This represents an estimated nine percent of the current $725,000 budget.
Aragon Mayor Ken Suffridge called the lien an unexpected setback and stated that it will directly affect the financial operations of the city. Because of the lien, Suffridge has placed the purchase of all non-essential programs on hold, including the purchase of a new police car.
Some of the unpaid taxes date back to 2003, according to Suffridge, who took office in January 2012. He also explained that the City of Aragon has not had an official audit since 2007. “An annual audit would have raised a red flag to many of these issues,” he said. “I am looking forward to overcoming this financial crisis.”
When asked why the city has not conducted an official audit in five years, Suffridge said there were several reasons. “It’s been explained to me that the lack of an audit is because of a computer crash that took place in 2008. Records were lost because of that. We also had a water pipe break, and that destroyed a bunch of records,” Suffridge said. “It is extremely hard to catch up once you get behind.”
The city’s financial issue is further complicated by the loss of thousands of dollars due to uncollected city taxes and fees. Approximately 93 percent of the city’s tax revenue comes from residential property.
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