M’boro Audit:

Published 10:17 pm Tuesday, January 31, 2012

MURFREESBORO — The town of Murfreesboro’s finances are in good shape, but officials have been cautioned to be conservative when it comes to the town’s coffers.

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

General fund revenues were originally budgeted at $1.74 million and that forecast was dropped to $1.65 million in the final budget.

“We ended up at $1.67 million,” said Winston. “We hit pretty close to that budget. We were within $21,000, so that was good news.”

The majority of general fund revenues came from ad valorem taxes with 43 percent, unrestricted with 28 percent, sales and services with 20 percent and restricted at 6 percent. The rest came from other taxes, permits and fees, investment earnings and miscellaneous.

General fund expenditures were set at $1.96 million with the original budget and then raised to $2.01 million for the final budget.

“We came in at $1.97 million so we were $44,000 favorable,” he said.

Winston said with both revenue and expenditures being favorable the town was about $66,000 better than the budget.

The majority of the town’s general fund expenditures went toward public safety with 53 percent, general government at 18 percent, environmental protection at 12 percent, transportation with eight percent, culture and recreation at five percent, principal at four percent and the rest from interest.

General fund unassigned fund balance stands at 66 percent.

“That’s a pretty strong percent of unassigned fund balance,” he said.

The unassigned fund balance increased from $617,352 to $719,467. Unreserved fund balance as percentage of expenditures stood at 36.43 percent, which Winston said was a good number as the minimum requirement from the Local Government Commission is eight percent.

Cash balances for the town were down from $2.98 million to $2.55 million. Winston said that was not unusual considering the town spent more in 2010 than 2011.

Tax collection for 2011 came in at $743,274 up from $742,301 the previous year.

Total assets listed for the town was $11.60 million, down $345,000 from last year’s figure. Total liabilities were also down from $4.96 million to $4.74 million. Therefore, net assets for last year were listed at $6.86 million.

“Total net assets were down by $115,538,” he said. “That’s not bad.”

Winston reported on the town’s statement of activities with revenues of $2.91 million for 2011, which is down about $212,000 from the previous year. Expenditures were listed at $3.03 million and again down approximately $114,000 from 2010. Increase to net assets was an approximately $98,000 loss, which depreciation would account for.

Winston did caution the council on the uncertainty of the economy, especially the European economy.

“I’ve been in this business for about 30 years and this is probably one of the most difficult economic times I can remember seeing,” he said. “You’ve really got to be careful. …At this point until we see where this is all going, I would be very conservative.”