ADA - American with Disabilities Act
ADAPT- A benefit program that is a new state information system for food stamps.
Ad valorem tax - is a tax based on the assessed value of real estate or personal property.
Accomplishments - Any special projects a department has achieved and pertains to a department’s goals/objectives.
Accrual - Method of accounting that recognizes the financial effect of transactions when they occur, regardless of the timing of related cash flows.
Adopted Budget – The budget for financial operations approved by the Board of Supervisors and enacted via a budget appropriation ordinance. The Adopted Budget shows approved tax rates and estimates of revenues and expenditures. It also presents departmental goals and objectives.
Allocation - an amount or portion of a resource assigned to a department or fund.
Audit - an inspection, correction, and verification of accounts, conducted by an independent qualified accountant
Appropriation – A legal authorization granted by the Board of Supervisors to make expenditures and to incur obligations for specific purposes. The County Administrator is authorized to transfer budgeted amounts among departments within any Fund.
Appropriation Resolution - A legally binding document prepared by the Budget Office which delineates by fund and department all expenditures and revenues adopted by the Board of Supervisors.
Assessed Valuation – A valuation set upon real estate or other property by Stafford as a basis for levying taxes.
Asset – Resources owned or held by a government, which have monetary value.
Assigned Fund Balance – The portion of the net position of a governmental fund that represents resources set aside (“earmarked”) by the government for a particular purpose.
Authorized Positions – Employee positions, which are authorized in the adopted budget, to be filled during that fiscal year.
Balance Sheet – The financial statement disclosing the assets, liabilities and equity of an entity at a specified date in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles.
Balanced Budget - A budget that has its funding sources (revenues plus other resources) equal to its funding uses (expenditures plus other allocations). All local governments in Virginia must adopt a balanced budget as a requirement of State law.
Basis of Accounting – Timing of recognition for financial reporting purposes when the effects of transactions or events should be recognized in financial statements
Basis of Budgeting – Method used to determine when revenues and expenditures are recognized for budgetary purposes.
Board of Supervisors – The Governing and Legislative Body of the County.
Bond Rating - A grade given to bonds that indicates their credit quality. Private independent rating services such as Standard & Poor's, Moody's and Fitch provide these evaluations of a bond issuer's financial strength, or its ability to pay a bond's principal and interest in a timely fashion. (Also see Credit Rating)
Bonds – Interest-bearing certificates of public indebtedness used to finance Stafford’s new government buildings, schools and the utility system.
Budget – A specific plan which identifies the program of operations for the fiscal year, states the expenditures required to meet the program and identifies the revenues necessary to finance it. The annual County budget is established by the Board of Supervisors.
Budget Amendment – A revision on the adopted budget that, when approved by the Board of Supervisors, replaces the original provision.
Budget Calendar - The schedule of key dates which a government follows in the preparation and adoption of the budget.
Budget Message – The opening section of the Budget that provides the Board of Supervisors and the public with a general summary of the most important aspects of the budget, changes from the current and previous fiscal years, and the views and recommendations of the County Administrator.
Budgetary Basis – This refers to the basis of accounting used to estimate financing sources and uses in the budget. This generally takes on the three forms: GAAP, cash, or modified accrual. The County utilizes the modified accrual basis for all fund types except enterprise and fiduciary. Those funds use accrual accounting.
Budgetary Comparisons – Statements or schedules presenting comparisons between appropriated budgetary amounts (as amended) and actual results of operations on the budgetary basis.
CPSE - The Center for Public Safety Excellence, Inc. (CPSE) is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization that, for more than a decade, has helped local public safety agencies around the world streamline and improve the services they provide their communities.
Capital Asset – Property that has a useful life longer than one year, having a cost of $5,000 or more. Capital assets include land, infrastructure, buildings, building improvements, equipment, vehicles, and other tangible or intangible assets with useful lives longer than one year. Capital assets are also referred to as fixed assets.
Capital Expenditures – An outlay that results in or contributes to the acquisition of a capital asset.
