Audit finds Vicksburg in ‘strong financial position’

Published 2:02 pm Tuesday, October 1, 2019

The city of Vicksburg is in a strong financial position, according to an audit report of its 2018 finances.

“The city has a net worth of $117 million,” auditor Booker T. Camper told the Board of Mayor and Aldermen Monday.

According to the audit report, the city’s total assets in 2018 totaled $232.5 million, up from the $201.5 million in 2017. Its total liabilities for 2018, however, were $116.5 million, while the city’s liabilities in 2017 totaled $88.2 million.

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The city’s net worth of $117 million for 2018 is the difference between the $232.5 million in assets and $116.5 million in liabilities. The net worth for 2017 was $118.4 million.

“We had a loss because of the pension expenses,” Camper said.

The city’s contribution for employees to the state Public Employees Retirement System increased during 2018, totaling $4.4 million.

The city’s current outstanding debt is $18.8 million, according to the audit report.

Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said one of the reasons the city’s finances have stayed strong is the “25 percent rule.” The board approved several years ago to have a 25 percent fund balance compared to operating revenue.

“It looks like those numbers (fund balance ratio) have exceeded 50 percent,” he said. “Any time you can operate a city of this size with 50 percent or money in our bank, it’s pretty good. There are a lot of cities out there that are in a lot of financial trouble.”

Having the extra money in the fund balance, Flaggs said, helps with the city’s credit rating.

It also means “you don’t have to hit the panic button” financially. It’s great news when you can take 25 percent of your check and put it in the bank,” he said.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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