Auditor Galloway finds increased accountability for special taxing districts in City of Harrisonville progress report

Implemented findings result in efficiencies, improved oversight of city finances

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo (December 4, 2018) State Auditor Nicole Galloway today released a follow-up report of audit findings in the City of Harrisonville, located in Cass County. The review provided a progress report on the implementation of recommendations resulting from a 2017 citizen-requested audit, which found the city was overextended on taxing district projects and was not adequately tracking city finances.

"Last year, I stood before the citizens in Harrisonville and described a city that overcommitted to special taxing district projects, leaving taxpayers on the hook for private projects," Auditor Galloway said. "I commend the work the city has done so far to correct the problems of the past and more effectively manage taxpayer dollars in the future."

The 2017 audit found financial management issues and lack of accountability in redevelopment and revitalization projects that depend on revenue from both Transportation Development Districts (TDDs) and Tax Increment Financing Districts (TIFs). Since May 2017, no new incentives have been approved, and the city is in the process of developing better procedures to account for remaining debt on existing projects. The city has filled vacant positions on the TIF Commission, held public meetings and filed annual reports as required by law. 

The review also found that the city is no longer using restricted utility funds to pay for road improvements on a separate TDD project, and repaid money previously loaned from the utility account, with interest.

The city has also updated its purchasing policy to ensure bids are solicited appropriately, change orders are properly approved and purchase orders are maintained for all goods and services.    

Of the 17 findings reviewed in the progress report, eleven were implemented. Five findings were partially implemented or in progress and one was not implemented.  A copy of the full report is available online here.  

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