Meeting Date: November 13, 2014
Agenda Item #11
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Note 1 – Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
The financial statements of the City of Livingston (the City) have been prepared in conformity with Accounting Principles Generally Accepted in the United States of America (GAAP) as applicable to governmental entities. The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) is the accepted standard setting body for establishing governmental accounting and financial reporting principles.
These financial statements present the government and its component units, entities for.which the City is considered to be financially accountable. Blended component units, although legally separate entities are, in substance, part of the government’s operations and data from these units are combined with data of the primary government. Each blended component unit has a June 30 fiscal year end. There are no discretely presented component units included in these financial statements. The following sections further describe the significant accounting policies of the City.
The City operates under a Council-Manager form of government. The City’s major operations include public safety; highways and streets; water, sewer, and refuse collection; parks and recreation; building inspection; public improvements; planning and zoning, and general administrative services.
Basis of Presentation – Fund Accounting
Government-Wide Financial Statements – The Government-Wide Financial Statements (the Statement of Net Position and the Statement of Activities and Changes in Net Position) report information of all of the nonfiduciary activities of the primary government and its component units. Eliminations have been made to minimize the double counting of internal activities. These statements distinguish between the governmental and business-type activities of the City. Governmental activities, which normally are supported by taxes and inter-governmental revenues, are reported separately from business-type activities, which rely significantly on fees charged to external parties.
The Statement of Activities and Changes in Net Position presents a comparison between direct expenses and program revenues for each segment of the business-type activities of the City and for each function of the City’s governmental activities. Direct expenses are those that are specifically associated with a program or :function and are clearly identifiable to a particular function. Program revenues include 1) charges paid by the recipients of goods or services offered by the programs and 2) grants and contributions that are restricted to meeting the operational or capital requirements of a particular program. Revenues that are not classified as program revenues, including all taxes, are presented as general revenues.
Net position is restricted when constraints placed on them are either externally imposed or are imposed by constitutional provisions or enabling legislation. Internally imposed designations of resources are not presented as restricted net position. When both restricted and unrestricted resources are available for use, generally, it is the City’s policy to use restricted resources first, then unrestricted resources as they are needed.
Note 1 – Summary of Significant Accounting Policies (Continued)
Governmental Fund Financial Statements – The Governmental Fund Financial Statements provide information about the City’s funds, including fiduciary funds and the blended component unit. Separate statements for each fund category – governmental, proprietary and fiduciary – are presented. The emphasis of fund financial statements is on major governmental and enterprise funds, each displayed in a separate column. All remaining governmental funds are separately aggregated and reported as non-major funds.
Proprietary fund operating revenues, such as charges for services, result from exchange transactions associated with the principal activity of the fund. Exchange transactions are those in which each party receives and gives up essentially equal values. Non-operating revenues, such as subsidies and investment earnings, result from non-exchange transactions or ancillary activities.
The City reports the following major governmental funds:
General Fund – The General Fund is the general operating fund of the City. It is used for all financial resources except those required legally, or by sound financial management to be accounted for in another fund. Generally, the General Fund is used to account for those traditional governmental services of the City, such as police and fire protection, planning and general administrative services.
Maintenance Districts Fund – The Maintenance Districts Fund is to account for maintenance assessments collected for operation and maintenance of special assessment districts within the City’s jurisdiction.
The City reports the following major enterprise funds:
Water Fund – The Water Fund accounts for the operation and maintenance of the City’s water treatment and water transmission and distribution systems.
Sanitation Fund -The Sanitation Fund accounts for the operation and maintenance of the City’s sanitation system.
Domestic Waste Water Fund – The Domestic Waste Water Fund accounts for the operation and maintenance of the City’s sewer system.
Industrial Waste Water Fund – The Industrial Waste Water Fund accounts for the operation and maintenance of the City’s industrial specific sewer system.
The City reports the following additional fund types:
Private-Purpose Trust Fund – The Private-Purpose Trust Fund accounts for assets held by the City as trustee for the Successor Agency.
Note 1 – Summary of Significant Accounting Policies (Continued) Basis of Accounting
The Government-Wide and Proprietary Fund Financial Statements are reported using the economic resources measurement focus and the accrual basis of accounting. Revenues are recorded when earned and expenses are recorded at the time liabilities are incurred, regardless of when the related cash flows take place. Nonexchange transactions, in which the City gives (or receives) value without directly receiving (or giving) equal value in exchange, include property and sales taxes, grants, entitlements and donations. On an accrual basis, revenue from property taxes is recognized in the fiscal year for which the taxes are levied. Revenues from sales tax are recognized when the underlying transactions take place. Revenues from grants, entitlements and donations are recognized in the fiscal year in which all eligible requirements have been satisfied.
