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Posted on: October 18, 2021

City earns 3 top financial recognitions

GFOA Certificate 2021

The Government Finance Officers Association awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting to the Clarksville Finance & Revenue Department on Oct. 14, for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2020.

The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management.  This award marks the seventh consecutive year the City has received the notable achievement.

“The sequential accolade from GFOA is a testament to the excellent management skills of our City’s financial team,” Mayor Joe Pitts said. “Laurie Matta, the City’s chief financial officer, and her excellent staff continuously go above and beyond to prepare comprehensive financial reports that denote the spirit of transparency and full disclosure.  The department’s dedication and diligence have been instrumental in ensuring that we continue to be a trusted steward of the City’s resources, and I would like to  thank them for that.”

In similar news, on Sept. 24, Moody’s Investors Service released the City of Clarksville’s annual credit factor results for fiscal years 2016 through 2020, reaffirming the Aa2 long-term debt rating on the City’s general obligation bonds.  The results from the agency reflected an impressive growth between fiscal 2019 and 2020, with a tax base increase of 15.6%, despite the challenges presented at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Our reaffirmed Aa2 rating shows that our City is well-managed and has strong strategic leaders who know how to move our City forward,” said Pitts. “Our finance department’s vigilance in seeking efficiencies and cost reduction measures, with the support of our department heads, has been instrumental in making Clarksville the best place to live in Tennessee and the best community it can be.”

For the citizens of Clarksville, a long-standing, robust credit rating and an accelerated tax base growth signify that the City’s economy and tax base are exceptionally strong and will continue to benefit from the ongoing development projects, population growth, retail trade, accommodation and food services, and health services.

According to Matta, a city’s financial health is often measured by its fund balance reserves and bond ratings. These key measurements affect everything from the City’s ability to continue as an entity to its ability to borrow funds for large projects and the interest rates paid when debt is incurred.

“Our current high grade bond credit ratings from Moody’s, S&P, and Fitch are Aa2 and AA, putting Clarksville in the top 12% of cities when it comes time to issue debt,” said Matta. “This saves our taxpayers money and allows the City to do more with its funding resources.  However, to maintain and continue to maximize these ratings, we need to continue to adhere to our adopted fund balance policy and debt management policy.”

Following Moody’s release,  the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury presented the City with a certificate of recognition on Sept. 27 for its timely adoption of a balanced budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2021. This is the second consecutive recognition the City of Clarksville has received from the state comptroller, acknowledging the City’s commitment to operating with a sound financial plan.

For more information on the GFOA Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting and the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury Certificate, visit https://www.gfoa.org/coa-award and https://comptroller.tn.gov/office-functions/lgf/budgets/annual-certificates.html.

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