The Palm Beach Popular Annual Financial Report has returned for the first time since 2009, bearing good news for residents.
For the fourth straight year, the town has ended its fiscal year with a surplus which, for the year ending Sept. 30, 2021, was $2.3 million.
The report also revealed that the town added to its reserves, produced an all-time record for annual revenue at the Par-3 Golf Course, and improved the Retirement Plan funding ratio.
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Compiled by budget analyst Melissa Ladd using information from various departments, the report provides a one-stop shop for residents who want to get a sense of the town’s financial health.
It is fitting that a town filled with business-savvy residents can get easy access to an up-close look at how the city is doing and provide feedback.
The report contains year-end financial data; information about property taxes; fiscal year 2021/2022 department accomplishments; zoning reform highlights; information and financials on two of the town’s Enterprise Funds, Par-3 Golf Course and the Building Fund; and updates on the Townwide Undergrounding Project and Strategic Planning Board.
Finance Director Jane LeClainche, who deserves credit for overseeing the project, said the report is an effort to keep citizens informed about issues that are important to them. She noted the desire for more financial information from the town, as well as upcoming issues such as the Strategic Plan and zoning reform that will require input from citizens.
At 26 pages, the report, which can be downloaded from the town’s website, is filled with details and is fairly easy to understand even if one is not a “numbers” person.
The $2.3 million surplus is evidence that officials have been prudent in managing the town’s resources, even as residents continue to enjoy one of the lowest tax rates in the county.
The coffers likely will get a boost given the trend of skyrocketing property values. However, it could be facing some major expenses going forward with managing growth, assuring quality fresh water and mitigating rising sea levels.
So it’s good that residents know they can keep track of how the town is managing its money by reading the Palm Beach Popular Annual Financial Report — which we hope will now be an annual occurrence.
This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Daily News: Editorial: Return of Palm Beach’s annual financial report is welcome news