FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Forvis (formerly BKD) conducted an assessment of the City’s Construction and Level Property Tax Plan Bond April 28-Aug. 12 and presented the report at City Council’s Oct. 12 Finance & Administration Committee meeting.
The purpose of the audit was to assess the use of bond proceeds approved by voters for capital improvement projects and assess construction projects for contract compliance. The scope considered all construction projects funded by the 2017 bond issued under the Level Property Tax Program.
The Level Property Tax Program generates approximately $8.5 million a year and is used primarily to fund projects via issuance of debt, with bonds issued and paid off over multiple years. Voters renewed referendums to maintain the tax in 1995, 1999, 2001, 2004 and 2017. In 2017, citizens voted to allow Level Property Tax revenues to be used for general purposes, including the construction, acquisition, maintenance, improvement and upgrade of municipal facilities or municipal property, and the staffing or provision of equipment for municipal facilities.
There are two more planned bond issues, with the next scheduled for early 2023. The tax continues to be 27 cents for $100 of assessed value. Projects funded by the most recent renewal include new and upgraded fire stations and staffing, repairs and upgrades to police facilities, stormwater and other infrastructure improvements.
Observations & Recommendations
Forvis noted two observations and issued recommendations for each. An observation is defined as “an opportunity to enhance compliance with PCI requirements and may be considered a best practice. An observation may also be an item that we noted should be brought to management’s attention that does not specifically relate to a Self-Assessment Questionnaires (SAQ) question.”
The structure of construction contracts are in favor of the contractors. Forvis’ recommendation is for the City to clearly define what documentation should be provided by the third party to support billings leading up to the not-to-exceed cap.
Infrequent Citizens Tax Oversight Committee communications. Forvis’ recommendation is for the City to consider emailing a summary of tax activity to committee members to keep them informed of current activity and allow them to develop questions for the next committee meeting.
All City of Springfield audits and data sets are available at springfieldmo.gov/opendata.
For more information, please contact Cora Scott at 417-380-3352.