Governmental Funds are reported using the current financial resources measurement focus and the modified accrual basis of accounting. Under this method, revenues are recognized when measurable and available. Property and sales taxes, interest, certain state and federal grants and charges for services are accrued when their receipt occurs within sixty days after the end of the accounting period so as to be both measurable and available. Expenditures are generally recorded when a liability is incurred, as under accrual accounting. However, debt service expenditures, as well as expenditures related to compensated absences, claims and judgments are recorded only when payment is due. General capital asset acquisitions are reported as expenditures in governmental funds. Proceeds of general long-term debt and capital leases are reported as other financing sources.
Proprietary Funds distinguish operating revenues and expenses from non-operating items. Operating revenues and expenses generally result from providing services and producing and delivering goods in connection with a Proprietary Fund’s principal ongoing operations. Revenues and expenses not meeting this definition are reported as non-operating.
Financial Statement Amounts
Cash and Cash Equivalents – Cash and cash equivalents represent the City’s cash bank accounts including, but not limited to, certificates of deposit, money market funds and cash management pools for reporting purposes in the Statement of Cash Flows. Additionally, investments with maturities of three months or less when purchased are included as cash equivalents in the Statement of Cash Flows.
The City maintains a cash and investment pool that is available for use by all funds. Interest earnings as a result of this pooling are distributed to the appropriate funds based on month end cash balances in each fund.
Investments of the pool include only those investments authorized by the California Government Code such as, United States Treasury securities, agencies guaranteed by the United States Government, registered state warrants, and other investments. Investments primarily consist of deposits in the State of California Local Agency Investment Fund. Investments are stated at cost or amortized cost.
Accounts Receivable – Billed, but unpaid, services provided to individuals or non-governmental entities are recorded as accounts receivable. The Proprietary Funds include a year end accrual for services through the end of the·fiscal year which have not yet been billed. Accounts receivable are reported net of an allowance for uncollectibles.
Merced County is responsible for the assessment, collection and apportionment of property taxes for all taxing jurisdictions. Property taxes are levied in equal installments on November 1 and February 1. They become delinquent on December 10 and April 10, respectively. The lien date is January 1 of each year. Property taxes are accounted for in the General Fund. Property tax revenues are recognized when they become measurable and available to finance current liabilities. The City considers property taxes as available if they are collected within 60 days after year end. Property tax on the unsecured roll are due on July 1 and become delinquent if unpaid on August 31. However, unsecured property taxes are not susceptible to year end accrual.
The City is permitted by Article XIIIA of the State of California Constitution (known as Proposition 13) to levy a maximum tax of $1.00 per $100 of full cash value.
Interfumd Receivables/Payables – Items classified as interfund receivable/payable represent short-term lending/borrowing transactions between funds. This classification also includes the current portion of an advance to or from another fund.
Advances To/From Other Funds – This classification represents non-current portions of any long-term lending/borrowing transactions between funds. This amount will be equally offset by a reserve of fund balance which indicates that it does not represent available financial resources and therefore, is not available for appropriation. The current portion of any interfund long-term loan (advance) is included as an interfund receivable/payable.
Capital Assets – Capital outlays are recorded as expenditures of the General, Special Revenue, and Capital Projects Funds and as assets in the Government-Wide Financial Statements to the extent the City’s capitalization threshold is met.
Capital assets, which include property, plant, equipment, and infrastructure assets (e.g., roads, bridges, sidewalks, and similar items), are reported in the applicable governmental or business-type activities column in the Government-Wide Financial Statements. Capital assets are defined by the government as assets with an initial individual cost of more than $5,000 and an estimated useful life in excess of one year. Such assets are recorded at historical cost or estimated historical cost if purchased or constructed. Donated capital assets are recorded at estimated fair market value at the date of donation.
The costs of normal maintenance and repairs that do not add to the value of the asset or materially extend assets lives are not capitalized. Betterments and major improvements which significantly increase values, change capacities or extend useful lives are capitalized. Upon sale or retirement of fixed assets, the cost and related accumulated depreciation are removed from the respective accounts and any resulting gain or loss is included in the results of operations.
Major outlays for capital assets and improvements are capitalized as projects are constructed. Interest incurred during the construction phase of capital assets of business-type activities are included as part of the capitalized value of the assets constructed.
Property, plant, and equipment of the primary government, as well as the component units, are depreciated using the straight line method over the following estimated useful lives: ( in) Years
Infrastructure 10 – 40
Buildings and structures 15 – 20
Improvement other than buildings 15
Machinery and equipment 5
Compensated Absences – Accumulated unpaid vacation benefits are accrued as a liability as the benefits are earned. The entire compensated absence liability is reported on the government-wide financial statements as long-term debt. For governmental funds, the current portion of unpaid compensated absences is recognized upon the occurrence of relevant events such as employee resignations and retirements that occur prior to year end that have not yet been paid with expendable available financial resources. These amounts are reported in the fund from which the employees who have accumulated leave are paid.
