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higher road

United States

#21 Jan 5, 2013
Again I am confused. This thread is not about LC tax revenue and budget issues. Obvious its a mess.it's about being accountiable and responsible as voters for putting people in office. Its OUR fault. Please WAKE up.
looney toons

Troy, MO

#22 Jan 5, 2013
higher road wrote:
Again I am confused. This thread is not about LC tax revenue and budget issues. Obvious its a mess.it's about being accountiable and responsible as voters for putting people in office. Its OUR fault. Please WAKE up.
I agree. Any electorate that puts a convicted drug addict and a convicted thief in public office deserves everything that happens during their tenure.

I fully expect that the Auditor will have a full plate making it clear to the Commissioners what the law is. Whether or not they chose to abide by it is a different story. Given that Mr. Bass and Mr. Galloway have demonstrated in the public record that they are devoid of understanding and following the law, we should be in for some interesting "excuses".
Budget Review

Foristell, MO

#23 Jan 5, 2013
Upon further review of the 176 page document and subsequent "End of Year" report by the auditor, one thing is clear. Apparently NO ONE in this county has ANY clue of how to budget.

As an example, budgetary projections and targets are designed to provide a guide as revenue is taken in and then sent out. The documents I reviewed show HORRIBLE estimates vs. reality when it comes to expenses.

In some "line items," expenses were over-estimated by as much as 40%! Now I am not a CPA, but a decent budget estimate could have a 3% or at most 5% variance either way. To have a 40% swing from start to finish is not competent budgeting, by ANY standards.
RIF letter

Troy, MO

#24 Jan 5, 2013
Budget Review wrote:
Upon further review of the 176 page document and subsequent "End of Year" report by the auditor, one thing is clear. Apparently NO ONE in this county has ANY clue of how to budget.
As an example, budgetary projections and targets are designed to provide a guide as revenue is taken in and then sent out. The documents I reviewed show HORRIBLE estimates vs. reality when it comes to expenses.
In some "line items," expenses were over-estimated by as much as 40%! Now I am not a CPA, but a decent budget estimate could have a 3% or at most 5% variance either way. To have a 40% swing from start to finish is not competent budgeting, by ANY standards.
A variance such as you state has nothing to do with budgeting, but rather a lack of understanding and due diligence as to the physical condition of the assets, the cost of maintenance, the depth and breadth of services required and the costs thereof. Until you know these things, only then can you propose a budget.
This group of incompetent buffoons would not understand this......
BTW....it was Mr. Bass that proposed the increase in health care premiums resulting in the variance cited. Gee, those pain killers have gotten very expensive.....ya think?
facts

Saint Charles, MO

#25 Jan 6, 2013
Budget Review wrote:
<quoted text>
So no funds were transferred into GR from the "Reserve Fund" for the past budget year, is that correct?
There isn't a "reserve fund". They added $50k to the balance of the General Fund this year - meaning they have $50k more at the end of this year in the bank, than they had at the beginning of the year. If actual revenues and actual expenses would have been exactly what the budget had planned, they would have depleted the balance in the bank (what you call the reserve fund) by $661k. The General Fund is doing fine. What you should be looking at is the Jail Improvement fund. That is a reserve account that is being depleted year after year. There is no new revenue coming into that fund other than some bank interest. But the expenses were $210k this year. At some point in the near future, this fund will be gone and what will they do then, to pay for the operations of the jail? They will have to pay for it out of the general fund which will begin to deplete the balance of that fund (the reserves).
Budget Review

Foristell, MO

#26 Jan 6, 2013
facts wrote:
<quoted text>
There isn't a "reserve fund". They added $50k to the balance of the General Fund this year - meaning they have $50k more at the end of this year in the bank, than they had at the beginning of the year. If actual revenues and actual expenses would have been exactly what the budget had planned, they would have depleted the balance in the bank (what you call the reserve fund) by $661k. The General Fund is doing fine. What you should be looking at is the Jail Improvement fund. That is a reserve account that is being depleted year after year. There is no new revenue coming into that fund other than some bank interest. But the expenses were $210k this year. At some point in the near future, this fund will be gone and what will they do then, to pay for the operations of the jail? They will have to pay for it out of the general fund which will begin to deplete the balance of that fund (the reserves).
So what you are saying in essence is the "reserves" are not segragated from the GR, right? If that is the case, how are you supposed to know what is the ACTUAL balance for the end-of-year figures based upon revenue received in the 2012 fiscal year? By mixing new revenue with old, it leaves the mistaken impression that everything is just fine. In reality, on a year-to-year basis, it is not.

