“Your Priorities – The Public’s Investment”
Clerk Bock makes recommendations to Board of County Commissioners during annual “State of the County” financial review
WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (May 9, 2019) – Clerk & Comptroller Sharon R. Bock, Esq., presented her annual “State of the County” financial report to the Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday, offering a series of recommendations to help protect the public’s investment in the Commission’s top priorities.
As the County begins its budget process for the next fiscal year, Clerk Bock recommended the County continue to review and enhance its current financial policies to ensure they meet the highest standards for government accounting. The Clerk also recommended the Board of County Commissioners formally adopt financial policies regarding the County’s outstanding debt, fund balance, and reserves to be consistent with the best practices offered by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA), the leading organization for government finance professionals.
“Over the past four years, we have experienced a thriving economy, where the County’s revenues have exceeded its budget needs,” Clerk Bock said. “Although the County’s priorities are safely funded now, continued proactive planning and ongoing policy enhancements will help protect the public’s investment in the future.”
Palm Beach County’s governmental revenue reached an all-time high in Fiscal Year 2018, increasing by more than 6 percent, or $121 million, when compared to the previous fiscal year. The increase was driven largely by a rise in property, sales and tourist development tax collections, all of which reached record-levels in FY 2018.
Among the Clerk & Comptroller’s key findings in this year’s State of the County review:
- The County’s total fund balance – a key indicator of a government’s financial health – grew by $134.7 million in FY 2018.
- Total County debt in FY 2018 decreased by 7 percent.
- Revenue from the one-cent sales tax approved by voters in November 2016 continued to outpace projections. The County collected more than $84 million in FY 2018, exceeding its budget projection of $71 million.
The County has prioritized funding to address several key needs in our community, including homelessness and the opioid epidemic. A cooling housing market, however, could affect the County’s ability to meet those priorities because they are primarily funded by revenue tied to the real estate market.
“We know there will be the need for new roads, parks, and other improvements in the near future,” said Shannon R. Chessman, the Clerk & Comptroller’s Chief Operating Officer. “By continuing to refine and enhance its financial policies, the County can ensure there is a framework to help fund these priorities in the future.”
This is the 14th year that Clerk Bock has presented the Board of County Commissioners with the State of the County report, which is based on the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) produced by her office each year.
The CAFR and other financial reports produced by the Clerk & Comptroller can be found on the County Financial Reports section of www.mypalmbeachclerk.com.
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About the Clerk & Comptroller, Palm Beach County
The Florida Constitution established the independent office of the Clerk & Comptroller as a public trustee, responsible for safeguarding public records and public funds. Clerk Sharon Bock is directly elected by and accountable to Palm Beach County residents. In addition to the roles of Clerk of the Circuit Court, County Recorder and Clerk of the Board of County Commissioners, the Clerk & Comptroller is the Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer and Auditor for Palm Beach County.