Monroe Review

Monroe Review

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Monroe receives praise for 'very clean' audit

Local Government

By April Bamburg | Dec 30, 2019

Budget 12

The city of Monroe received high marks for a “very clean audit” that had just three insignificant accounting matters, according to The Monroe News.

Bill Brickey and Rumzei Abdallah of Plante Moran presented the 2019 audit at the Dec. 16 city council meeting, saying that the city of Monroe regularly, and in a good way, exceeds what regulations for work in financial reporting. 

“The city does go above and beyond with its financial reporting,” Brickey said, according to The Monroe News. “The city prepares what we refer to as a comprehensive financial report. This is submitted to the Government Finance Officers Association. For the 19th year in a row, this city will receive an award for excellence in financial reporting.”

Abdallah pointed out that the city has an unassigned fund balance greater than its policy-required minimums, and that the employee pension and health care plans, which are considered legacy costs, are more than 90 percent funded. That is one way the city stands out from others.

Although a pending DTE tax tribunal case stands out in city business, Brickey said that the city is in a good position to get through it.

“I would say that you have a good level of fund balance, but certainly recognizing that you have this large issue out there with DTE,” he said in the council meeting, The Monroe News reported. “Having fund balance will give you time to deal with that.”

The city’s taxable value could be at pre-market collapse levels not seen since the late 2000s, but Brickey acknowledged that Tax Proposal A and the Headlee Amendment related to property taxes makes it tougher for Monroe to grow.

“Because of Tax Proposal A and the Headlee Amendment, (the state legislature) caps us on either end,” said Councilman John Iacoangeli. ”... What taxpayers have to understand is that based on what (Plante Moran) is saying, in a community like Monroe, the only way we’re really ever going to see numerical growth in our tax base is from either large redevelopment projects or new construction."

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