Fresno City Hall image via wikipedia user Nightryder84
Written by Frank Lopez
The City of Fresno has released its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the fiscal year, which shows a fifth consecutive year of positive reports from the independent audit.
The report, prepared for the city’s Finance Department, conforms to current accounting and principles established by the Governmental Accounting Standards (GASB).
The audit was performed by an outside accounting firm—Brown Armstrong, LLP, based in Bakersfield.
“The City’s strong financial position is proof positive that Fresno has firmly established itself as a financially stable agency,” said City Controller Michael Lima. “However, the numbers cannot portray the level of commitment displayed by City employees day in and day out. Fresno should be proud to have such dedicated public servants protecting their homes, maintaining their streets, delivering clean water to their residences, and providing many other services that make life manageable.”
Highlights from the report include:
— Fresno has $4billion in assets for the first time in the city’s history.
— Fresno has received a record $852.5 million of revenue in fiscal year 2019, an increase of 6.6% over the fiscal year of 2018, beating the previous record of $804.3 million set in fiscal year 2017.
— The Net Pension Asset grew by $50.3 million to $368.5 million, making Fresno the only city in the state with a pension surplus, and one of only seven in the nation.
— The city’s liabilities decreased by $64.1 million, mostly due to the $132.5 million partial defeasance of the Sewer 2008 bonds, and now Fresno has the lowest debt burden of the largest California cities.
— They city’s General Fund Emergency Reserve increased to $34.3 million by the end of 2019 Fiscal Year.
Along with the results provided in the CAFR, the Finance Department reports that the Unassigned Fund Balance Fund increased from $19.5 million to $25.3 million by fiscal year 2019.
“Our formula for long-term financial stability continues to show dramatic improvement in jobs and wage growth, improved bond ratings, a fully funded pension system and a reserve that is finally funded at a reasonable level,” said Mayor Lee Brand. “The days of proclaiming financial emergencies are gone, but we still have more work to do if we want to continue improving the quality of life for everyone in Fresno.”