State Auditor Scott Fitzpatrick said Chariton County, in northern Missouri, has failed to craft accurate budgets, leading to an $8 million cash reserve that could be used to lower property taxes for county residents.
His audit said the county has no documented plans for its use of the money. The county said its courthouse is in need of repairs and the surplus can be used to pay for the improvements of $4.2 to $4.9 million.
Also highlighted in the report are concerns that the County Commission approved mid-term salary increases for the sheriff, which Fitzpatrick said violates the Constitution. The county blames the Missouri Legislature for passing “contradictory legislation” and the State Auditor’s Office providing guidance to counties “two years too late.”
Another finding included a failure by the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office to assess or collect the statutorily-required fees from defendants who owe court-ordered restitution. The county said it agrees with the findings and has been working on fixing this.
To view the audit details, click here.