Is Nebraska’s local financial management lacking?
The State of Nebraska prides itself on good fiscal management. However, the same cannot be said for local entities.
The City of York announced mid-last year that “the city’s current financial status is in dire straits and more than $1 million will have to be cut from the budget and the city property tax levy will have to be more than doubled”.
North Platte’s Iron Eagle golf course has been operating in the red since its opening in June 1994. According to a news story from this past year, the cumulative deficit is $2.94 million and average annual net operating loss of $212,629.
Friend, Nebraska wasted funds on suspicious expenditures amounting to tens of thousands of dollars this year.
And now we have learned that the Nebraska State Fair have fired 8 full-time employees due to the organization’s financial problems. The State Fair Board approved a budget at a Nov. 22nd meeting where members learned the 2019 fair lost a projected $1.4 million.
All these stories are focused around the same principle – financial management is not being properly executed at the local level. I know our locally elected officials are doing the best they can, but sometimes they need more tools to help them do their job. It’s hard in the rural parts of Western Nebraska to find a qualified auditor or financial manager. Many other states leverage their state auditor or treasurer’s office for this assistance. Maybe it’s time the State of Nebraska look at investing in more auditors for local entities in order to avoid some of these stories in the future.