The Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting has been awarded to Clark County by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) for its comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR). The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management.
An Award of Financial Reporting Achievement has been awarded to the individual(s), department or agency designated by the government as primarily responsible for preparing the award-winning CAFR, and this has been presented to John S. Federer, Clark County Auditor.
The CAFR has been judged by an impartial panel to meet the high standards of the program including demonstrating a constructive “spirit of full disclosure” to clearly communicate its financial story and motivate potential users and user groups to read the CAFR.
The GFOA is a nonprofit professional association serving approximately 17,500 government finance professionals with offices in Chicago, Illinois and Washington, D.C.
For Information Contact: Stephen Gauthier, GFOA
The Clark County Auditor is pleased to share with the taxpayers that the County is continually working to maintain the highest standards in financial reporting, and recognizes Finance Director, Dave Crew, as a recipient of the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada. The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management.
The GFOA established the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Program (CAFR) in 1945 to encourage and assist state and local governments to go beyond the minimum requirements of generally accepted accounting principles to prepare comprehensive financial reports that evidence the “spirit of full disclosure” to the taxpayers and to recognize individual governments that succeed in achieving that goal. Reports submitted to the CAFR program are reviewed by individuals with expertise in public-sector financial reporting and includes independent auditors, academics and other financial professionals. “I am extremely proud of the hard work and dedication of the employees in the Auditor’s office”, Federer said. “This achievement is a direct benefit to the taxpayers in the form of better bond rating which will lower interest rates and save the County hundreds of thousands of dollars. This is not the case in other Ohio counties!”
Clark County is estimated to lose more than a quarter million dollars in local government funds next year, while the city of Springfield will lose nearly $300,000, according to George Sodders, county auditor and secretary to the Clark County Budget Commission. Sodders said that the County Budget Commission, which approves local distribution of the funds, will get about $5.5 million next year to distribute to all the county’s political subdivisions. “All subdivisions will receive less,” Sodders said. The commission approved just over $6 million this year.
The Local Government Fund is funded by 3.68 percent of all state General Revenue Fund tax sources. Sodders received the estimate from the Ohio Department of Taxation late last week.
“Keep in mind that these numbers are only estimates and are likely to change,” Sodders said. ”For example, the total estimate given to the commission last year fell short by more than $200,000 and this year’s actual receipts are below estimate,” Sodders explained.
“As tax receipts continue to decline in the state’s General Revenue Fund, local government receipts will continue to slide, Sodders concluded.
Clark County has escaped budgetary cuts during the first six months of 2009 only because county commissioners extended the temporary one-half percent addition to the permanent one percent tax levy. According to Clark County Auditor George Sodders, revenue from the one percent permanent tax is down more than 5.5 percent compared to the same time last year.
“Sales tax collections from the permanent levy totaled just over $6.2 million for the first half of 2009 compared to over $6.6 million for the same period last year,” Sodders said.
“Additional revenue from the permissive one-half percent tax approved by commissioners has generated just over $3 million dollars through June of this year,” according to Sodders. “Without that added revenue, Clark County would have no choice but to make severe cuts in personnel and related services,” Sodders said.
“With unemployment above state and national levels and personal income below state and national levels, county government must come to grips with a shrinking local economy that cannot sustain the status quo of local government finances,” Sodders said.
“I am convinced that the county is at a crossroad where it must either ask citizens to approve a permanent increase in the local sales tax rate or begin trimming expenses before the current temporary tax rate increase expires,” Sodders concluded.