Columbia County's books are pristine, according to the results of an annual audit.
Bonnie Cox, a certified public accountant with Cherry, Bekaert and Holland, told members of the county's Management and Financial Services Committee on Tuesday that the audit did not show any areas of concern.
"It is as good as it gets," she said. "Everything is OK."
She praised county staffers, especially those in the finance department.
"We received excellent cooperation from people in the county," she said.
Meanwhile, officials are looking at "adding teeth" to local hotel-motel tax collection rules in hopes of adding more money to county coffers.
Management Services Director Todd Glover said the changes include the addition of late fees and penalties for fraudulent tax reports.
"It's like pulling out teeth sometimes," he said of collecting the hotel-motel fees from some local hotels. "We just need some teeth to help bring the money in."
The changes would impose a 1 percent monthly fee for late payments and a 50 percent fee on fraudulent reports, Glover said.
He said the 1 percent late fee is somewhat of a standard throughout the state. It also adds some equity to the process - making it fair to hotels that promptly pay their fees to allow others to be late without penalty, he said.
Commissioner Diane Ford said she hoped public discussion of the changes would catch the attention of delinquent hotel owners.
"We're serious about this and we'd like then to take it serious," she said.
The hotel-motel tax changes will go before the county commission for final approval Tuesday night. At the same meeting, Cox is also scheduled to present the results of the audit.
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