Fund balances are the same as a savings account that provides a way townships can collect taxes this year to be spent next year. They are accounting devices which need not be explained too closely and that’s their purpose. An accounting system can easily identify, classify and explain expenses. A list of the expense categories is supposed to do that. Calling taxes collected in advance by their correct and true name would get people upset so governments invent ways to avoid calling a savings account a savings account. Instead, one tactic is to call it a Fund Balance.
The so called Fund Balances are accounting terms of art but the taxes are supposed to be spent in the year they are collected with some exceptions. The problem for taxpayers is the people interpreting the exceptions.
Northampton is not out of money and the need for the mumbo-jumbo of fund balances is to create a crisis for more tax increases that are not necessary, even for 2014. The 2014 budget shows $30 million coming in and $28.6 million going out. There is more money on hand at the end of 2014 then at the beginning. Find it in the Fund Balances.