By Alyssa Schnugg
Some local residents might say that the experience of living in Oxford is priceless; however, on paper Oxford is worth $293 million.
According to the recently released audit of the city government, Oxford’s governmental and public assets were worth $293,106,298 million on Sept. 30, 2020.
The assets of the city exceeded its liabilities by $148,391,622.
As of Sept. 30, 2020, when the fiscal year ends, the city of Oxford’s governmental funds reported combined ending fund balances of $72,121,459 an increase of $7,883,962 in comparison to 2019. Approximately 27 percent of the combined fund balances, or $19,681,036 is considered unassigned and is available for spending at the Board of Aldermen’s discretion.
Most of the assets consist of capital assets – buildings, machinery, equipment, and infrastructure, less any related debt used to acquire those assets that are still outstanding.
The city’s total debt is $72,416,480. New debt in the amount of $6 million was issued in the 2020 fiscal year and $8 million was repaid during the year.
The largest funding sources for the city come from charging for services, like water and sewer, which brings in 47 percent of the revenue. Property taxes bring in 15 percent and sales tax brings in 11 percent of the revenue.
The largest expense is public safety – $18 million and includes fire and police protection. About $5.6 million in expenses comes from the Public Works Department for roads and water and sewer infrastructure.
The city’s general fund operating budget decreased by approximately $2,750,065 during the 2020 fiscal year. This decrease was primarily related to increases in expenditures that are related to capital projects and personnel expenses. The city’s tax millage did not change from 31.22 mills.
The audit was conducted by Franks, Franks, Jarrell & Wilemon, P.A., who started doing the city’s audit in 2013.
The audit noted no major weaknesses.
The Oxford Board of Aldermen approved the audit Tuesday during its regular meeting.