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City of Niles Emerges from Fiscal Emergency After More than 4 Years
Columbus – Auditor of State Keith Faber released the City of Niles (Trumbull County) from fiscal emergency today because of their improved financial practices and elimination of fund deficits.
“The diligence and hard work of the city officials have enabled the community of Niles to emerge from fiscal emergency,” Auditor Keith Faber said. “I encourage the city to continue this positive momentum as they further their efforts toward providing the residents of Niles with a fiscally sound outlook.”
The Auditor’s office placed the city in fiscal emergency because of deficits in seven funds during fiscal year 2014.
To decrease expenses, the city has since upgraded their City Auditor’s office from a manual system to an automated system, improved their monthly reconciliation program, and outsourced their income tax collection to RITA, an income tax administration company.
To improve its financial condition, the city reduced expenditures and increased rates to eliminate a $2.7 million dollar deficit in the water fund, and an $118,000 deficit in the sewer fund. The city also reduced healthcare costs by $2 million annually by switching to a new provider. Furthermore, city residents passed a .5 percent increase in the income tax rate that should generate $2 million in additional revenue.
The city also had to satisfy the following requirements for the Auditor’s office to release them from fiscal emergency:
1. Effectively implement a financial accounting and reporting system;
2. Correct or eliminate all of the fiscal emergency conditions; no new conditions have occurred;
3. Meet the objectives of the financial plan; and
4. Prepare a five-year forecast in accordance with the standards issued by the Auditor of State, and the opinion expressed by the Auditor of State is “nonadverse.”
A full copy of the fiscal emergency termination is available online.
The Auditor of State’s office, one of five independently elected statewide offices in Ohio is responsible for auditing more than 6,000 state and local government agencies. Under the direction of Auditor Keith Faber, the office also provides financial services to local governments, investigates and prevents fraud in public agencies, and promotes transparency in government.