Longboat Key has a permanent population of approximately 6,990 residents, but it is also a popular seasonal destination for visitors and part-time residents from both the United States and abroad. During the winter months, when the climate in Florida is mild, the population on Longboat Key can increase to approximately 18,000 to 24,000. However, the majority of the seasonal residents are only on the island for a few weeks to a few months, at most. Close proximity to the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport and the Tampa International Airport provides convenient access to part-time residents and out-of-state visitors. Longboat Key has no industrial development and limited commercial uses. The median age for the island’s residents is 71.2, with a median household income of $87,201.
The Town’s permanent population increased steadily in the latter part of the 20th century, with near build-out being achieved by 2000. Much of the Town’s development activity oriented toward the redevelopment of older developments into newer modern structures and developments. The Town has a long and distinguished history of planning foresight that contributes to the unique character and distinct feeling of being in special place when arriving in the Town from either north or south directions.
The Town has continued to fare well in terms of property values, coming out of the national recession following a dramatic increase in property values up through 2008. Property Appraiser assessments, which lag in time, reflect that, beginning in 2014, assessed values have steadily increased since that time back to 2009 levels.
Relevant Financial Policies
Management’s goals for long-term financial planning include stabilizing tax rates while maintaining adequate General Fund reserves to sustain a complete economic cycle and providing for contingency and emergency/ disaster relief reserves. The Town’s General Fund reserve policy calls for an unassigned General Fund balance of not less than two months or 16% of General Fund operating expenditures (including transfers out and contingency line items but excluding capital outlay), and the combined unrestricted available fund balance should not be less than three months or 25%. The unrestricted General Fund balance has steadily increased since 2013, and has grown to 54% of total General Fund expenditures for 2018.
In developing and evaluating the Town’s accounting system, consideration is given to the adequacy of internal accounting controls. Internal accounting controls are designed to provide reasonable, but not absolute, assurance regarding: (1) the safeguarding of assets against loss from unauthorized use or disposition; and (2) the reliability of financial records for preparing financial statements and maintaining accountability for assets. The concept of reasonable assurance recognizes that: (1) the cost of a control should not exceed the benefits likely to be derived; and (2) the evaluation of costs and benefits requires estimates and judgments by management. All internal control evaluations occur within the above framework. We believe that the Town’s internal accounting controls adequately safeguard assets and provide reasonable assurance of proper recording of financial transactions.
Chapter 218.39 of the Florida Statutes, requires an independent certified public accountant's financial audit of the municipalities in the State. The requirement is met within 6 months following the year end close. The opinion of the auditors has been included in the report titled Comprehensive Annual Financial Report available upon request. In addition to meeting the requirement set forth in the State Statutes, when applicable the audits are designed to meet the requirements of the federal Single Audit Act of 1984 and related OMB Circular A-128. The auditors' reports on the general purpose financial statements and combining and individual fund statements and schedules are included in the financial section of the report.
Governmental accounting and auditing principles requires that management provide a narrative introduction, overview and analysis to accompany the basic financial statements in the form of Management’s Discussion and Analysis (MD&A)
The Government Finance Officers Association and Canada (GFOA) awarded a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting to the Town of Longboat Key, Florida for its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2017. This was the 37th consecutive year that the government has achieved this prestigious award. In order to be awarded a Certificate of Achievement, a government must publish an easily readable and efficiently organized comprehensive annual financial report. This report must satisfy both generally accepted accounting principles and applicable legal requirements.
The preparation of our Comprehensive Annual Financial Report on a timely basis could not have been accomplished without the efficient and dedicated services of the entire staff of the Finance Department. We take this opportunity to express appreciation to the entire staff for their tireless attention to detail which makes compiling this report all the easier. The staff of Maudlin & Jenkins, LLC is appreciated for their comments and advice.
Also, our thanks to members of the Town Commission for their support in planning and guiding the financial affairs of the Town in a responsible and progressive manner.