If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
The final numbers will not be known for several months, but the un-audited and un-amended financial report for 2020 shows that county government ended the year significantly over budget in revenues and under budget in expenses.
Finance director Holly Murkerson reviewed the preliminary financial review with the Grady County Commission during their regular meeting Tuesday night. Murkerson noted that the information she was providing was subject to change after adjusting entries are made.
However, Murkerson reported that the year-end revenues for the general fund came in at 23 percent over budget.
Skewing the numbers, Murkerson noted, is the fact that the county delayed the mailing of tax notices in 2019 in order to know if the county’s Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax was approved by the voters, which meant a significant portion of the county’s 2019 revenue from ad valorem taxes was not collected until 2020.
“That will not be the case for our 2021 budget,” Murkerson said.
She also said that other taxes and fees that contribute to the county’s annual budget were also collected at a higher amount than budgeted. The Local Option Sales Tax receipts were 31 percent more than budgeted, according to the county finance director.
Murkerson said that the impact of COVID-19 resulted in the county’s expenditures being 16 percent lower than anticipated.
She pointed out significant savings on travel, training as well as court expenditures that all were a result of the pandemic.
The finance director said that those savings related to court operations would likely swing the other way in 2021 as people get vaccinated for the virus and as new cases decline.
Grady County administrator J.C. (Buddy) Johnson III, who participated in Tuesday night’s meeting via conference call, said that he hated to “dampen good news” but he concurred with the assessment of Murkerson and commissioners that court expenses were likely to increase substantially in 2021 if the pandemic wains and that the bulk of revenue from 2020 taxes would be reflected in 2020 revenues and would not roll into 2021 as the 2019 taxes, which were delayed, were collected primarily in 2020.
“These are still positive numbers,” Johnson said.