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Murfreesboro receives FY 2018 audit

MURFREESBORO – The Murfreesboro Town Council received their annual audit report during their regular meeting here on Wednesday, June 26.

The town’s financial status received an “unmodified opinion” which means the auditors found no issues with the accounting records.

The audit report covers the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018. Typically, the town receives its report earlier in the year, but Town Clerk Carolyn Brown explained a change in the computer software caused some delays.

Town revenues for FY 2018 totaled $3,773,751 which is an increase of almost $513,000 from the previous year. Expenditures, however, also showed an increase, totaling $3,881,953 during the fiscal year. The increase is about $867,000 more compared to FY 2017.

The audit report showed that actual general fund revenues outpaced the expected budgeted amount by $170,268, and actual general fund expenditures were below the expected budgeted amount, totaling a savings of $51,506.

The largest portion of revenue came from ad valorem taxes at 38 percent. For expenditures, 50 percent of funds went to public safety.

Total general fund revenues equaled $2,057,919 for FY 2018 while general fund expenditures equaled $2,201,366. Unlike the trend in prior years, the town had revenues under expenditures for the first time since FY 2014. Cash in the general fund dropped down over $361,000, totaling $705,702 which is the lowest it’s been in several years.

The biggest change, however, was that Murfreesboro’s unassigned fund balance decreased to $472,408 during FY 2018, compared to $957,799 the year before.

According to the audit report, the town’s tax collection rate remained high at 98.26 percent.

“There are a few things in here that don’t look pretty,” acknowledged Mayor Hal Thomas after the audit presentation was complete.

Council member Billy Theodorakis questioned why the fund balance had decreased so dramatically from the previous fiscal year. Brown answered that a few town projects, such as the new well installation and the repairs on Jay Trail, had gone over their projected budget.

Theodorakis asked the auditor company’s representative who was present at the meeting if he had any suggestions about what the town could do to improve its finances. The representative replied they should just continue to keep a close eye on their expenditures.