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Budget to actual summaries should help counties identify fiscal impacts

For Immediate Release
May 20, 2020

Contact: Donald McFarland
Phone: 651-236-0494

Saint Paul, MN – “2020 is a tough year to plan a local government budget. The county budgets in our report, which were adopted in November and December of 2019, provide a snapshot of financial priorities before the COVID-19 pandemic took hold,” said Auditor Blaha. “As we approach the half way point of their fiscal year, it’s a good time for local officials to compare these goals to actual revenue and expenditures to make adjustments. Based on our conversations with local officials, we expect significant changes to the budgets you see in this report.”

Earlier today, State Auditor Julie Blaha released the annual Minnesota County Budgets Report: 2020 Summary Budget Data Together with 2019 Revised Summary Budget Data. This publication presents 2019 (revised) and 2020 budget data for Minnesota counties. The data reflects unaudited budgeted revenues and expenditures reported by counties to the Office of the State Auditor (OSA) as required by Minn. Stat. § 6.745, subd. 2.

The data in this report is best used as a tool to help review budgeting decisions for the years 2019 and 2020. The budget represents a plan, reported by the county, for the coming year. Rarely do actual revenues and expenditures match the amount budgeted. In addition, the data reported does not represent all county revenues and expenditures.

Counties report budget data only for funds for which an annual budget is adopted. Counties with funds where annual budgets are not adopted would have more revenues and expenditures than reported here. Also, the revenues and expenses of county public service enterprises are not included. The inclusion of enterprise funds would significantly alter the revenue and expenditure trends of counties. Because of the limitations of budget data, as it is a plan, the OSA recommends using the financial information provided in our publication, Minnesota County Finances, which are the actual audited revenues and expenditures.

To view the complete scope of the report go to: https://www.auditor.state.mn.us/default.aspx?page=20200520.000

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The Office of the State Auditor is the constitutional office that oversees nearly $40 billion in local government finances for Minnesota taxpayers. The Office of the State Auditor helps to ensure financial integrity and accountability in local government financial activities. Julie Blaha is Minnesota’s 19th State Auditor. Follow us on Twitter @MNStateAuditor.

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