The Town of Smithfield is in good financial shape, according to an audit report presented to the Smithfield Town Council.
The findings are from Petway Mills & Pearson PA of Zebulon, the firm hired by the Town for the 2014-15 fiscal year.
Smithfield Finance Director Greg Siler said the town ended the fiscal year with $12.87 million of revenue in the General Fund, up $202,361 or about 1.5 percent from 2013-14. The primary source of revenue for the Town was property taxes (48%) followed by sales taxes (26%) and sanitation pickup (10%).
The 2015 property values for all land, homes and businesses in Smithfield was $1.07 billion. Siler said the 57 cents property tax rate has been unchanged for nearly 10 years. The tax collection rate last year was 99.7%, which is higher than the state average. Johnston County collects the property taxes for the Town of Smithfield.
The primary expenses for the Town are Public Safety, which includes police and fire protection (39.7%), followed by Parks & Recreation (14.4%), and Transportation (12.0%).
The Town is required by the state to maintain a minimum of 8 percent of funds in reserves in case of an emergency. In 2011, the Town has zero percent held in reserves. At the end of the 2014-15 fiscal year on June 30, 2015 the town had a 48% unassigned fund balance.
The Electric Fund generated $19.8 million in revenue last year, $1,111,441 more than expected. A major expenditure next year will be the purchase of a second transformer for the Brogden Substation, which is anticipated to cost $1.4 million.
Siler said the only area of concern was in the Water and Sewer Fund. Due to aging underground sewer lines, water seeps into the lines each time it rains creating a higher cost from Johnston County for wastewater treatment.
The Town of Smithfield spent $6.74 million last year in the Water and Sewer Department, while only generating $5.47 million in revenues, resulting in a loss of about $1.2 million. Siler blamed the loss on water infiltration issues.