The Finance Department is responsible for insuring the financial integrity of the City operations & collection of taxes
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About Rockland Finance Department
By Charter and Code, the Finance Director is appointed by the City Manager. The Finance Director’s duties include managing the City’s finances; working with the City Manager in developing an annual budget for the Council’s consideration; staying well informed of all laws and regulations governing municipal finance; and overseeing the management of the City’s finances. The Finance Department also includes the Tax Collector position. The Tax Collector is responsible for all aspects associated with the collection of the City’s property taxes, to include land and buildings, as well as personal property taxes – each year.
Finance Department Additional Information & Statistics
The Finance Department has two primary functions: finance/accounting and tax collection.
By Charter and Code, the Finance Director is appointed by the City Manager. The Finance Director’s duties include managing the City’s finances; working with the City Manager in developing an annual budget for the Council’s consideration; staying well informed of all laws and regulations governing municipal finance; and overseeing the management of the City’s finances.
The Finance Department also includes the Tax Collector position. The Tax Collector is responsible for all aspects associated with the collection of the City’s property taxes, to include land and buildings, as well as personal property taxes – each year.
The duties and tasks provided by the city’s Finance Department are key in helping the city manage its funds, maintain a good understanding of the city’s debt, provide budget support to the city manager and department heads, and overall sound fiscal management of the city’s assets. The Finance Department is responsible for tax collection, registration of vehicles, and record retention. In addition, the staff processes invoices for payment from all departments, maintains lists of capital assets, provides payroll services, manages investments as well as cash assets, and is responsible for the overall financial well-being of the city. A well run Finance Department is key to the success of the municipality’s multi-million-dollar business. Each year the Finance Department is responsible for the management of the city budget of more than $12 million, as well as collecting and paying the schools and county (an additional $9 million), and for managing a multitude of grants, with more than $31.5 million processed in FY 15.
- Updated Chart of Accounts – The Chart of Accounts was disorganized and needed some improvements. The Chart of Accounts that will be used in the FY 17 budget year will include the categories of Personnel Services, Employees Benefits, Contractual Items, Supplies, Debt, and Capital Outlay.
- Updated Budget Format for FY 17 – The format used for the FY 17 budget has been updated. The format used is in compliance with the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) recommendations for what should be contained in an annual budget. The budget will be further updated to include items of interest to the city manager, which might not be a requirement as established by the GFOA, but it will contain information valuable to the public. The budget format will also include information pertaining to long-term capital goals, in place of a more formal Capital Improvement Plan.
- Updated MUNIS to include Motor Vehicle and Animal Licenses – An effective accounting system must include all aspects of the accounting operations in its computerized accounting system. This includes the clerk’s office in the computerization of the motor vehicle and animal licensing areas.
- Audit, Reserves & Investments – The FY 15 audit has been completed. This audit was difficult in that the majority of management was not present during any portion of the year that was audited. One of the biggest issues facing the city is the updating of the Bar Harbor Trust Investment (BHTS) account. The BHTS account contains more than $3.5 million in invested funds; but many of these funds are in small denominations and should not be held in long-term investments. A plan is underway to take the “reserve” funds and put them into a savings account that will yield a better than average interest rate while maintaining “restricted” funds in the BHTS investment account. The ebbs and flows of the stock market are not beneficial to the short term reserve funds; but, over time the restricted investments should do well.
- Closing of Key Bank Accounts – Each month in the finance office two bank statements are received from Key Bank. One account contained more than $333,000 and the other account contained just over $37,000. On the advice of the auditors these two accounts were closed. The repayment of these funds will improve the city’s cash flow throughout the year.
- Bond Application – The Finance Department prepared and submitted to the Maine Municipal Bond Bank (MMBB) a bond application for $1.6 million for the Old County Road project. These are complicated applications and take a great deal of administration effort.
- Debt – Prior to applying for the MMBB bond the city updated all bond indebtedness; previously there was nothing in the computer files indicating the exact nature of outstanding debt, including amortization tables. Amortization tables and a debt workbook containing all outstanding debt has been created. Any new debt will get added to the workbook; and conversely any retired debt will be removed from the workbook.
- Banking Relationship –Went out to bid for banking services and was able to arrange a better than average interest on funds held in the bank and was also able to get all bank fees waived. The result of which shall include increased earnings on all funds held by the bank as well as savings for not having to pay bank fees.
- Verizon/Cellular Plan – The Finance Department met with representatives of Verizon and reviewed the cell phone plan available to local governments. It made sense to switch from U. S. Cellular to Verizon, saving the city money each month.
- Get the front office trained in MUNIS motor vehicle and animal licensing
- Update Investment Accounts
- Propose New Investment Policy; Long-term and Short-term Investments
- Finalize bond application and Wellness Grant
- Work with city manager on infrastructure improvement plan.
City of Rockland Tax Information
|Tax Year||July 1st to June 30th|
|Assessment Date||April 1st|
|Tax Rate||$23.08/$1000 of assessed valuation|
|Due Dates||9/28/18 & 3/8/2019|
|Appeals Deadline||185 days from Commitment Date|
Contact the Finance Department & Tax Collector
You can contact the Finance Department or Tax Collector using the details below or by completing the online form.
Office hours: Monday — Friday, 8:00am – 4:30pm (Closed public holidays)