Flint Township gets a ‘clean’ audit report

FLINT TWP. — Auditors from Plante Moran have issued a “clean’’ rating to the township’s audit for the year ending December 31,2013.

So far the township has weathered nearly a $3 million drop in revenues since 2008, mainly due to declining property taxes, according to a report presented to the township board last month.

Property taxes accounted for 37 percent of total revenues in 2013, according the report. About 25 percent of revenues come from the state, another 12 percent from special assessments, 13 percent for service charges, 8 percent from interest etc. and 5 percent from fines, fees and licenses.

Total general fund revenues in 2013 were about $9.867 million down from $10,675 million in 2012, $11,202 million in 2011 and $11,777 million in 2010.

But General Fund Expenditures have held steady, exceeding revenues each year since 2011. Total general fund expenses in 2013 were $10,562 million, more than revenues but down slightly from $10,674 million in 2012 and significantly down from $11,612 million in expenses in 2010.

Payroll, fringe benefits and retirement plans accounted for 61.5 percent of total 2013 expenses.

The difference between revenues and expenses has been meet by a fund balance that has dwindled from about $5 million in 2011, the last time revenues exceeded expenses, down to about $2.5 million in 2013 when expenses exceeded revenues by nearly $2 million.

The good news is that property tax assessments are starting to rebound, said Tad Harburn of Plante Moran. But recovery will take another three or four years to return to 2010 levels. That slow rebound is due to five percent limitations imposed by Proposal A and the Headlee Amendment, he said.

The audit report showed that sewer and water fund revenues have exceeded expenses since 2011, standing at just under $11 million. The turnaround is due to the township passing on to consumers water rate increases from the county. Sewer and water fund cash reserves are needed to pay for capital improvements, repairs and maintenance and principal and interest on long-term debt.

Pension and OPEB Plans are under funded for police officers and firefighter at 67 percent and 57 percent respectively but clerical and non-union funds re 99 percent funded. Other Post employment Benefits (OPEB) is .4 percent funded.

As long as the township continues to pay recommended amounts into the police and fire funds, they should eventually reach 100 percent funding, Harburn said.

The report recounts steps taken to reduce expenses: Those include no across-the board pay increases since 2009.

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