The City's Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the year ending Dec. 31, 2016 was presented at today's regular City Council meeting, showing an increased general fund balance and captured savings in financing costs. The CAFR includes the City's audited financial statements and provides other information on the City's outstanding debt, the audit of federal programs, trend data and information useful to rating agencies, grantor agencies, citizens and other interested parties.
For 2016, the City's General Fund reflected a fund balance totaled $56.6 million, an increase of $20.4 million from 2015, mostly due to the $20 million sale of the Hyatt hotel late in 2016.
On a budgetary basis, the fund balance of the General Fund was $49.5 million or 19.9% of the 2016 Adopted Budget, which exceeds the City's established minimum reserve level of 10% of budgeted expenditures for the following year.
The CAFR reflects that the City's total outstanding bonded indebtedness was just more $1.1 billion at the end of 2015 and declined slightly to nearly $1.0 billion at the end of 2016. The City refinanced general obligation and Water and Sewer Utility revenue bonds in 2016, saving $15.9 million in financing costs over the remaining life of the bonds.
The CAFR also includes 10-year trend data signifying that the City's assessed valuation remained flat from 2009-2014 as a result of reappraisal and the legislative tax exemption of machinery and equipment. In spite of these trends, the City has maintained a stable mill levy to deliver services in alignment with Council priorities.
Also, the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) awarded a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting to the City for its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the fiscal year ending on Dec. 31, 2015. The 2015 award represents the 43rd consecutive year that the City earned this award.
To earn a Certificate of Achievement, a government must publish an easily readable and efficiently organized comprehensive annual financial report. The report must satisfy both generally accepted accounting principles and applicable legal requirements. The Certificate of Achievement is valid for one year. The current comprehensive annual financial report continues to meet the Certificate of Achievement Program requirements and it has been submitted to the GFOA to determine its eligibility for another certificate.