Hudson -- The "fiscal physical" of local governments' financial books released by Republican state Auditor Dave Yost will have little effect on Hudson's budget, according to Hudson Communications Manager Jody Roberts.

The Ohio Auditor of State has developed Fiscal Health Indicators as a tool to gather financial information, percentages and ratios of Hudson's annual financial statements to measure financial stability, according to Roberts.

The report for Hudson indicates there is one critical outlook and three cautionary outlooks by identifying large percentage drops. The other 13 indicators were positive in areas of net assets, available reserves in the general fund, property tax revenue, income tax revenues, total general fund revenues, reliance on intergovernmental revenue, depreciable capital assets and daily expenses.

The negative outlooks included critical outlook indicator 4, change in general fund unassigned fund balances, and three cautionary outlooks for indicator 2, unassigned fund balance of the general fund, indicator 9, general revenues of GTA/net expenses of GTA, and indicator 12, debt service expenditures/total revenues.

"These outlooks are a result of a strategic investment in Hudson's future, as well as investments to address aging infrastructure needs," Roberts said.

The goal of the financial health indicators is to help county and city governments anticipate areas of potential fiscal difficulty before it's too late address them.

"Hudson has been, and continues to be, financially stable and in excellent financial health," Roberts said. "We continue to maintain an AAA credit rating, the highest rating available."

Traditionally, the city of Hudson has maintained a carryover fund balance of more than 40 percent, higher than many communities in Ohio, Roberts said.

"The state's report scores were anticipated because we are strategically investing some of our carryover balance in major initiatives that will generate a return on investment for our citizens, such as high-speed fiber broadband and Downtown Phase II," Roberts said.

In addition, the city of Hudson has increased its investment in major capital and infrastructure improvements, primarily roads and stormwater, she said.

"After these major investments, the city's current carryover balance is 35.6 percent, an appropriately conservative carryover balance," Roberts said.

The state report also noted Hudson's debt compared to total revenue due.

"The negative rating was due in part to our accelerated repayment of debt for road improvements and the repayment of voted bond levies," Roberts said.

With the recent elimination of the estate tax, reduction in local government funding, and low interest earnings, the city lost more than $2 million or 10 percent of it General Fund annual revenue, Roberts said.

"Despite these significant cuts in funding, the city has been able to maintain excellent credit and keep a healthy carryover fund balance through prudent fiscal management and strong cost control measures," she said.

The full results are available through the auditor's website, online at www.OhioAuditor.gov.

Email: lfreeman@

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