For a decade, the council has done just fine building its reserves to an acceptable level of about 25 percent of the total budget, or
Now, there is a push to increase the fund by passing an ordinance demanding it, even if that were to require a tax increase or cuts to county department budgets. At first, it was suggested the reserve should be a whopping 42 percent of annual budget. Now, the council's
We have seen no warnings from credit-rating agencies saying the county has a problem with its reserve level. Credit agencies consider the level of reserve funds when assigning their credit ratings, which in turn can affect interest rates when the county borrows money, as it does when it sells bonds.
An alarm was sounded 10 years ago, when the county's reserve dipped under
The county responded appropriately. Without any help from the proposed new policy, the county increased its reserve by
That is a credit to the county staff and
Remember that the first public discussions of the new policy included the argument that the county needed extra money on hand to attract more businesses.
It appears, then, that
At some point, a reserve fund becomes a slush fund.
We're not anxious to see potential tax hikes going for an oversized reserve fund that serves as a slush fund.
An unusual push is on for an increased reserve fund, but the reason for it has yet to be made clear.
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