Capital Improvement Fund – An Account for financial resources to be used for the acquisition or construction of major capital facilities.
Capital Improvements Program (CIP) – The annual updated plan or schedule of project expenditures for public facilities and infrastructure (buildings, roads, etc.), with estimated project costs, sources of funding and timing of work over a planning period. For financial planning and general management, the capital program is presented as a plan of work and proposed expenditures and is the basis for annual appropriation requests and bond issues.
Capital Lease – An agreement that conveys the right to use property, plant or equipment, usually for a stated period of time that meets one or more of the accounting criteria for lease capitalization.
Capital Project Reserve – Revenues which have been received and set aside to meet the County’s financial policy requirements, to provide cash flow for capital projects and to pay down high interest debt when advantageous.
Carry-Over Funds – Carry-over funds are the result of unspent appropriations in the prior year, new growth, the expansion of the tax base beyond what was projected and increased revenues over estimated amounts. They are brought forward from the preceding fiscal year to become the “beginning balance.”
Committed Fund Balance – The portion of the net position of a governmental fund that represents resources whose use is subject to legally binding constraint that is imposed by the government itself at its highest level of decision making authority and that remains legally binding unless removed in the same manner.
Component Unit – Legally separate organization that must be included in the financial reporting of the primary government
Constitutional Officers – Refers to the offices or agencies directed by elected officials, whose positions are established by the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia or its statutes. Elected officials include Clerk of Circuit Court, Commissioner of Revenue, Commonwealth’s Attorney, Sheriff and Treasurer. The Registrar is an appointed official of the County.
Contingency Reserve – Percentage of a surplus that serves as a reserve to cover unexpected or unforeseen expenditures.
Credit Ratings - A credit rating is the opinion of the rating agencies regarding the general creditworthiness of the government in question. The rating is a function of risk factors to which the government is subject. A rating in of itself does not imply any form of a recommendation by the rating agency. It is simply an objective evaluation of the government and its ability to meet the obligations of the security as well as its ability to repay the debt. The credit rating process involves a legal, quantitative, and qualitative analysis.
Current Assets – Cash or other assets that can reasonably be expected to be converted into cash, sold or consumed in operation within one year.
Current Liabilities – Obligations due and payable within one year.
Debt – An obligation to pay something to another.
Debt Set- off Program Accounts - In 1983, the General Assembly enacted legislation authorizing State Agencies to set-off the Virginia income tax refunds due individual taxpayers with past due accounts
Debt Service – The annual payment of principal and interest on indebtedness. Debt service is presented both in terms of specific debt allocations by category and fund and by sources of revenue used.
Department – The basis organizational unit of government which is functionally unique in its delivery of services.
Designated Fund Balance – Net financial resources of a governmental fund that are spendable or available for appropriation, but which have been earmarked by the chief executive officer or the legislative body for some specific purpose.
Distinguished Budget Award – A voluntary award program administered by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) to encourage governments to prepare effective budget documents.
Economic Resources Measurement Focus – Measurement where the aim of a set financial statements is to report all inflows, outflows, and balances affecting or reflecting an entity’s net position. The economic resources measurement focus is used for proprietary and trust funds, as well as for government-wide financial reporting. It also is used by business enterprises and non-profit organizations in the private sector.
Efficiency Measures – Reflect the relationship between work performed and the resources required performing it; often presented in unit costs.
Employee Benefits - Services and opportunities afforded employees because they work for Stafford County.
Encumbrance – A firm commitment to pay for future goods or services, formally documented with a contract or agreement that may extend over more than one budget year. Both encumbrances and planned expenditures on a project must fit within the budgeted appropriations.
Enterprise Funds – Enterprise funds are used to account for operations that are financed and operated in a self-funding manner similar to private business enterprises. The intent of the Board of Supervisors is that the costs (expenses, including depreciation) of providing goods and services to the general public on a continuing basis, be financed or recovered primarily through user charges. The Utilities Fund is an Enterprise Fund.
