City finishes fiscal year under budget, with fund surplus

City finishes fiscal year under budget, with fund surplus 

While the official municipal audit will not be completed for a few months, the City of Dickson unofficially closed its books on 2018-19 under budget and with a quarter-million dollar surplus.

City Administrator Rydell Wesson presented a brief snapshot of the financial report for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2019, to the Dickson City Council at its Monday, Aug. 5, meeting.

“The budget that we just closed, we had revenues of $21,160,627, with expenditures of $20,884,598,” Wesson said. “So internally, and prior to the audit, we ended our budget with a surplus of $276,028, revenues over expenditures.”

In the unofficial totals for the fiscal year, the city saw 18 percent more than projected collected in local option sales taxes while property taxes came in 3 percent over budget. The city’s revenue from liquor sales (13 percent) and mixed drink sales (20 percent) exceeded budget, as did business taxes (41 percent) and hotel/motel taxes (18 percent).

While overall revenues fell $3 million short of projections, expenditures for the year were only 79 percent of budget. That combined with the city not using but a small portion of a $4 million loan for road projects resulted in the city ending with a surplus. The budget had projected needing $2.5 million from reserves to balance, but the city ended up adding $276,000 to its fund balance.

“I would like to point out one other thing,” Wesson said to the council. “Looking down at the expenditure column, you’ll notice every single department in the city came in under budget. So I think that speaks volumes about our current department heads and their ability to manage their finances.”

Expenditures in the general budget were unofficially at 80.4 percent of budget, municipal court 92.3 percent, planning and zoning department 98 percent, police department 95.5 percent, fire department 96.2 percent, emergency communications department 95.3 percent, public works department 59.5 percent and the senior center 91.7 percent.

The city’s auditors are conducting their review of the city’s finances the week of Aug. 5 and will present their findings to the city council in the coming months. Following last year’s budget, auditor Matt Wood of Alexander Thompson Arnold CPAs told the city council that the City of Dickson is the most financially healthy municipality of all the cities he audits.

Also at Monday’s meeting, the council conducted a public hearing and approved on second and final reading an amendment to the 2019-20 budget that sets the city’s property tax rate at 77.35 cents per $100 of assessed value. Nobody spoke at the public hearing on the new rate that was set by the state following an overall increase in property values during a countywide reappraisal.

The certified rate was not available when the council approved the new budget with the previous 94.95-cent rate. The amendment finalizes the 18-percent reduction in the city’s property tax rate.

Under a resolution approved earlier this year by the Dickson County Commission, the reappraisal cycle will be changed from every six years to five years.

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