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In Palm Beach County, taxpayers are provided with an annual audit to see how lawmakers are spending their money.
The office of Palm Beach County Clerk & Comptroller was provided and designed by the Florida Constitution to act as an independent check of lawmakers and the judiciary, having the responsibility of safeguarding taxpayer funds and public records.
The audit results were released this week:
Sharon R. Bock, Clerk & Comptroller, Palm Beach County presented her annual “State of the County” address on Tuesday, June 7. The report offered a retrospective view of how the County managed and spent taxpayer dollars in Fiscal Year 2015.
Key financial highlights for 2015 include:
- The County’s fund balance or unspent revenue (excluding Airports and Water Utilities) increased $18 million after declining for the previous six years.
- Property tax revenue, the County’s main source of income, increased for the 3rd year – $60.6 million or 7 percent.
- Tourist Development tax collections were $42.7 million – a 26.3 percent increase and a new record high.
- Public Safety expenditures continued to comprise the largest portion of the County’s general government spending – $792 million.
- Capital spending for items such as roads and bridges has declined almost 50% in the past six years.
As Comptroller, Clerk Bock serves as Palm Beach County’s Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer and Auditor, creating a separation of powers between the policymakers on the Board of County Commissioners and the fiscal authority for the County. This constitutional check and balance ensures that the public’s tax dollars are managed and spent with the taxpayers’ needs in mind.
“I respect what the Board of County Commissioners do for our citizens; they hear the needs of our community,” said Clerk Bock. “However, as revenues show an increasingly healthy local economy, I want to reiterate how crucial it is to align the budget with Board-directed priorities.”
Also on Tuesday, the Clerk & Comptroller distributed the latest edition of Checks & Balances: Your Guide to County Finances, also known as a Popular Annual Financial Report (PAFR). County Commissioners and everyone in attendance at the commission meeting received a copy.
Both Checks & Balances and the financial report to the Board of County Commissioners are based on the independently audited Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, produced each year by the Clerk & Comptroller’s financial division. These award-winning financial publications, which include the Annual Investment Guide and Annual Debt Guide, can be found online.
For more information about county finances and the financial reports available from the Clerk & Comptroller’s office, visit www.mypalmbeachclerk.com/countyfinances.
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