Expenditure – Most governmental entities incur a variety of non-capital expenditures, including personnel, fringe benefits, utilities and minor repairs and maintenance. These and other expenditures are recorded when they have used expendable financial resources during the accounting period of when they are subject to accrual. Expenditures should be accrued at the end of the year when they are expected to use expandable financial resources. Generally, this means that expenditures that will be paid within a short period after the year-end are subject to year-end accrual.
Expense – FASB Concept number six defines expenses as “outflows or other using up of assets or incurrences of liabilities during a period from delivering or producing goods, rendering services or carrying out other activities that constitute the entity’s ongoing major or central operations.”
Expenditure-driven grants – Government-mandated or voluntary non exchange transactions in which expenditure is the prime factor for determining eligibility. Also referred to as reimbursement grants
Federal Title IV-E Funding - This is a federal program designed to provide funding to states to ensure proper care for eligible children in foster care and to provide ongoing assistance to eligible children with special needs receiving adoption subsidies. The program is authorized under Title IV-E of the Social Security Act and it is funded by federal and state/local matching funds. Administration is handled by state and local public child welfare agencies.
Fiduciary Fund – See Trust and Agency Fund
Fiscal Year – Period of time used by the State and local government for budgeting and accounting purposes (fiscal year runs from July 1 through June 30, designated by the calendar year in which it ends). The Federal government’s fiscal year begins October 1 and ends September 30.
Fixed Assets – Assets of a long-term character that are intended to continue to be held or used. Examples of fixed assets include items such as buildings, vehicles, machinery, furniture and other equipment.
Fractile Compliance - A fractile measure refers to how often a particular objective or benchmark is achieved.
This is very appropriate in situations where there is a definitive “pass-fail” point, or in the case of emergency response, a time that is considered “fast enough” versus “not fast enough”. A fractile measure can be used to compare the number of responses that pass (fast enough) with the number of responses that fail (not fast enough).
Fund – A separate accounting unit, which has its own specific revenues and expenditures, assets and liabilities. Each fund in Stafford’s accounting structure has been established to segregate a particular set of fiscal activities. Separate funds, which have been established by Stafford, include the General Fund, which is the general
operating fund of Stafford and is used to account for the general government revenues and expenditures; the School Operating Fund, which details all revenues and expenditures of Stafford’s public school system; and the Utilities Enterprise Fund, which details the fiscal activities of Stafford’s water and wastewater system.
Fund Balance – The difference between fund assets and fund liabilities in a governmental or trust fund. A negative fund balance is sometimes called a deficit.
Fund Types – Seven categories into which all individual funds must be classified are as follows: General Operating Fund, Capital Project Fund, Enterprise Fund, Component Unit, Internal Service Fund, Special Revenue Fund, and Fiduciary Fund.
General Fund – This find is the primary location of all financial activity associated with the ordinary operations of Stafford County. Most taxes are accrued into this fund and transfers are made out of it to the School, Debt
Service and Capital Projects. It is used to account for all financial resources except those required to be accounted for in another fund.
General Obligation Bonds – Bonds, which are backed by the full faith and credit of the issuing government.
Goal – A long-range desirable development attained by completing staged objectives within an overall strategy.
Governmental Fund Types - Most of the County’s governmental functions are accounted for in Governmental
Funds. These funds measure changes in financial position, rather than net income.
Grant – A payment from one level of government to another or from a government to a private organization. Practically all Federal aid to state and local governments is in this form. Grants are usually made for specific purposes.
Incurred but not reported IBNR claims - In the context of risk financing, claims for insured events that have occurred but have not yet been reported to the governmental public entity risk pool, insurer or reinsurer as of the date of the financial statements. IBNR claims include: 1) known loss events that are expected to be presented later as claims, 2) Unknown loss events that are expected to be claims, and 3) expected future development of claims already reported.
Impact Fee – A fee charged to developers to cover, in whole or in part, the anticipated cost of improvements that will be necessary as a result of the development.
