The city of Sugar Land has released its annual Comprehensive Financial Report for the 2021-22 fiscal year and has passed an independent financial audit.

Released every year, the report documents how Sugar Land allocated, spent and invested its money, and includes an independent financial audit from Houston firm Weaver LLC.

The report was presented at the Feb. 20 City Council meeting and is available online via the city’s agendas.

During the meeting, Deputy Finance Director Glenda Aragon said the city’s accountants set “an exemplary standard for all others to follow,” and Sarah Roberts, partner at Weaver and Tidwell, described working with the city as a relationship with the “utmost professionalism.”

The audit was conducted under the standards of the Government Auditing Standards set out by the Comptroller General of the United States as well as “generally accepted auditing standards,” or GAAS.

Weaver and Tidwell found Sugar Land’s records to be clean, and the city declared its intent to submit an application for the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada. If selected, it would be the 39th year in a row that Sugar Land will have won the certification.

In addition to the city of Sugar Land, Tax Reinvestment Zones 1, 3 and 4, as well as the Sugar Land 4B corporation, were all included as discrete united, meaning that they are also analyzed as part of the report.

The report

According to the report, Sugar Land has maintained a AAA rating for debt and general bonds, as well as a AA rating for revenue bonds for the independent audit of the 2022 fiscal year.

Bond ratings are based on the likelihood that the giver will pay the interest on a particular bond. Higher ratings reflect stronger investments, with AAA being the highest rating for bonds rated by Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings. Ratings of AA+ and AA are also strong and sit higher than AA- and A+. Moody’s follows the same incremental grading structure but calls its bonds by Aaa, Aa1, Aa2, etc.

City Manager Mike Goodrum notes the rise in both federal interest rates and current price index during 2022, pointing out that inflation currently sits at 6.5% as of December. This rise in both inflation and federal interest rates mean that the city intends to focus on “conservative, resilient and responsible” stewardship efforts. Specifically, the city has “discounted” or lowered its expectations for sales tax revenue to the 2023 projected year.