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Murfreesboro net assets fall

MURFREESBORO — The town of Murfreesboro’s finances have faired well despite the current economic woes.

Last week, CPA Jim Winston from Winston, Williams, Creech, Evans & Co., LLP provided the Murfreesboro Town Council with their annual audit.

“The town had a good year,” said Winston, summing up the audit.

Winston reported under Governmental Accounting Standard Board (GASB) #34 highlights, the town’s total net assets dropped $357,132 with $12.31 million in 2009 to $11.95 million in 2010. Total liabilities also decreased from $5.30 million to $4.96 million. Net assets stand at $6.98 million for the town, a $18,823 decrease from the previous year.

Continuing with GASB #34, Winston said the town is down in revenues by $137,896 with 2010’s number being $3.13 million. He added the town had some grant activity last year that was larger in 2010, making the revenues look worse.

Winston’s report showed expenditures were listed as $3.15 million with an increase of approximately $300,000 from 2009. Winston said the town had capitalized some assets and had a lot of expenditures.

“With the economy that we’re in, I thought that was good,” he said.

He reported general fund revenues stand at $1.73 million which is $18,539 above the figure projected in the town’s final budget.

Meanwhile, expenditures are $1.84 million and running approximately $40,000 under what was approved in the final budget.

“You’re a little favorable in your revenues and you’re a little favorable in your expenses so that helps us out,” he said.

Winston’s report showed 44 percent of the town’s expenditures goes toward Public Safety, 20 percent to general government, 13 percent to environmental protection, nine percent to economic development, seven percent to transportation/Powell Bill, four percent to Culture & Recreation, two percent to principal and one percent toward interest.

Winston said 51 percent of the fund balance is unreserved. The unreserved fund balance increased in 2010 from the previous year. This year’s figure is $617,352 (33.5 percent) compared to last year’s which was $521,735 (29 percent).

Winston was pleased with the town’s unreserved fund balance percentage.

“That’s a good number, it’s a little lower than the state average (65.82 percent); the Local Government Commission’s (LGC) minimum amount is eight percent,” he said. “So we’re well above what is required.”

He added later keeping that fund balance percentage up is important when applying for grants as sometimes a local match is required.

Winston said the town’s proprietary fund balance/water and sewer fund is $3.94 million, which is up $205,000 from the previous year.

Governmental funds fell from $1.40 million last year to $1.29 million due to the town not having grant funds like the previous year. Proprietary funds dropped as well from $563,282 to $205,825 due to grant funds.

Tax collection dropped slightly from 95 percent to 94 percent. The town collected $742,301 in taxes this year. Statewide tax collection stands at around 96 percent.

Winston noted the town’s local option sales tax is $301,600 which is off about $15,000 from the previous year.

“That’s not as bad as some places,” he said. “I can say universally sales tax is off this year from last year.”

Winston concluded that the state is facing a $3.2 billion shortfall this year and that grant money would be hard to come by.

“Someone’s going to have to make a tough decision,” he said about the state’s shortfall.