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Audit says county in 'strong' financial shape
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Bryan County is in a "strong financial stance," according to Richard Deal of Thigpin, Lanier, Westerfield & Deal.

During a briefing of the county’s financial situation, Deal gave a positive update while highlighting some financial aspects from the 2006 Independent Auditors Report for Bryan County at the county commissioners meeting on July 10.

County revenues increased in 2006, with 40 percent coming from property taxes and 30 percent coming from sales tax.

Deal explained that the sales tax increase was a huge jump, and represents a lot of growth in the county.

"With everybody passing through, anyone who stops by in the county is contributing to the local sales tax money," said Philip Jones, County Administrator.

According to Deal, the county saw a large increase in expenses, "mostly judicial and public works—such as the road projects." Compared to 2005, government expenditures decreased, which Deal noted as unusual.

With the county being in relatively good financial standing, Deal pointed out there is a large reserve of funds – necessary in the event of a natural disaster.

"Two-thousand-six was basically a good year," Jones said. "The county added additional assets and increased its net worth, and continues to retain a reserve of funds sufficient to sustain us through any kind of natural disaster."

The county’s current standing is proof of "good stewardship of all the constitutional officers and community heads," said Jones.

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