For immediate release - April 25, 2005
TAVARES — The Lake County Board of County Commissioners was presented the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) at its regularly scheduled meeting April 19 with some encouraging news.
The CAFR details a very positive financial report for Lake County. The unreserved fund balance in the County's main operating fund was slightly less at the end of 2004 compared to 2003 due to the expenditures incurred in September primarily for debris removal after the County was hit by three hurricanes. Most of the amount, however, will be reimbursed by Federal Emergency Management Agency or the State of Florida.
However, countywide, all governmental funds recorded an increase in net assets of approximately $34 million. Economic reasons include the County's low level of unemployment compared to neighboring counties and the healthy 11.6 percent increase in assessed valuation.
"The millage rate has stayed the same the last three years, but vibrant growth has positively impacted the assessed value of property," said John Vodenicker of Ernest & Young to the Board of County Commissioners.
Also included in the audit is a comparative financial analysis among Lake, Seminole, Marion and Alachua counties. One of the highlights of the analysis was how Lake County's ad valorem taxable assessed value is more comparable to Seminole rather than Marion and Alachua. Based on per capita, the taxable assessed value for Lake is $41,328, for Seminole is $46,642, for Marion is $29,431 and for Alachua is $33,996.
"We have been doing this for quite awhile and, in general, I've noticed Lake is closing the gap on Seminole and leaving Marion and Alachua in the dust," Vodenicker said. "I can remember when that was a $15,000 difference between Lake and Seminole."
The 194-page financial report will be submitted for the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada. For the past 23 consecutive years the Lake County annual financial report has been recognized by the organization.
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