Township hears audit highlights

FLINT TWP. — Auditors from Plante Moran presented the township board with highlights from its 2016 audit that was deemed “unmodified” which is the highest level of assurance.

Auditors spent 300 to 400 hours going over numbers provided by the township, said Pam Hill, one of the audit presenters.

The annual report offers an opinion on township financial activities for 2016.

One highlight noted was that property tax revenue increased about $308,000 mainly due to an increase in taxable values. Property taxes are the township’s largest source of revenue — 37 percent of total. State revenue sharing accounted for 26 percent of the total – about $$2.6 million, according to the audit analysis.

Hill said that is worth noting because property taxes have been on a decline for quite a while.

“It is important to note that you have turned the corner a little bit but it is going to be a long road back up.” she said. That is due to restrictions on increases imposed by the Headlee Amendment and Proposal A limits.

Township revenue from property taxes rose from $7,466,215 in 2015 to $7,773,819 in 2016.

In other budgetary highlights, the township had an end-of-year fund balance of $4,697,484 – an increase of $445,678 over the previous year. The 2016 general fund budget had anticipated a decrease of $169,000. Township actual expenditures came in $758,676 under budget.

Being seven percent under budget means the township “did a pretty good job” of managing its funds, Hill said.

As of December 31, 2016, the township had invested $11 million in capital assets including $201,00 to paving projects; $38,000 to equip- ment purchases, and $263,000 to buy public safety vehicles. Disposal of police and fire vehicles and other equipment amounted to $193,000.

The township had about $1.9 million in governmental long-term debt including $580,000 in special assessment debt and $370,000 in business-type debt including the Fenton Road water main, according to the audit report. The township’s bond rating is Aa2 – third from the highest possible and a strong indication that the township can meet its financial obligations.

Unemployment in the township reportedly dropped from 5 percent in 2015 to 4 percent in 2016.

The audit presentation also covered pension funding levels and the sewer fund reserve which will be needed to meet pending costs of maintenance and repair on the township’s aging system. As usual, the auditors praised Beth

Takacs, township controller, for her outstanding accounting work in keeping financial records.

Township Supervisor Karyn Miller commented that the township’s fund balance has doubled since she took office in 2008 and also fire department pension funding has significantly increased.

She also said that though no one likes paying higher taxes, the increase in property values is good for the township. She noted that of every dollar in taxes taken in, the township keeps only 18 cents and the remaining 82 percent goes to the county to support services including schools, paramedics, the library, the airport and senior citizens centers.

A video of the entire township audit presentation can be viewed on the township website and a full detailed audit report also is posted there under budgets and audits.

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