“A clean audit.” Those were the words used by the certified public accountant for Lincoln County, Dan McArthur, in his annual report of the audits for the county government and services, the Lincoln County Water District, Coyote Springs General Improvement District, Lincoln County Fire District and the Panaca Fire District for the period ending June 30, 2019. The county is now operating on the 2019-2020 budget.

“No Department of Taxation budget violations in any of these audits,” McArthur said.

His presentation to the board of county commissioners Dec. 16 was extensive as the report was over 300 pages in length.

He said in his summary of the county General Fund, “it is showing a positive trend. Property taxes increased by about five percent over last year, up to $2,240,000. In every fund that had property taxes in it, I saw the same five percent increase. Fines and forfeiture payments also increased by $68,000 over 2018. And the most significant change was found in the Miscellaneous category on Investment Income which was up to $167,000 from last year’s $61,000.”

He said the revenues in the county general fund this year were $4,457,000. “I think what is the major difference is what’s being done with the investments internally here and getting a better return on the money.”

In regards to expenses from the general fund, overall the numbers were down over last year. Some of that, McArthur said, had to do with some people who retired or a position that closed. Salaries and benefits were lower this year, he noted.

“Overall,” he said, “the increase in revenue in 2019 increased about $340,000 and the expenditures decreased by about $241,000. There were no routine over-budget issues to report on. This year the fund balance is headed in the right way, a trend it has not shown in the past 10 years.”

McArthur presented a chart that detailed the positive uptrend the county experienced during the fiscal year. The fiscal 2019-2020 year began back on July 1.