Red Springs gets good audit despite low tax collections

First Posted: 1/15/2009

RED SPRINGS - The town's finances are good, but they could be better, according to audit released Tuesday.
Auditor Alan Thompson told the town Board of Commissioners that its general fund balance had climbed from $651,534 in 2005 to $808,302 in 2006. The Whiteville CPA also said the town's total revenues increased from $2.4 million to $2.7 million. Expenditures were down, from about $3 million in 2005 to $2.8 million in 2006.
&#8220One good thing to take out of this is the general fund balance, which had declined for some time, did increase by about $150,000,” Thompson said. &#8220It is a big deal that the fund balance went up as much as it did.”
But the fiscal picture was not entirely rosy. Thompson said the audit showed that the tax collection rate was down, from 86.16 percent in 2005 to 79.31 percent in 2006. The state average is 97.41 percent, Thompson said.
Thompson also said the town should try to lower the amount of transfers between funds in the budget and to repay those &#8220loans.”
The audit said there should be more of a &#8220segregation of duties” among town personnel, a recurring problem in small towns like Red Springs that do not have many employees to handle transactions.
In other business:
– The board approved a new pay plan for town employees. The plan updates job descriptions for the town's 60 employees.
Town Manager Billy Farmer said the change means employees that were below the appropriate pay grade will see raises, while others will stay where they were. None of the employees will get pay cuts, he said.
– Commissioner Eula McNeill announced the town's annual Martin Luther King Jr. observance would be held at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 14 at Jones Chapel Missionary Baptist Church.

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