City Of Hamilton Audited Financial Statements

July 15, 2016

The Corporation of Hamilton announced that their 2015 Financial Statements have been posted on their website and that “revenue has exceeded expenditures by $529,808 for the year ended December 31, 2015.

The City said, “Total revenues have increased from 2014 to 2015 by $1 million, in part due to increased revenue from goods and ships wharfage. In April 2011 all wharfage revenues were taken away from the Municipalities with the 2010 amendments to the Municipalities Act.

“Wharfage was returned back to the Corporation in April 2014, so 2015 is the first full year that the Corporation has received that revenue stream. 2015 wharfage revenues have also exceeded budgeted expectations.

“The increase in wharfage revenue was partially offset by a significant decline in car park revenue as a result of the Chief Justice’s ruling in November 2014 that removed the Corporation’s ability to clamp vehicles. Car park revenue is down $903 thousand, from $4.3 million in 2014 to $3.4 million in 2015, and continues to decline in 2016.

“Total expense categories have remained fairly close to budget and prior year amounts which reflects the Corporation’s commitment to control expenses and maintain a balanced budget. One notable exception has been the expenses related to the $18 million Mexico Infrastructure Finance LLC [“MIF”] guarantee which were not anticipated in 2014.

“Regarding the Due to MIF balance, in December 2015, the House of Assembly passed an amendment to the Municipalities Act, permitting the Corporation to increase their debt limit from $20 to $30 million, thereby allowing for the possibility of a loan to be obtained to cover the $18 million plus interest due to MIF.

“The Corporation is currently in negotiations to acquire a bank loan. The terms and conditions of the proposed loan were approved by Parliament in March 2016 in accordance with Section 20 [1] of the Municipalities Act. The Corporation continues to pursue the loan and other financial and legal options with its Counsel and the Bermuda Government.

“On June 14, 2016, the Corporation submitted an application to the courts to overturn the summary judgement of $18 million made in May 2015 by the Chief Justice on the basis that the transaction with MIF was outside the remit of the Corporation.

“There were also two prior period adjustments which resulted in the 2014 previously reported financial statements being restated. The first was to recognize a pension surplus from forfeited contributions of $585 thousand.

“The second was to recognize a contingent accrual for a portion of the Hamilton Fire Station’s operations of $631 thousand. The Corporation continues to pursue a resolution to the issue of rent revenue related to the Hamilton Fire Station.”

City of Hamilton Mayor Charles Gosling said, “I am pleased that the financial results for the Corporation have been presented to the Minister on time without requiring an extension. It is clear Bermuda has begun its slow recovery out of the recession, evidenced by the increase in wharfage revenues. That alone should give some cheer to the entire community.

“Our challenge on taking office has not disappeared. The Council is committed to resolve the repayment of the $18 million guarantee entered into by the previous administration and ensuring our staff’s employment is not directly threatened by the legal issues surrounding that particular issue.

“While we have been able to increase our borrowing capacity by 50% we continue to be gravely challenged with our ability to repay any new debt out of income. We have yet to recover the parking revenue lost by the amendments to the Municipalities Act in 2013 and a court case which arose from those changes.

“Unless we succeed in curing this trend, the hemorrhaging of lost parking fees through the lack of meaningful enforcement will continue and we will ultimately have to go to the rate payer to make up the loss. That in my mind is unacceptable but we are being limited in our choice of realistic revenue streams as our choices in this matter are ultimately being determined by others.

“The Corporation continuously seeks ways to manage and reduce operating costs, but as they say ‘the devil lies in the details’- or in our case lies, mockingly unclamped across several parking bays.”

“Please visit cityofhamilton.bm to obtain the Corporation of Hamilton’s Audited Financial Statements.”

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  1. Guy Smiley says:

    Idiots and thieves. You throw away money.
    - Whole hill done in pavers over by Arnold’s Warehouse. For WHAT?! Please don’t say traction.
    - Laffan St. round about. How long can that possibly take?!
    - Black mayors conf scheme
    - NO follow through on parking tickets. You don’t have to pay them!!!

    And you want to charge more to the hand that feeds you? Go charge/increase Chamber of Comm or someone for closing off Front St. for Harbour Nights. Make parking more expensive. Make the buses pay to use the terminal. Do street parties and charge vendors. Run a lean, mean team. Don’t be silly with your spending and “upgrades!”

    When there is some recovery in the economy and things look brighter, businesses and landowners take a hit. CoH and gov, you guys are a treat. Rentals are down, land tax and CoH tax don’t change, “every 5 yrs” we are told. 5yrs rolls around, “we can’t do with less money so rate goes up but amt stays the same” (and actually CoH went up marginally). Payroll tax goes up. HELLO – if businesses are recovering they now might have a bit more room to finally hire that 1 extra person. Don’t take the slight uptick by taking about the retail rate relief. Let us hire just one more. Let that 1 more now have an income and spend some money in stores. Let that be a chain reaction. You’ll have more in payroll tax from all the extra people employed. (Just ranting I know that doesn’t have to do with CoH)

    So the businesses and landlords have to pay more money because you can’t manage your accounts/make smart decisions? What do we pay taxes for? Daily garbage collection and street cleaning? Christmas lights? What else?

  2. innna says:

    a 1000 comments on the dumb article about cars and reports of the financials of our city gets nothing… this is why this island full of coconuts is destined to fail