County’s Bank Balance Goes To Extremes
KEVIN HALPERN, Courier Co-Editor
As is the case with every person or business, the amount of money Cannon County has in the bank changes constantly.
During the current fiscal year, for example, there has been a swing of over $1 million in the county’s General Fund bank account balance.
Last November the General Fund began the month with a bank balance of $153,645. That has been the low point for FY2011-2012.
The county began the month of April with $1,292,021 in the bank, an increase of more than $1 in six months.
The major reason for the large swing is the times of the year people pay their property taxes, which is mostly during the first six months of the calendar year.
However, the county’s fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30 of the next year.
At the beginning of June 2011 the county had a General Fund balance of $1,055,876. By July 1 of last year it had dropped to $756,308.
On Aug. 1 the balance was $280,796, Sept. 1 - $219,959, Oct. 1 - $182,475, Nov. 1 - $153,645 and Dec. 1 - $177,534.
As of Jan. 2012 the balance was up to $463,694, but dipped back down to $362,891 as of Feb. 1.
March 1 showed an increase to $1,154,085 and then to $1,292,021 by the first of April.
According to Wayne Prater, County Trustee, the amount of money the county has in the bank can also show wide fluctuations during any given month.
“Money comes in and goes out every (business) day,” Prater said. “Money is constantly coming in from the county’s various revenue sources, and going out to pay for expenses.”
The bulk of expenses incurred by the General Fund is funding of the county’s state-mandated offices. Excluding schools, which has a separate budget, taxpayers fund the County Mayor, Election Commission, Register of Deeds, Property Assessor, Trustee, County Clerk, Circuit Court, General Sessions Court, Chancery Court, Juvenile Court, Sheriff’s Department, Jail, and other services such as Fire Prevention, Ambulance, Parks and maintenance on County Buildings.
During the current fiscal year expenses have run at a rate of approximately $500,000 per month. Revenue has averaged around $460,000, creating an overall average shortfall of $40,000 monthly.
Even though the county has spent more than it has received in revenue the last two fiscal years, it has avoided going into General Fund debt because it built up a reserve fund for several years before hard economic times hit the country, state and the county.
At current projections, however, the county would be $500,000 in the hole at the end of the next fiscal year is expenses are not cut, or revenue increases.