The 2019 audit report for the city of Nixa is good enough that the independent auditor wants to use the report as an example for others.
Marshall Decker of Springfield-based Decker and DeGood presented his findings to the Nixa City Council on the Zoom teleconferencing platform May 11. Decker told the council that he had approached Nixa Finance Director Donna Swatzell about turning Nixa’s 2019 audit into a firsthand example for other firms auditing other cities.
“I was going to submit Nixa’s statements. It may or may not be published in the auditing guides, so that’s a pretty neat thing to happen,” Decker said.
Decker shared that Nixa received a clean audit opinion, and that the city government has applicable cash flows. Headed into a tumultuous 2020 that included a drop in sales tax revenue in March and April, Decker said that Nixa was poised to weather whatever COVID-19 could storm.
“A lot of towns are kind of questioning with this coronavirus, what’s going to happen? Well, Nixa is in really fine shape to pull through this next year. In light of a decrease in sales tax, you still have plenty of money to operate and pay bills,” Decker said.
The audit found that Nixa holds a total of $133,876,400 in assets. About 70.78 percent of that is in capital assets such as land, buildings, machinery, vehicles and other infrastructure.
Nixa had $33.5 million in total expenses in 2019. Nixa’s debt dropped from $6.6 million to $5.3 million in outstanding notes from 2018 to 2019.
The city’s 2020 budget shows about $45.2 million in expenditures offset by $38.7 million in revenue. The expenditures include about $9 million in capital improvement projects, which include some intergovernmental partnerships with the Missouri Department of Transportation and Christian County for road construction.
The audit found that Nixa experienced gains in sales tax revenue in 2019.
“General and transportation sales and taxes for 2019 rose 4.8 percent over the previous year. With the passage of use tax in 2018, the city saw its first full year of use tax revenue in 2019, with collections of $414,994. The budget for 2020 reflects a 2.6 percent increase in sales and use taxes,” the report reads.
Decker and DeGood also audited the Nixa Department of Public Works, which includes Nixa Utilities. He said that the financials for Nixa’s electric, water and wastewater systems all show, “excellent balances. Your rock solid financial position looks good.”