Does Beaufort maintain reserves?

The City maintains reserves or fund balance to serve as a measure of the financial resources available in a governmental fund. It is essential that governments maintain adequate levels of fund balance to mitigate current and future risks, ensure stable tax rates, maintain favorable bond ratings, and not jeopardize the continuation of necessary public services, in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). City Council has set a minimum fund balance target of 25% of expenditures and recurring transfers, along with a 3% reserve for stabilization, bringing the total fund balance target to 28% of next year’s General Fund expenditure budget. This allows the City to have enough funds on hand to pay for over three months of expenditures in the event of an emergency.  

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1. What is a consolidated budget?
2. What is the time frame for the budget?
3. How are budgets approved?
4. What is the General Fund?
5. What are the other funds that are part of the consolidated budget?
6. From what sources does Beaufort derive its revenues?
7. Explain millage and how that works.
8. How does Beaufort pay for its big capital projects?
9. How does Beaufort decide to prioritize capital projects?
10. What kind of debt service does Beaufort maintain?
11. I heard that the City plans to seek revenue bonds to pay for projects at Southside Park and Washington Street Park. Will this increase my property taxes?
12. What is the City’s bond ratings and how does that impact borrowing rates?
13. Does Beaufort maintain reserves?
14. How does Beaufort decide if its salary structure is competitive?
15. How does Beaufort decide on annual raises?