RKL has finished its independent audit of Northampton County finances as of 12/31/2020. This report has yet to appear in the county's webpage, but shows a county in great financial shape. Here are siome highlights.
Assets exceeded liabilities at the end of the year by $139.5 million.
There are $2.5 million in unrestricted net assets of $2.5 million as of December 31, 2020.
The county's total net position increased by $48.8 million. In addition, the governmental fund balance increased $14 million.
Investments in capital assets increased $21.2 million as the County continues to replace or refurbish County bridges as well as construction of a new forensics center.
OPEB liability and related accounts decreased $5 million due to differences in actuarial estimates in both benefits paid and expected investment earnings in 2020.
Pension liability and related accounts decreased $7 million due to differences in actuarial estimates in both claims paid and expected investment earnings in 2020.
Liability to P-3 contractor increased $5.6 million.
Total debt decreased $11 million (8.7%) during 2020.
At the close of 2020 the County’s governmental funds reported an ending fund balance of $131.1 million, an increase of $14 million. This is primarily due to the following activity in 2020: (1) Intergovernmental revenue increased $60.7 million due to federal and state Covid-19 pandemic relief funds.
(2) Hotel tax revenue decreased $1.2 million due to the Covid-19 pandemic government mandated shut down.
(3) Investment earnings decreased $2.2 million due to market uncertainties during the Covid-19 pandemic.
(4) Capital Projects fund balance decreased $14.9 million, mainly due to the capitalization of a new forensic center.
(5) Gracedale Nursing Home fund balance increased $10.4 million due to the timing of receipts of the InterGovernmental Transfer revenue and additional federal and state Covid-19 pandemic relief funds.
(6) HealthChoices fund balance increased $8 million. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, members did not drop off the program, resulting in increased membership. Additionally, members were not using services during the Covid-19 pandemic.
(7) Open Space fund balance increased $1.8 due to a prior period adjustment
(8) Tax base growth generated approximately $681,842 in additional general fund real estate tax revenue.
(9) At the end of 2020, the unassigned fund balance, that which is available for spending at the government’s discretion in the general fund, was $54 million, or 39% of total general fund expenditures.
(10) $17.6 million of the unassigned fund balance represents funds designated as financial stabilization. (rainy day fund)