City News

Posted on: July 31, 2017

City Receives Clean Audit for Municipal Finances

Beachwood Receives an Unmodified Audit Opinion from State Auditor; Mayor says City's Fiscal Health is Excellent

A new state audit of the City of Beachwood’s finances gave the City a clean bill of financial health. Ohio Auditor Dave Yost’s office issued an “unmodified audit opinion” -- the best opinion a city can receive.

According to the Management Discussion and Analysis Section: “The City of Beachwood is strong financially and well managed, as evidenced by the Aaa bond rating awarded the City by Moody’s Investor Service and the AAA rating awarded by Fitch Investors Service. The City has continued to maintain the highest standards of service to the Citizens of Beachwood while diligently planning expenses, to stay within the City’s revenues. The City is well prepared to meet the challenges of the future.’’

The audit, which found no areas of concern or errors, was a regular top-to-bottom annual review of the City’s books performed by the auditor that covered calendar year 2016.

“We’re very pleased with this audit because it shows our commitment to financial accountability, transparency and responsibility to our residents and taxpayers,’’ said Mayor Merle S. Gorden. “We have a strong tax base, we budget conservatively, and those factors will help position us for continued future economic success.”

Mayor Gorden added that the City has remained focused on an extensive Master Plan which continues to be updated to meet the future growth needs of the City. “These initiatives are designed to improve the general level of operations of the City and to enhance the level of services and benefits provided to its residential and commercial residents,” he said.

Mayor Gorden and Finance Director Larry Heiser said the City ended the year with a $29 million general fund balance, and they do not anticipate any deficits in the upcoming years. Revenue projections are updated annually with capital and other expenditures being adjusted to be in line with tax collections and budgetary assets. The City will continue to budget conservatively to assure the city is operating in the black in the future.

Highlights of the audit report include:

  • The City’s balance in its general fund – which is used to pay for municipal programs/services – was $29.1 million at the end of 2016, an increase of nearly $3 million.
  • The City continues to give a 100 percent income tax credit to its residents – one of only a handful of communities in Cuyahoga County to do so – which allows residents working in locations outside of Beachwood to receive 100 percent credit for all income taxes paid to other taxing districts. Those income tax credits, coupled with the City’s low property tax rates, are factors that make Beachwood a desirable community.

 Moody’s and Fitch – two New York City bond rating agencies – have regularly awarded the City of Beachwood with their highest investment rating, meaning any notes or bonds the City sells to finance improvement projects are deemed to be safe investments that as a result offer lower interest rates for investors, which in turn means reduced

To view the audit, click on this link:

Updated August 2, 2017 at 2:00 p.m.

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