The Financial Condition of the City is of ongoing concern to tax payers and the City workers. It’s also something that is greatly misunderstood through out the community. It is not easy being a tax payer but most understand that paying city taxes provides the infrastructure that you depend on. This includes the Police, Fire Department, the roads you drive on, the utilities you enjoy, the parks you play in, and the rules you and your neighbors live under. It’s always been my personal opinion that one should pay just enough for the city to function, no more, no less.
But how do you determine what that number is. One such method is to evaluate how the city is functioning. First lets look at how the city is funded. Every year a budget is produced with a best estimation of how you want to operate in the coming year. It is typically based on past years and the needs of the individual departments in the city. The 2022 budget can be found on this web site. A quick look shows that the city receives money from a number of sources besides real estate taxes including licenses and permits, employment taxes, and quite a few others.
Then there are the expenses. This list seems to be quite long as well including everything from payroll, vehicles, insurance, equipment, utilities, and many many others.
There is a way to simplify the overall status of a city. It is the same way that executives keep an eye on their company and one of it’s tools is called a “Balance Sheet” By definition it has assets and liabilities totaled and they always must balance. There are some simple inferences but the very basic accounting equation is:
Owners Equity (tax payer) = Assets – Liabilities
The Balance Sheet is a snapshot in time as to the financial condition of the City (or business). It contains two major sections:
ASSETS: Defined as anything that is owned by a City and holds inherent, quantifiable value. A business could, if necessary, convert an asset into cash through a process known as liquidation. Assets are typically tallied as positives (+) in a balance sheet and broken down into two further categories: current assets and noncurrent assets.
Current assets typically include anything a company expects it will convert into cash within a year, such as:
- Cash and cash equivalents
- Prepaid expenses (insurance, etc.)
- Inventory (salt, etc)
- Accounts receivable (taxes)
Noncurrent assets typically include long-term investments that aren’t expected to be converted into cash in the short term, such as:
- Land, buildings and parks
- Equipment used to perform services (vehicles and trucks)
The City maintains several different accounts as is required due to the different sources and uses of the money that has been defined through Third Class City Code and the Monessen City Ordinances. The General Account is the primary operating account and is based on tax dollars including the 29.99 mills (per $100 of property value) that is collected every spring. The balance sheet for the General Account as of this time is:
From the equation above you can see that Equity = Assets – Liabilities. As of 4/20/22 the city shows a negative Equity of $-1,152,366.94. If we backup a year and look at 4/20/2021 the numbers are
This page will be updated frequently. It’s purpose is to provide a near time view of the financial condition of the City.
The General Account used for most expenses not otherwise classified. This is funded primarily through real estate taxes of 29.99 mills. The General Fund also receives money from other sources such Garbage Bills, LSA, Liquid Fuels, etc. Some of these funds have restrictions on their use.
Money from Garbage Collections: $xxx
Other Sources: $xxx
Account Balance: $44,384
Expenses and Bills:
Payroll (1/19/22): $70,000
Current Accounts Payable (1/19/22): $xxx
Past Due Accounts Payable (1/19/22): $xxx
Streets and Parks receive 4.8 mills from real estate taxes:
Account Balance (1/19/22): $xxx
Streets Expenses $xxx
Parks Expenses $xxx
Debt Service Fund receive 8.4 mills from real estate taxes:
Account Balance (1/19/22): $xxx
Next Payment (6/1/22): $xxx
Library Fund 0.83 mills (1/19/22): $xxx