KINGSPORT — Financially talking, metropolis corridor weathered the COVID-19 pandemic pretty effectively. It took a sequence of great cuts, a hiring freeze and no new bonds to assist steadiness the finances, and now Kingsport has established a stable basis to start the subsequent fiscal 12 months.
Metropolis finance officers final week introduced the Board of Mayor and Aldermen with an outline of Kingsport’s newest audit. The audit is a evaluation of the town’s funds for the prior fiscal 12 months, which ran from July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2020.
Metropolis Supervisor Chris McCartt mentioned Kingsport was capable of safe a powerful monetary place because of the work of every division controlling bills within the fourth quarter of 2020.
“We entered the fourth quarter … with an incredible quantity of uncertainty because of the pandemic,” McCartt mentioned. “To organize the town to complete the fiscal 12 months robust, we took historic measures to not solely guarantee we met that purpose, however that we additionally established a stable basis to start fiscal 12 months 2021.”
ABOUT THE AUDIT
This previous fall, Brown Edwards & Firm of Bristol, Virginia, reviewed greater than 30 separate funds throughout the metropolis, together with the overall fund, utilities, colleges and different minor funds. Kingsport’s common fund covers every little thing from metropolis administration to police and fireplace companies to the parks and recreation division.
An audit mainly makes positive the town is preserving observe of all the cash going into and out of its coffers all year long and that the administration of mentioned cash is correct.
Auditors supplied a “clear opinion” once more this 12 months on Kingsport’s funds, the very best opinion they’ll difficulty. They discovered no vital deficiencies or cases of noncompliance throughout their evaluation of the town’s monetary controls and operations.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE AUDIT
Wet day fund — Kingsport’s common fund steadiness (wet day fund) stands at $18.2 million — the very best stage since 2008. Beneath a Board of Mayor and Aldermen imposed rule, Kingsport goals to maintain $11.4 million in its unrestricted fund steadiness — basically a wet day fund to cowl three to 4 months of working bills for the town.
Property taxes — Kingsport collected practically $39.2 million in property taxes through the fiscal 12 months, which is barely greater than the $38.3 million collected in 2019. The town reported $827,933 in uncollected property taxes throughout fiscal 12 months 2020. Kingsport’s property tax charge is $2.06 per $100 of assessed worth in Sullivan County and $1.89 in Hawkins County.
Gross sales taxes — Remained comparatively the identical 12 months to 12 months at $36.6 million. “Wanting ahead, we stay very happy with each our gross sales tax and property tax income line gadgets based mostly upon what has been collected so far,” McCartt mentioned. “Receipts for the primary 5 months point out constructive indicators for the monetary well being of our metropolis.”
Complete debt — Inched up about $1 million, going from $246 million in 2019 to $247 million in 2020. Kingsport made practically $22 million in debt service funds through the fiscal 12 months, which incorporates common fund debt ($12.6 million), water fund debt ($3.65 million) and sewer fund debt ($5.7 million).
Awards — For the twenty first 12 months, Kingsport funds acquired a clear opinion — the very best opinion supplied — and for the twentieth straight 12 months the town acquired a certificates of feat for excellence in monetary reporting.
Bond rankings — Moody’s Investor Service and Commonplace and Poor reaffirmed their Aa2 and AA rankings for the town respectively.
Brown Edwards & Firm was paid $155,300 to conduct the audit.