City of Petersburg finishes year with $7.2 million surplus

City of Petersburg finishes year with $7.2 million surplus
Residents can chime in on Henrico's $1.3 billion plan. (Source: File photo)

PETERSBURG, VA (WWBT) - The City of Petersburg finished fiscal year 2017 with a $7.2 million surplus, according to the financial report released on Wednesday.

This comes after the city's $7.7 million deficit in fiscal year 2016.

According to the report, this is the first time since 2008 the city ended the fiscal year with the revenues outweighing the expenditures. The city entered fiscal year 2018 with a deficit of $143,933.

Auditors gave the city a "clean audit," which means they were able to validate the numbers in the financial report. Last year, the city was given a "qualified audit," which means the auditors suggest the information they received was "limited in scope."

This year's result comes just a few months after sources said alarming findings were found in the 115-page forensic audit into the Petersburg treasurer's office.

An audit into the treasurer's office revealed missing documentation for credit card transactions and a need for checks and balances on how the office issues refunds. In some cases, auditors said there was no documentation at all.

As a result, city lawmakers urged the treasurer, Kevin Brown, to resign. In October, Brown's wife said she will run to replace him, but she lost the election.

A forensic audit says Brown admitted to stealing more than $2,300 from the city's petty cash fund.

Also, a tax collector position was created to work in tandem with the treasurer.

Back in June, he denied stealing money. However, in September, Brown admitted to stealing more than $2,300 from the city's petty cash fund. Auditors said Brown also waived tax penalties, interest fees, and sometimes even the principal on customer's tax payments, leading them to believe tens of thousands of dollars may have been misappropriated.

"At the end of fiscal year 2017, the city had a positive net position of $1.3 million," the report said. Last year, the city's Public Utility Fund had a negative net position of $1.4 million. There is a $2.7 million difference between the two fiscal years.

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