Determine whether the Board of Commissioners (Board) effectively managed the Fishers Fire District’s (District’s) financial condition.
The Board did not effectively manage the District’s financial condition and did not adopt realistic budgets from 2018 through 2021.
- The Board gave taxpayers the impression the District needed to increase real property taxes and override the 2018 and 2020 tax caps to close projected budget gaps. As a result, more real property taxes were levied than needed to fund operations.
- As of December 31, 2020, the unassigned fund balance increased to $1.8 million, which is sufficient to pay 43 percent of the District’s 2020 expenditures.
- The Board also did not adhere to its fund balance policy or adopt budgeting or reserve policies or multiyear financial and capital plans. Adhering to the adopted fund balance policy and adopting and adhering to these policies and plans would increase transparency.
- Adopt realistic budgets with reasonable estimates of revenues, appropriations and fund balance.
- Establish budgeting and reserve policies and develop multiyear financial and capital plans.
Officials partially agreed with our findings and recommendations and indicated they planned to initiate corrective action. Appendix B includes our comment on issues raised in the District’s response.