Council Meeting Notes – Feb 20, 2023, Internal Controls

Council Meeting Notes – Feb 20, 2023  Agenda

Keywords: Internal Controls, PACE, Centerstone, Medical Costs

Financial Oversight. . Jim Kemp provided a short presentation on Internal Controls, property assessments, and property taxes,  the trend in health insurance costs over the past 10 years, and the need for county offices to help assess the impacts of the proposed expansion of sewers.  He will provide monthly updates to include the status of our finances and controls.

Internal Controls. The States internal control guidance is intended to result helping to ensure the efficient and effective use of all tax dollars. These controls include the requirement for an asset management (capital improvement) plan.

Property Taxes. Increases in assessed values (a good thing) do not necessarily result in higher property taxes. County “SPENDING” determines the amount to be collected. For instance, if assessed values doubled but spending stayed the same, the amount of property taxes needed to be collected would be the same. HOWEVER, some property assessments may decline and some may be assessed higher than others which would account for any increases. NOTE also that residents may receive higher assessments every year but not some businesses. The requirement is that ALL properties get assessed (visited) at least once every four years.

      • (Note also there would be variation between contractors on how properties are assessed. For instance, If we had 10 different contractors providing the assessments, we would get 10 different answers. What we do not know is how the assessments would vary. Think bell-shaped curve. The last time I checked with the State, our increase in assessed values in the county matched the average increase of the other counties.

Health Insurance. Costs have averaged $1.8 million a year over the past 10 years. Costs exceeded budget last year at over 700K. Handout:  Group Medical Costs

Expansion of Sewers in the County. The “BCRSD” County Wastewater Strategic Plan which supports funding for new projects exceeding 30 million, HAS NOT BEEN  presented to the elected officials at a public meeting.  Kemp suggested that county offices such as the APC, Assessor, Auditor, and RDC get involved in helping to identify the cultural and socio-economic related impacts of the strategy on our citizens.

Note the County Comprehensive Plan by statute, should represent the desires of the citizens regarding what they want and do not want in terms of development and quality of life. The current plan has been kept vague where a good argument can be made for or against a respective project. Commissioners are responsible for the Plan that is administered by the Area Plan Commissioner (APC) and Board Zoning Appeals (BZA).

Centerstone – Bronw County Positive and Adverse Childhood Experiences (PACE) initiative. Council agreed to pledge/leverage the funds received from the States Opioid Settlement to support an application for additional grant money. CenterStone PACE

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