Berkeley County’s finances are in good shape, according to an audit of the 2011-12 fiscal year.
“It was a very favorable year,” said Larry Finney of Greene Finney & Horton certified public accountants.
The county received an “unqualified” opinion, which is the best rating it could get.
Among the highlights are that the county’s unassigned fund balance is about $12.9 million, or 22 percent of annual operations. County policy is to have at least 15 percent in that account.
The balance is necessary because it provides cash flow during the first few months of the fiscal year, until property tax revenues are collected. It also gives the county a cushion in times of emergencies or revenue losses.
Finney suggested that the county might want to consider capping it at 16 percent to 20 percent.
“At that point, it’s reasonable to look at what to do with that extra money,” he said.
There are also some issues the county needs to address, Finney said. It needs to catch up on retiree health insurance, or Other Post-Employment Benefits, to the tune of $2.2 million and figure out how to fund it in the future. The county also needs to find funding sources for the stormwater management fund and make up for a loss in emergency telephone fees.
The financial statements and Finney’s Powerpoint presentation will be available today on the county’s web site, berkeleycountysc.gov.
Reach Brenda Rindge at 937-5713 or www.facebook.com/brindge.