Banking & Finance

County hits lucky 13 on budget

Award recognizes Kent as a statewide leader in financial management.

September 11, 2015
| By Pat Evans |
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Kent County has received an award for its 2015 Budget.

For the 13th year in a row — and the 15th time in 18 years — Kent County received the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association.

The award signifies the principles held by the Kent County Fiscal Services Department, including transparency and maintaining county assets.

“This award exemplifies the commitment of Kent County’s elected officials and staff to be a statewide leader in financial management,” Fiscal Services Director Steve Duarte said.

“Because Kent County demonstrates strong financial management in this and other areas, our citizens reap the benefits of our AAA bond rating through lower interest rates when the county has to borrow.”

To receive the award, the county’s budget was judged on a variety of criteria by the Government Finance Officers Association, a nonprofit organization with more than 17,600 members in the United States and Canada.

Only 1,200 entities receive the award annually.

The budget must include a coherent, organization-wide statement with strategic goals and strategies that address long-term concerns and issues.

Short-term factors influencing decisions made must be described. The message of the budget must detail priorities and issues for the coming year. Factors leading to changes in priorities need to be explained and supported by supplemental data that describe the organization, community and population.

The nearly 300-page budget, passed in November, saw a 1.7 percent increase over 2014 with a General Fund expenditure total of $160 million. Tax revenue from this year was expected to equal the expenditures.

“While every department in the county contributes to this effort, I commend budget director Marvin Van Nortwick and his staff for the extraordinary effort it takes to get this document prepared in a very constrained timeframe,” Duarte said.

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