditures. The town had budgeted just over $2 million for expenditures, but came in at $1.79 million. The expenditures for the general fund are down approximately $41,000 from last year.

The general fund unreserved fund balance saw a dip from $541,871 to $521,735 bringing the percentage from 30 percent to 29 percent. The statewide average is 64.44 percent.

Winston said the town’s percentage (for a town this size) is not a bad number, but it could be a little higher.

It was a good year for the town’s proprietary funds with an increase in the fund balance from $3.17 million to $3.74 million. Winston said the town budgeted $169,000, which was not used. Proprietary funds net assets also grew by approximately $220,000, which was from the increase in water and sewer rates.

Winston commended Hertford County for their effort in tax collection, which paid off for Murfreesboro. The town’s tax levy and collection increased from 94.84 percent to 95.96 percent. In real estate alone, the town’s rate exceeds the state’s percentage with a 98.3 percent rate while the state’s average is 97.9 percent.

However, for motor vehicle taxes Murfreesboro stands at 79 percent and North Carolina’s at 83 percent.

“Overall it was a good year and the town did well,” said Winston to the board.

Mayor Pro-tempore Molly Eubank noted the water and sewer increases were state mandated because of the project the town took on.

Winston agreed by saying the project was a sizable debt.