What are we measuring?
The measure tracks the size of the reserve as a percent of expenditures for the year ending. The reserve refers to the end-of-year balance of the County's General Fund. The reserve provides the County with the ability to pay expenses from the start of year before it begins receiving revenue and delays the need to issue bonds or borrow. County policy requires a reserve equal to one sixth (16.7%) of expenditures for the year ending, representing two months of expenses.
Why are we measuring it?
The purpose of the reserve is to maintain adequate resources available in order to protect against potential risk, including but not limited to revenue downturns, natural disasters, economic recessions, and tax billing delays. The current reserve policy was established to provide the County with a reserve equal to two months of recurring operating expenditures.
How are we doing?
The ratio of current reserves to overall annual general fund adopted budget for 2017 is calculated by excluding non recurring items from the total expenditure number. Non recurring cost are not expected to occur in future years and therefore not usually part of regular County operations. The negative fund balance for 2017 was the result of a delay in property tax issuance which led to an extension in the due date for the tax bills in 2018. Once the property tax revenue was received, the fund balance was brought in line with County policy. The fund balance for 2018 reached its highest level in recent years at 27%.