BY PHIL CUSTODIO
Clarkston News Editor
While presenting this year’s budget audit report, Rana Emmons of PSLZ LLC Certified Public Accountants said the city’s library millage resolution of 2014 is holding it back.
“It’s going to catch up with you at some point,” Emmons said at the Nov. 27 City Council meeting. “If you continue doing that, going forward, you’re shooting yourself in your foot.”
The 2014 resolution includes the provision, “in future years, the city will reduce its general operating millage levy by 0.691 mills from the level that the city would otherwise have imposed.”
Council member Eric Haven, who unsuccessfully introduced a resolution to eliminate the provision last year, had asked for Emmons’ opinion on it.
“It makes no sense,” Haven said. “Over the last couple years, we’ve lost $60,000 plus.”
Resident Lorry Mahler said the provision was created as an incentive for voters to approve the district library millage, and upheld last year. It was written to avoid double taxation.
“The city’s not giving us anything,” Mahler said. “It’s so we’re not paying it twice, that’s all.”
“My opinion is we made a promise to the citizens,” said Mayor Steven Percival. “Thirty thousand would be nice but we promised it back to the citizens so it would pass.”
“For the first year,” said Council member Sharron Catallo.
“It never said ‘first year,’ that’s not in writing,” Mahler said
Percival said the issue can be placed on a future agenda for further discussion.
This year’s city audit is clean, Emmons said.
“This is a good report,” she said.
According to the Audited Financial Report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2017, the city spent less than it budgeted.
The General Fund, the city’s primary funding source for operations, ended the fiscal year with a balance of $246,250, which is $72,492 more than it was last year.
“You planned to spend more than you did – that was good,” Emmons said. “Some revenue sources came in ahead of projections, which also helped the bottom line.”
Property tax revenue to the General Fund was $482,587, an increase of $13,533, or 1.9 percent, over the prior year. Revenue from all sources to the General Fund was $721,565.
Total General Fund spending was $633,775. The difference, $87,790, was added to the fund balance.
Total general-obligation bond debt, approved by voters in 2002, was $1,419,000 at the end of the fiscal year. The city paid off $303,000 of its total bonded debt this past year.
The city took on no new debts this past year, and completed no significant capital improvement projects, Emmons said.
BY PHIL CUSTODIO