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State Auditor Joshua Gallion today released an audit of Stark County that found that in the Stark County general fund and seven special revenue funds there were cash reserve balances totaling $33.6 million. According to state law, the maximum amount allowed in those funds is $10.3 million — which leaves a $23.3 million excess.

State law only allows up to 75% of the appropriation of each fund to be held in cash reserves. The balance in the individual funds were substantially higher than 75%. The general fund was 257% over the allowable amount, while categories in the special revenue fund range in amounts up to 3,578% over the amount allowed by law.

"While paying taxes is necessary for continuity of government provided services, over-taxation of citizens is unacceptable. This is money that belongs to the citizens of Stark County," said Auditor Gallion. "These funds come from areas such as property taxes. Having balances that are dramatically over the amount allowed by law is concerning." 

The audit also found improper bidding and a lack of bidding of road equipment. State law requires procurement for equipment purchased or rented over $100,000 in order to secure the best value and product. The road machinery purchased by Stark County appeared to be in direct violation of state law and the bidding procedures set for the benefit of citizens in North Dakota.

There were four additional areas of improvement that were identified during the audit.  The complete audit report can be found on our website, http://bit.ly/StarkCounty20.

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