Resource Management Administration

Glossary Of Terms

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AD VALOREM RATE "Property taxes" levied on the assessed value of real property. A primary source of revenue for the County.
Rate obtained by dividing the sum of all ad valorem taxes levied by the governing body (Board of Commissioners for county government) by the taxable value of the County. Expresses an average tax rate.
ASSESSED VALUE Valuation set on real estate or personal property by the Property Appraiser as a basis for levying taxes.
BALANCED BUDGET A budget in which revenues and expenditures are equal.
BOND Written promise to pay a specified sum of money, called principal or face value at a specified future date, called the maturity date, along with periodic interest paid at a specified percentage of the principal (interest rate). Bonds are typically used for long-term debt to pay for specific capital expenditures.
BUDGET Comprehensive financial operating plan that allocates limited revenues among competing expenditure requirements for a given time period. The budget, once adopted, is the legal authorization to expend County funds during the fiscal year. It may be amended during the fiscal year by the governing body and/or management in accordance with procedures, rules and regulations. Seminole County uses the following terms:
Proposed Budget: County Manager’s recommendation to the Board of County Commissioners.
Approved Tentative Budget: Board’s modification to the Manager’s recommendation (basis for the first public hearing).
Final Budget: Board’s modification at the first public hearing (basis for the second public hearing).
Adopted Budget: Board-approved budget adopted by resolution at the second, and final, public hearing.

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CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS PROGRAMS (CIP) Multi-year program for planning and financing public facilities improvements. The program is developed from departmental requests and is based on studies of financial resources available and consistency of proposed improvements with adopted Comprehensive Plan policies. The first year of the CIP will be adopted as an integral part of the annual budget. It includes land acquisitions, building improvements, transportation improvements, improvements to other public facilities, and equipment over $25,000.
CONTINGENCY Appropriation of funds set aside to cover unforeseen events that occur during the fiscal year, such as new federal mandates, shortfalls in revenue and unanticipated expenditures.
COUNTY BUDGET OFFICER Each Board of County Commissioners, pursuant of Florida Statutes 129.025, may designate a budget officer to carry out budget duties as set forth in Florida Statutes 129. The Seminole County Board of County Commissioners appointed the County Manager as budget officer on March 31, 1979.
DEBT SERVICE Payment of principal and interest obligations resulting from issuance of bonds or bridge financing.
FISCAL YEAR The twelve-month financial period used by the County, which begins October 1 and ends September 30 of the following year. A fiscal year is identified by the year in which it ends. For example, October 1, 1998, to September 30, 1999, would be identified as fiscal year 1999.
FRANCHISE FEES User fees charged by the County for use of public rights-of-way by utility companies. The fee is typically a percentage of gross revenues of the utility company.
FUND BALANCE Also called cash carry forward. It is the excess of fund assets over its liabilities. For accounting purposes fund balance is calculated as of year-end and is based on the difference between actual revenues and expenditures for the fiscal year. If revenues exceed expenditures, fund balance is positive and carries forward as revenue to the following year. If expenditures exceed revenues, any existing fund balance from a prior year is reduced. A study of changes in fund balances can indicate financial trends and fiscal health. Extreme quantities of fund balances or large fluctuations may indicate possible policy adjustments by the governing body or changes in budget procedures.

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GENERALLY ACCEPTED ACCOUNTING PRINCIPLES (GAAP) Uniform minimum standard of and guidelines for financial accounting and reporting. They govern the form and content of an entity’s basic financial statements. GAAP encompasses the conventions, rules and procedures necessary to define accepted accounting practices at a particular time.
GENERAL FUND A fund containing revenues, such as property taxes, designated by law for a special purpose and providing general benefit to taxpayers. Some functions that are part of the General Fund include Constitutional Officers, Courts, and Library and Leisure Services.
HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION Deduction from the total taxable assessed value of owner-occupied property. The current maximum exemption is $25,000. Exemptions must be requested by taxpayers.
LEVY To impose taxes, special assessments, or service charges for the support of County activities.
LOCAL OPTION SALES TAX An infrastructure surtax to be levied by local governments as approved by referendum at a rate of ? cent or 1 cent. Tax may be effective for up to fifteen years from the date of levy. Proceeds must be expended on fixed capital expenditures or fixed capital costs for construction, reconstruction, or improvement of public facilities that have a life expectancy of five or more years and land acquisition, land improvement, and related design and engineering costs.
MILLAGE RATE Rate on real property based on $1 per $1,000 of assessed property value.
MUNICIPAL SERVICES BENEFITS UNIT - MSBU A special assessment district authorized by Florida Statutes 125.01 to provide for improvements and/or services to a specifically defined area of the county and financed by a special assessment on only those properties receiving benefits of those improvements or services.
MUNICIPAL SERVICES TAXING UNIT - MSTU A taxing district authorized by State Constitution Article VII and Florida Statute 125.01. The MSTU is a legal and financial mechanism for providing specific services and/or improvements to a defined geographical area. An MSTU may levy ad valorem taxes to provide funds for the improvements.

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PROPERTY TAX Taxes derived from all non-exempt real and personal property located within the county. Property taxes are computed on the basis of multiplying the millage rate by the value of real or personal property divided by one thousand.