Independent auditors had good news for Leawood leaders this week.
Accounting firm RubinBrown presented a clean audit for Leawood’s 2016 fiscal year. The council received the 115-page comprehensive annual financial report at its meeting Monday. The audit will be available on the city’s website within the week.
“We’re pleased to report that we had no disagreements with management during the course of our audit,” Chester Moyer said.
Moyer summarized the accounting principles that were used to evaluate the city’s finances to the council. The audit report accurately represents the financial position of Leawood’s government activities including general government, public works, public safety, parks and recreation, and major funds as of December 31.
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The city received most of its total revenue for 2016 from tax collection. The city collected $42.8 million in 2016 compared to $41 million in 2015.
The city’s biggest expenses continue to be for public works at $19,011,541 and public safety at $17,740,710 for 2016. Public safety saw a slight increase in fines collected with $1.7 million compared to $1.6 million in 2015. This increase was due to greater traffic enforcement.
Leawood continues to have a diversified revenue base with the largest category, 38 percent, coming from property taxes; followed by other governmental revenue of 33 percent; and sales tax of 29 percent.
For the 2017 budget year, Leawood is anticipating a 5 percent increase in assessed valuation. The city’s property tax base has increased 1.9 percent on average over the last 10 years.
The city is also anticipating a 2.95 percent increase in sales tax in 2017. Leawood has averaged a 5 percent increase in sales tax collections over the last five years.
State law requires every local government to publish a complete set of audited financial statements within six months of the close of each fiscal year.
According to the city’s finance director, Dawn Long, the city ordered about 40 copies of the audit report. She said most citizens review the report on the city’s website, but there might occasionally be a request for a hard copy of the document.
The Government Finance Officers Association awarded Leawood the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for 18 consecutive years. Governments are awarded the certificate for publishing an easily readable audit report that satisfies accounting principles and applicable legal requirements. Staff believes the current audit will earn the city their 19th consecutive comprehensive annual financial report award.