Infrastructure – The physical assets of a government (e.g., streets, water, sewer, public buildings and parks).
Interest – A charge for borrowed money, generally a percentage of the amount borrowed; excess above what is due.
Intergovernmental Revenue – Revenues from other governments, such as State and Federal government are in the form of grants, entitlements, shared revenue or payments in lieu of taxes.
Internal Services Fund – A proprietary fund type that may be used to report any activity that provides goods or services to other funds or departments, agencies of a primary government and its component units, or to other governments, on a cost-reimbursement basis
Lease-Purchase Agreements – Contractual agreements that are termed leases, but that in substance are purchase contracts.
Liability – A legal financial obligation.
Licenses/Permits – Documents issued in order to regulate various kinds of businesses and other activity within the community. A degree of inspection may accompany the issuing of a license or permit, as in the case of building permits. In most instances, a fee is charged in conjunction with the issuance of a license or permit, generally to cover all or part of the cost of administration.
Long-Term Debt – Debt with a maturity of more than one year after the date of issuance.
LOSAP - Length of Service Award Program - LOSAP programs are pension-like programs intended to help recruit and retain volunteer firefighters and volunteer ambulance
Master Lease Debt - Master lease financing is a source of capital financing to acquire equipment, vehicles, and technology that have useful lives ranging from three to ten years. Master lease debt is very flexible, allowing the County to finance projects with minimal transaction costs and on as an “as needed” basis.)
Mission Statement – A written description declaring the purpose of an organizational unit (department or agency) and its function (what the department or agency does).
Modified Accrual – Under the modified accrual basis of accounting, revenues are recognized when measurable and available as current assets. Expenditures are generally recognized when the related services or goods are received and the liability is incurred. All County governmental and fiduciary funds use the modified accrual basis of accounting.
Net Tax Support – The amount of local taxes required to finance a particular program or set of programs. The net tax support is determined by subtracting all State and Federal aid, fees and charges from the total cost of the program or set of programs.
Non spendable Fund Balance – The portion of the net position of a governmental fund that cannot be spent either because of the underlying resources are not in spendable form or because the government is legally or contractually required to maintain that resource intact.
OPEB - Post-employment benefits that an employee will begin to receive at the start of retirement such as life insurance premiums, healthcare premiums and deferred-compensation arrangements. This does not include pension benefits paid to the retired employee. The county provides only healthcare insurance benefits to retirees.
OASIS – A service program for foster care and adoptions.
Objective – Something to be accomplished in specific, well-defined and measurable terms and is achievable within a specific time frame.
Operating Expenses – Includes the cost of contractual services, supplies, materials and equipment.
Operating Revenues – County revenues which have been received and set aside to finance current operating expenses.
Outcome Indicator – A unit of measure describing the quantifying events, results or impacts of government agencies/departments.
Output Indicator – A unit of work accomplished, without reference to the resources required to do work
Pay-As-We-Go – Refers to this particular method of financing capital projects. Pay-as-we-go capital projects are financed 100% by revenues received during the fiscal year.
Performance Measures – Represents the statistical inputs, outputs or outcomes of County operating programs. Generally, performance measures are included on each program description page in the County budget.
Personal Property (PP) – A category of property, other than real estate, so identified for purposes of taxation. It includes personally owned items, corporate property and business equipment. Examples include automobiles, motorcycles, trailers, boats, airplanes, business furnishings and manufacturing equipment. Goods held by manufacturers, wholesalers or retailers (inventory) are not included.
Principle – A comprehensive and fundamental law, doctrine or assumption; a rule or code of conduct.
Privatization – Using the private sector to meet community needs in the most cost-effective manner.
Private Purpose Trust Fund – Fiduciary fund type used to report all trust arrangements, other than those properly reported in p pension trust funds or investment trust funds, under which principal and income benefit individuals, private organizations, other governments.
