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City council hears audit report
by Savannah Weeks
January 16, 2013 09:51 AM | 1746 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sandy Springs City Council members heard the annual audit report from fiscal 2012 at Tuesday night’s meeting at City Hall. The city will have about 95 percent of a general fund balance of $34.725 million to work with in fiscal 13, an increase from the previous year end’s $21.5 million.

Adam Fraley, a representative from Atlanta-based Mauldin and Jenkins, said the report of the city’s budget was clean.

“It’s clean with no findings,” said Fraley. “I think that’s real good. In summary, [we got] real good results of this year’s audit.”

Fraley reported 92 percent of the general fund revenue for the year, which ended June 30, came from taxes. While property taxes have declined since last year, and are back to the 2008 level, sales tax revenue has increased by $2.8 million.

Taxes collected in 2011 were $79.5 million, while taxes collected in fiscal 2012, or total general fund revenue, totaled at $82.2 million.

Total general fund expenditures for fiscal 2012 were $57.6 million, a decrease from fiscal 2011’s $66.7 million in expenditures.

The largest expenditure, which accounted for 38 percent of general fund funds, went to public safety in fiscal 2012, according to the report.

According to the report, total revenues of the city increased from about $89.7 million to $9.6 million, which represents a growth of 6.6 percent.

Total expenses of the city decreased from about $76.4 million to $65.6 million, or a decline of 13.9 percent.

Fraley reported last year’s findings were corrected. Fraley said that only about 10 percent of his clients receive an audit without findings.

The firm, however, did offer some areas of improvement for the city, called management points.

These included hospitality board invoices that did not have departmental approval prior to being paid and three in-voices from the board which could not be located.

The firm also noted 16 city employees were allowed to exceed their number of vacation hours as of June 30. The employees exceeded the amount by about 92 hours, which equates to about $2,800.

The full audit report can be found on the city’s website: http://bit.ly/13DN7MM.

Cox Enterprises will be receive a three-year waiver of business occupational taxes and building and impact fees as part of the city’s October 2011 adopted economic development incentive policy.

Cox is expected to begin construction of a 578,000-square-foot, 19-floor office building in Sandy Springs in the first quarter of this year.

It is expected to be finished in mid-2015.

The project will cost more than $100 million to construct and employ an additional 1,500 employees in Sandy Springs. There will be some new jobs, while other jobs will be moved from the company’s current Dunwoody location.

The Cox Enterprises capital investment and number of jobs propose meets the qualifications for Tier III incentives, which call for a minimum of $5.01 million in capital investment and more than 100 jobs at or above the average wage level, which is $62,244. Tier III incentives provide for a waiver of permit and impact fees and a three waiver of business occupational taxes.

These incentives will total to $1.4 million in waived taxes and fees over a three-year period, according to Andrea Hall, the city’s director of economic development.

“These types of projects are exactly the type of things you want in terms of economic development,” said Hall. “It will have a huge impact on retail.”
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