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Audit: Metro's finances mostly healthy

Metro is mostly in good financial condition, according to an audit of the last 10 years of the regional government's finances released Wednesday.

“Although some of Metro’s services have been affected by the economy,” Metro Auditor Suzanne Flynn said, “Metro’s finances remain strong.”

The audit released by the Office of the Metro Auditor found the government's revenues have grown faster than its expenditures. Several of the areas where expenditures grew fast were the result of voter-approved bond measures.

“Liquidity has declined, but Metro is well above the desired standard,” Flynn said.

The audit includes the following highlights:

• Metro receives revenues from a variety of sources. Total revenues increased 22% in the last 10 years, but some revenues were still affected by the economic downturn.

• Total expenditure increased 16%.

• As the result of two bond measures, Metro increased its spending on assets by purchasing natural areas and making improvements at the Oregon Zoo.

• Most debt is covered by an increase in property taxes approved by voters for natural areas and the Oregon Zoo.

• Most indicators that measure financial health were positive. Decreases in liquidity and depreciable capital assets signal areas to watch.

The audit was based on a ten-year period from FY 2003-04 to FY 2012-13. its purpose was to review long-term trends in the areas of revenues, expenditures, debt, assets and liquidity, and to provide the Metro Council and citizens with an independent assessment of financial health. Measures were based on Metro’s annual financial report, data from financial accounting systems and outside published sources of demographic and economic data.

The audit is available on the Metro website at www.oregonmetro.gov/auditor.

Copies of the audit can also be obtained by calling the Office of the Metro Auditor at 503-797-1892.