Sick leave is accumulated without limit for each employee at the rate of one day for each month worked. Leave with pay is provided when employees are absent for health reasons. In the event of termination, the employee is paid 50% of accrued sick leave. Therefore, 50% of accumulated sick leave is recognized as a liability in the City’s financial statements.
Deposits – Deposits principally consist of amounts collected from developers for services to be rendered by the City, including engineering, plan checks and inspections and planning review services. The City recognizes such amounts deposited as revenue when the services are performed and the corresponding expenditures are incurred.
Long-Term Obligations – In the Government-Wide Financial Statements and in the Proprietary Fund types in the fund financial statements, long-term debt and other long-term obligations are reported as liabilities in the applicable governmental activities, business-type activities, or Proprietary Fund Type Statement of Net Position. Debt principal payments of both government and business-type activities are reported as decreases in the balance of the liability on the Statement of Net Position. Bond premiums and discounts are deferred and amortized over the life of the bonds using the effective interest method. Bonds payable are reported net of the applicable bond premium or discount.
Note 1 – Summary of Significant Accounting Policies (Continued)
In the fund financial statements, however, debt principal payments of Governmental Funds are recognized as expenditures when paid. Governmental Fund types recognize bond premiums and discounts, as well as bond issuance costs, during the current period. The face amount of debt issued is reported as other financing sources. Premiums received on debt issuances are reported as other financing sources while discounts on debt issuances are reported as other financing uses. Issuance costs, whether or not withheld from the actual debt proceeds received, are reported as debt service expenditures.
Non-Current Governmental Assets/Liabilities – GASB Statement No. 34 eliminates the presentation of account groups, but provides for these records to be maintained and incorporates the information into the Governmental Activities column in the Government-Wide Statement of Net Position.
Net Position/Fund Equity – The government-wide and business-type activities financial statements utilize a net position presentation. Net position is categorized as net investment in capital assets, restricted and unrestricted.
• Net Investment in Capital Assets – This category groups all capital assets, including infrastructure,
. into one component of net position. Accumulated depreciation and the outstanding balances of debt that are attributable to the acquisition, construction or improvement of these assets reduce the balance in this category.
• Restricted Net Position – This category presents external restrictions on net position imposed by creditors, grantors, contributors, laws or regulations of other governments and restrictions imposed by law through constitutional provisions or enabling legislation.
• Unrestricted Net Position – This category represents net position of the City not restricted for any project or other purpose.
Fund Equity – In the fund financial statements, governmental fund balance is made up of the following components:
• Nonspendable fund balance typically includes inventories, prepaid items, long-term portion of loans receivable and other items that must be maintained intact pursuant to legal or contractual requirements, such as endowments.
• Restricted fund balance category includes amounts that can be spent only for specific purposes imposed by creditors, grantors, contributors, or laws or regulations of other governments or through enabling legislations.
• Committed fund balance classification includes amounts that can be used only for the specific purposes determined by a formal action of the City Council. The City Council has the authority to establish, modify, or rescind a fund balance commitment.
• Assigned fund balance are amounts designated by the City Council for specific purposes and do not meet the criteria to be classified as restricted or committed.
• Unassigned fund balance is the residual classification that includes all spendable amounts in the General Fund not contained in other classifications.
Note 1 – Summary of Significant Accounting Policies (Continued)
When expenditures are incurred for purposes for which both restricted and unrestricted (committed, assigned, or unassigned) fund balances are available, the City’s policy is to apply restricted first. When expenditures are incurred for purposes for which committed, assigned, or unassigned fund balances are available, the City’s policy is to apply committed fund balance first, then assigned fund balance, and finally unassigned fund balance.
Use of Estimates – The preparation of financial statements in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenditures/expenses during the reporting period. Actual results could differ from those estimates.
Implementation of New GASB Pronouncement – For the year ended June 30, 2014, the City implemented GASB Statement No. 65, Items Previously Reported as Assets and Liabilities. The objective of GASB 65 is to reclassify certain items that were previously reported as assets and liabilities as deferred outflows of resources or deferred inflows of resources or to recognize certain items that were previously reported as assets and liabilities as outflows of resources (expenses) or inflows of resources (revenues). Upon implementation, there was no effect on the City’s accounting or financial reporting.
New GASB Pronouncements Not Yet Adopted – In June 30, 2012, GASB issued Statement No. 68, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions-an Amendment of GASB Statement No. 27. The provisions of GASB Statement No. 68 are effective for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2015.
In January 2013, GASB issued Statement No. 69, Government Combinations and Disposals of Government Operations. The provisions of GASB Statement No. 69 are effective for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2015.
In April 2013, GASB issued Statement No. 70, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Nonexchange Financial Guarantees. The provisions of GASB Statement No. 70 are effective for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2015.