The "reserve fund" should be separated so that even common citizens can distinguish between what has come in during the previous fiscal year and what has gone out. Again we talk "Zero Based Budgeting." The "reserve fund" should be a separate line item on all the statements. Any transfers from the "Reserve Fund" to "General Reveue" should also be noted as a separate line item.

Upon exhaustive review of the reports, I see NO notation as to money being taken from "reserves." It only shows transfers from GR, which means there is no way to distinguish it from funds received during the fiscal year. As a taxpayer, I want to see a separate line item showing the "Reserve Fund Balance" so it can be monitored and its use justified.
Budget Review

Foristell, MO

#27 Jan 6, 2013
Another point to be made.....

All I see on the report is a transfer from GR to the Law Enforcement Fund in the amount of $500K. Was that revenue captured during the 2012 fiscal year or was that revenue, aka "reserves," derived from previous budget years?

It is apparent that there is no way to tell what part of the GRF is "reserves" and what part is actually captured during 2012. "Deficit" spending would not be seen if the two are NOT separated.
RIF letter

Troy, MO

#28 Jan 6, 2013
facts wrote:
<quoted text>
There isn't a "reserve fund". They added $50k to the balance of the General Fund this year - meaning they have $50k more at the end of this year in the bank, than they had at the beginning of the year. If actual revenues and actual expenses would have been exactly what the budget had planned, they would have depleted the balance in the bank (what you call the reserve fund) by $661k. The General Fund is doing fine. What you should be looking at is the Jail Improvement fund. That is a reserve account that is being depleted year after year. There is no new revenue coming into that fund other than some bank interest. But the expenses were $210k this year. At some point in the near future, this fund will be gone and what will they do then, to pay for the operations of the jail? They will have to pay for it out of the general fund which will begin to deplete the balance of that fund (the reserves).
Not sure that this interpretation is accurate. If there is no reserve fund, then what happened to the money that was in the reserve fund? If this is true, then the County would be technically bankrupt as the obligations would be greater than liquid assets.
Budget Review

Foristell, MO

#29 Jan 6, 2013
facts wrote:
<quoted text>
There isn't a "reserve fund". They added $50k to the balance of the General Fund this year - meaning they have $50k more at the end of this year in the bank, than they had at the beginning of the year. If actual revenues and actual expenses would have been exactly what the budget had planned, they would have depleted the balance in the bank (what you call the reserve fund) by $661k. The General Fund is doing fine. What you should be looking at is the Jail Improvement fund. That is a reserve account that is being depleted year after year. There is no new revenue coming into that fund other than some bank interest. But the expenses were $210k this year. At some point in the near future, this fund will be gone and what will they do then, to pay for the operations of the jail? They will have to pay for it out of the general fund which will begin to deplete the balance of that fund (the reserves).
If they did not need the $661K, how did they get their budget projections so off target? Did they some how receive $661K in unexpected revenue or save $661K in expenses? Even if it is a combination of the two, it shows a lack of detail in the budgeting process.
facts

Saint Charles, MO

#30 Jan 6, 2013
Okay - you start out with a fund balance. Then in the budget, you budget revenues and expenses for the upcoming year. If your budget shows more expenses for the year than revenues, the deficit difference is coming out of the beginning fund balance (reserve). It is good policy to underestimate revenues and budget to keep expenses within the amount of incoming revenue (not budgeting to spend reserve or beginning fund balances). Without a fund balance policy that establishes an amount of fund balance to be held in reserve and not available for budget appropriation, the county could use the total balance plus anticipated revenue for appropriations. A fund balance policy would establish a reserve amount or (reserve fund) in the general fund that is off limits, not available for appropriations. There is no fund policy, and no "reserve fund".

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