The Glacier County Commissioners unanimously approved over $5.6 million in budget amendments for FY 2018-19. Of the 12 amendments approved, the largest was for more than $5.1 million. According to Resolution 2019-30, the amendment was needed “to fund a needed unanticipated transfer” to cover negative fund balances in several county funds.
The resolution states “unanticipated expenditures in the amount of $5,187,002 created a liability in the fund…” Glacier County officials used the PILT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) Fund to cover negative balances in the following:
•Public Safety (law
•Glacier Park Lights
•Glacier County Transit
•Accelerated Tax Fund
Fund (Cut Bank Trails
These transfers resulted in the PILT fund having a year-end balance of -$5,187,002 as of, June 30, 2019.
State law 7-6-4006(4) allows the Commissioners to amend its budget during the fiscal year with public hearings. These budget amendments, however, were approved in the 2019-20 fiscal year.
The Commissioners’ action results in the PILT Fund showing a very large negative cash balance, at year-end. Under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), negative fund balances are not allowed at the close of the fiscal year.
GAAP is the generally accepted standards for governmental accounting in Montana (MCA 7-6-609).
The Commissioners’ action came at a public hearing on Jan. 21.
Members of the public were not allowed to ask questions about the more than $5.6 million in budget amendments during the hearing. They were informed by Commission Chairman Michael DesRosier they would be allowed to offer comments after the Commissioners acted on all 12 resolutions.