State auditor report examines special tax districtsState Auditor Rebecca Otto recently released the Special Districts Finance Report, a comprehensive report on Minnesota’s special districts revenues, expenditures and debt for fiscal year 2009.
By: Staff Report, Alexandria Echo Press
State Auditor Rebecca Otto recently released the Special Districts Finance Report, a comprehensive report on Minnesota’s special districts revenues, expenditures and debt for
fiscal year 2009.
Special districts are local government units created or authorized by
state law to address issues that transcend traditional local government
boundaries. Special districts perform specific duties or provide
specific services in a limited scope. Some may levy taxes and/or
special assessments. Some examples of special districts services
include watershed management, soil and water conservation, sanitation,
and regional development. Some of the larger special districts in
Minnesota include the Metropolitan Council, and the Minnesota Ballpark
Highlights from the report include:
-- Special districts reported total governmental fund revenues of $1.15
billion in 2009. The primary sources of revenues for special district
governmental funds in 2009 were taxes (28 percent), state grants (22
percent), all other revenues (14 percent), local grants (14 percent) and
federal grants (12 percent).
-- Special districts reported total governmental expenditures of $1.17
billion in 2009. Of this amount, $756.8 million were current
expenditures, $346.1 million were capital expenditures, and $67.0
million were debt service payments.
-- In 2009, special district enterprise operations reported operating
revenues of $1.96 billion, operating expenditures of $2.28 billion, and
operating losses of $315.2 million (operating revenues minus operating
expenses). In addition, special district enterprises had non-operating
revenues of $595.6 million, non-operating expenses of $257.1 million,
and a net profit of $23.3 million. Non operating revenues include
sources such as taxes, intergovernmental grants, and interest income.
-- Special districts reported $5.49 billion in outstanding long-term
debt (bonds and other long-term debt) in 2009. Three special districts
accounted for $3.90 billion, or 71.1 percent, of the total outstanding
long-term debt of special districts. The three special districts are the
Metropolitan Airports Commission; the Metropolitan Council; and the
Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency.
To view the complete Report, which includes an Executive Summary,
graphs and tables, go to: