By DAVID A. DÍAZ
The Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, which uses the one-half cent economic development sales tax for creating jobs and improving the quality of life in the city, has received the best national rating for how it handles and protects public money, according to a state-required independent annual audit.
The audit covers a one-year period of financial activities by the Edinburg EDC for Fiscal Year 2015 (October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016).
In general, an audit is a systematic examination and verification of an organization’s books of account, transaction records, other relevant documents, and physical inspection of inventory by qualified accountants (called auditors).
(Read more at http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/audit.html.)
“This very important report on the Edinburg EDC, which is led by Mayor Richard García as President of our five-member Board of Directors, also found in its 36-page detailed analysis that our ‘finances remain healthy’ and ‘2017 to be year of continued growth,’” said Gus García, the Executive Director of the Edinburg EDC.
The Edinburg EDC Board of Directors is comprised of Mayor Richard García as President, Harvey Rodríguez, Jr. as Vice President, Elías Longoria, Jr., as Secretary/Treasurer, and Richard Ruppert and Dr. Peter Dabrowski as Members.
Mayor Richard García and Edinburg EDC Executive Director Gus García are not related.
The audit, prepared by Reyna & Garza CPA, LLC of Edinburg, was publicly released, discussed and approved on Tuesday, April 25, 2017 during the regular meeting of the Edinburg EDC Board of Directors, which gathered in open session in the executive board room of the Edinburg EDC headquarters, located at 101 N. 10th Avenue.
In addition to that positive report, which includes reviewing the sources of income for the Edinburg EDC, the analysis had more good news for the city’s economy.
Fiscal year 2017 (October 1, 2016 through September 30, 2017) “is projected to be a year of continued growth. Both public and private development in building and infrastructure activity will serve to broaden the city’s tax base and provide continuing employment opportunities for the residents,” the audit stated.
Reflecting the city’s long history of annual economic gains – and specifically for the Fiscal Year 2015 audit – Reyna & Garza CPA, LLC further stated that “in 2016, the Edinburg EDC experienced an increase in sales tax revenue from 2015. As a result, the Edinburg EDC finances have remained healthy and strong. Cash reserves are in place in accordance with the Investment Policy in secured investments.”
At that Tuesday, April 25, 2017 Edinburg EDC Board of Director’s meeting, Noel Garza, CPA, delivered his firm’s Unmodified Opinion, which is the auditor’s professional judgment that all the Edinburg EDC’s financial statements are presented, in all material respects, in according to the highest standards in the nation.
The independent audit featured examinations of three aspects of the Edinburg EDC’s financial operations: (1) internal controls; (2) statements, records, and accounting transactions; and (3) compliance with statutory and budgetary requirements.
“In our opinion, the financial statements referred to above present fairly, in all material respects, the respective financial position of the governmental activities, the business-type activities, each major fund, and the aggregate remaining fund information of the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, as of September 30, 2016, and the respective changes in financial position, the respective budgetary comparison for the general fund thereof for the year then ended in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America,” the audit concluded.
As part of its mission to help create jobs, the Edinburg EDC uses key information from independent, reliable, and authoritative sources, such as the Fiscal Year 2015 audit by Reyna & Garza CPA, LLC of Edinburg, presented on Tuesday, April 25, 2017, to inform residents, and to maintain and increase confidence in the ethical practices of the Edinburg EDC, to promote the expansion of existing businesses, and recruit new businesses to the community.
The audit gave detailed accountings of the Edinburg EDC’s financial matters for FY 2015 in its 36-page report, including:
“The Edinburg EDC’s Board of Directors has approved the General Fund Budget for the Fiscal Year 2017 (October 1, 2016 through September 30, 2017) that includes funding for continued growth and development opportunities,” according to the audit. “Priority has been placed on the development of the North Industrial Park, the Edinburg International Airport, the Downtown District and the infrastructure projects for the City of Edinburg. Revenues in the General Fund are modestly estimated at $7,362,278. Budgeted expenditures are estimated at $7,362,278. If these estimates are realized, the Edinburg EDC’s budgetary General Fund balance is expected to decrease modestly by the close of the 2017 fiscal year.”
For the 12-month Fiscal Year 2015, at year’s end (September 30, 2016), General Fund Revenues were $6,528,976 and General Fund expenses were $5,173,595.
The Edinburg EDC’s total revenues for Fiscal Year 2015 were $7,787,984. Sales tax contributed $5,273,740 or 67.72 percent of total revenues Interested earned contributed $23,247 or .02 percent of total revenue. Miscellaneous revenue contributed $1,916,761 or 16.41 percent of total revenue.
Such an independent financial report, according to the Texas Municipal League, “provides a double check on the city’s financial status, a method for communicating with the citizenry, and a bona fide statement of the city’s financial condition, which will improve its ability to issue bonds.”
This financial report is designed to provide Edinburg citizens, taxpayers, customers, and investors and creditors with a general overview of the Edinburg EDC’s finances and to show the Edinburg EDC’s accountability for the money it receives. For questions about this report or requests for additional information subject to the Texas Public Information Act, any person may contact EEDC’s administration office at:
Edinburg Economic Development Corporation 101 N. 10th 10 Ave. Edinburg, Texas 78541.