Proprietary Fund - This fund may be used to account for any activity for which a fee is charged to external users for goods or services. This includes funds that focus on determination of operating income, changes in net position (or cost recovery), financial position and cash flows. There are two types of proprietary funds; enterprise funds and internal service funds.
Proffer – Funds negotiated at the time of rezoning to help defray the capital costs associated with resultant development.
Property Tax – Property taxes are levied on both real and personal property according to the property’s valuation and the tax rate.
Pro Rata Fees – Fees paid by developers and subdividers representing their proportional shares of the cost of public improvements necessitated by their development activities.
R-Board – Rappahannock Regional Solid Waste Management Board, which was formed in 1987 for the purpose of operating and maintaining the regional landfill for the use and benefit of the citizens of Stafford and the City of Fredericksburg.
Real Property – Real estate, including land and improvements, classified for purposes of tax assessment.
Reserve – An account used either to set aside budgeted revenues that are not required for expenditure in the current budget year or to earmark revenues for a specific future purpose.
Reserved Fund Balance¬ – For governmental funds and expendable trust funds, the portion of fund balance that is not available for appropriation because it is either legally restricted (e.g., encumbrances) or not spendable (e.g., long-term receivables).
Restricted Fund Balance – The portion of net assets of a governmental fund that represents resources subject to externally enforceable constraints.
Revenue – Revenue is an increase in assets or financial resources, which does not increase a liability, does not represent a repayment of an expenditure already made, does not represent a cancellation of certain liabilities and does not represent an increase in contributed capital.
Revenue Bonds – Bonds that are issued with the repayment based on pledged revenues from a revenue-generating facility.
Revenue Stabilization Reserve (RSR) - The purpose of this fund is to provide a mechanism for maintaining a balanced budget without resorting to tax increases and expenditure reductions that aggravate the stresses imposed by the cyclical nature of the economy. The Revenue Stabilization Fund will not be used as a method of addressing the demand for new or expanded services; it is solely to be used as a financial tool in the event of a significant economic downturn.
Risk Management – An organized, economical attempt to protect a government’s assets against accidental loss.
Self-Insurance Pool - A cash reserve used to provide stable and cost-effective loss funding on a self-insured
basis rather than using a private insurance company.
Service Quality Levels – A descriptive section in the budget narratives, detailing past performance and changes in the quality and quantity of services provided by each department.
Smart Scale - Requires projects to be scored based on how they ease congestion, improve economic development, provide accessibility to jobs, improve safety and environmental quality, and support transportation-efficient land use.
Special Revenue Funds – Special revenue funds are used to account for proceeds of specific revenue sources that are legally restricted to expenditures for specified purposes. Special Revenue Funds consist of the Transportation Fund and the School Funds. An example of a special revenue fund is the Transportation Fund.
Strategic Plans – A practical, action-oriented guide based on an examination of internal and external factors that directs goal-setting and resource allocation to achieve meaningful results over time. The agency strategic plan establishes the future direction of and reflects the strategic or critical issues facing the whole organization.
Tax Base – The total market value of real property (land, buildings and related improvements), public service, corporation property and personal property (cars, boats, business tangible equipment) in Stafford.
Tax Trigger - A tax trigger is an event that causes a tax to "occur". (additional source of revenue)
Transfer – The movement of money from the General Fund to other funds or money within the General Fund.
Trust and Agency Fund - Trust and Agency Funds are used to account for assets held by a governmental unit acting as a trustee or agent for individuals, organizations, other governmental units, or other funds of the same government."
Unassigned Fund Balance – The difference between total fund balance in a governmental and its non-spendable, restricted, committed and assigned components.
Unreserved Fund Balance – In a governmental or expendable trust fund, the balance of net financial resources that are spendable or available for appropriation. In a non-expendable or pension trust fund, the portion of fund balance that is not legally restricted.
User Fees – These are charges for certain county services used by the public. Examples include: fees for the use of swimming pools and fees charged for classes (i.e., gymnastics instruction and school cafeteria charges).
Vision – A statement of an organizations strategic plan for the future.