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RubinBrown Releases 2017 State of Tennessee Public Sector Statistical Analysis

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Many cities in the State of Tennessee have very healthy financial positions and have experienced positive results of operations.
December 14, 2018

RubinBrown is pleased to present its twelfth annual survey of municipal statistical and financial information. This year, 33 Tennessee municipalities participated in the survey. The average population of the cities included in the state was 53,000; the median change in net position for this region was 8.2%.

This analysis has been created in order to provide a comprehensive report of key government-wide and governmental-fund financial statistics for the regions the firm serves so that city governments may compare how they are doing relative to other municipal governments in their region.

RubinBrown’s trend analysis is limited for Tennessee municipalities as it is only the third year of surveying cities in the region. However, most of the financial ratios show many cities have very healthy financial positions and have experienced positive results of operations.

For instance, the median change in net position has averaged a healthy 8.2% over the past three years. This is much higher than results in other regions surveyed. The median liquidity ratio however is much lower than the other regions surveyed and was even below 1.0 for 2015 and 2016. Being below 1.0 means many governments have more current liabilities than liquid assets and may find it difficult to continue to pay off current liabilities as they become due. The median rose to 1.19 in 2017, which is a positive improvement from the prior two years.

Median tax revenue per capita for Tennessee municipalities has averaged $823 over the past three years. Growth in tax revenues was comparable to growth in 2017 expenses, causing continued increases in net position.

The median ratio for general fund unrestricted fund balance as a percent of expenditures rose significantly in 2016 from 35.7% in 2015 to 46.8% in 2016, with a slight decrease in 2017. This is above average and exceeds the GFOA recommendation of 20%. The 2016 and 2017 ratio reflects an unrestricted fund balance equivalent to over five months of operating expenditures in the general fund.

RubinBrown encourages each finance officer to share the results of this analysis with the city's chief executive officer and governing body to help key officials understand how their city compares to that of their peers.

RubinBrown’s Public Sector Services Group provides services to a broad spectrum of government organizations, including city and county governments, institutions of higher education, local public school districts, state governments and political districts such as public libraries, municipal utility districts and fire districts.

Founded in 1952, RubinBrown’s team members establish best practices within specific industry segments and work to serve the community both inside and outside the workplace. RubinBrown’s mission is to help clients build and protect value, while at all times honoring the responsibility to serve the public interest.

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