The Uvalde County Assessment District added about $ 50,848 to its fund balances – creating a new combined surplus of about $ 396,000 – and it is now up to the District Board of Directors to determine whether must retain the funds or reimburse them to taxing entities.
The $ 50,848 surplus is due to lower spending last year and underestimating revenues, according to Ede and Co.’s 2020 financial audit, Certified Public Accountants.
UCAD chief assessor Roberto Valdez said administrators had previously agreed that surplus funds would not be returned to tax entities until the district established a financial safety net.
“If I’m not mistaken, my goal was to keep a quarter of the operating funds, on or about that $ 345,000. So once we did, we said we could probably give it back now, ”he said.
For 2020, according to the audit, the district’s actual operating expenses totaled $ 1.149 million, of which a quarter is equivalent to approximately $ 287,000.
Frank Ede presented the audit, which resulted in an unmodified opinion – the best possible designation, at the May board meeting.
Ede said the decrease in spending was related to lower wages, leases and postage than initially expected.
“…. whether you want to give that back to the entities or designate those fund balances… ”Ede said.
The district currently holds certificates of deposit with $ 345,000 in excess funds from previous years, Valdez said.
After the presentation of the audit, Director Bruce Kingsbery asked Ede for confirmation of the results that the district’s finances were sound.
“Very healthy,” Ede said. “I’ve been doing this for a long time and it has been many years since assessment districts were not allowed to carry forward balances of funds. You had to return this to the entities every year… ”, continued Ede.
“So when the attorney general issued an opinion about five years ago, he said if the evaluation district committed to respecting those fund balances, you can keep them. This has made it a lot easier for the evaluation districts because, if in the middle of the year you have a server crash or something like that -. . we should go back to the entities.
“So I really think it’s a good policy to keep a certain fund balance – it’s up to you as a board to decide how much is enough, but it’s a lot better now than before – let’s put it that way, ”he concluded.
Tony Moreno, UCAD director since 2018, needing further clarification on procedures for handling a surplus fund balance, asked Ede for advice.
“But we have to get permission from the entities,” Moreno said.
“No, you don’t,” Ede replied. “It’s your right to do whatever you want as a board of directors. You represent these entities, so you have to go back and face them, but that’s your call as a board of directors. “.
The directors agreed that the fund balance decision would be taken up at the next board meeting, scheduled for June 8 at 5:45 pm in the board room at 209 N. High.
All the members of the office were present at the meeting.
Uvalde County Assessment District tax entities include Uvalde County, City of Uvalde, Knippa Independent School District, Leakey ISD, Sabinal ISD, Uvalde Consolidated ISD, Town of Sabinal, Nueces Canyon CISD, Uvalde County Underground Water Conservation District and Utopia / Vanderpool Emergency Services District.