Auditor gives town A grade on finances

The Town of Pahrump’s finances received a clean bill of health from auditor Dan McArthur this week.

McArthur’s 2012-13 audit showed that the town’s primary revenue sources for governmental activities were valued at $2,840,968 with consolidated taxes and charges for services amounting to $819,776 and $747,911 respectively.

Meanwhile, the town’s expenses totaled $8,693,271 for the fiscal year, with the greatest expenses in general government and public safety, totaling $1,990,115 and $1,834,939 respectively.

Business related activities contributed $3,679,111 to total expenses.

McArthur said the town’s 2013 net value experienced a substantial increase when compared to last year’s figures.

“In 2012, the net position was $18,528,630. As of the end of June 2013, it was at $19,255,439, so it has increased last year when compared to this year, which would indicate the town is in a good financial position and heading into the right direction because it’s not a decrease but an increase,” he said.

Under the town’s general fund, the audit showed a positive budget variance of $568,211 for the fiscal year.

McArthur said the fund has remained consistent from last year to this year.

“The town has pretty much operated with a fund balance equivalent to about one year’s worth of expenses and it has continued to be in that same mode where you have a fund balance equivalent to about one year’s worth of expenses so the general fund is in a good position,” he said.

Upon examination of the town’s ambulance enterprise fund, McArthur noted that the numbers showed some promise when compared to past years.

“The bad debt estimate for 2012 was $1,027,343. With that factored in, the actual operating income loss for the enterprise fund was $417,317 for 2012. In 2013, there were billings of $3,752,400 and the bad debt adjust was around $1,300,000, but this year actually operating income of $73,289, which I think is a very positive thing because there has been some decreases over the last several years due to the losses taking place. This year, it does show a profit,” he said.

The picture was not as rosy when the fall festival fund was dissected due to the fact that it was not budgeted last year.

It cost the town more than $104,000 to sponsor the popular annual event.

McArthur said because the event was an unexpected expense for the town, and not budgeted, it would be reported as an NRS compliance issue.

“It was one of those issues when the budget was initially put together, I don’t believe it was the board’s intent to be running the fall festival so there was no budget adopted for it. Towards the end of the year, it became the town’s responsibility. It is a negative budget item that will be reported as an NRS violation. I also want to point out that when this fund opened up for the year and ended for the year, it ended with a positive balance of $24,173, so it did show a profit during the time period. All of the revenues that come in to this fund are non-taxable revenues. It took care of itself and left a profit of over $24,000. Outside of that item, there were no other NRS issues that we noted,” he said.

The auditor summed up his findings by informing the board that the town’s finances were in great shape.

“The town is in a good financial position. The general fund is strong and there are no funds that have a negative fund balance. There was only the one NRS issue and this turned out to be a real clean audit for us,” he said.

As the sole educator on the board, Dr. Tom Waters asked McArthur how he would grade the fiscal health of the town overall.

“If you had to give a letter grade for the town, what would it be?” Waters queried.

“This year I would have to give the town an A or maybe an A minus because of that one budget problem,” the auditor said.