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Lee Clerk’s financial reports win national awards

By Staff | Feb 10, 2024

The Lee County Clerk was honored with its 38th consecutive award from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) for excellence in financial reporting. The Annual Comprehensive Financial Report was awarded a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence, which is the highest form of recognition in government accounting and fiscal reporting and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management.

The 200+ page financial document is produced by the Clerk’s office after each fiscal year and details Lee County government’s revenue and spending. It contains financial information, including statements of net assets, the balances of county funds and debt information.

The GFOA Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting was established in 1945 to encourage state and local governments to increase financial transparency. The reports are judged by accountants and financial experts throughout the country.

In addition to the Annual Comprehensive Financial Report, the Lee Clerk’s Popular Annual Financial Report, titled The Sand Dollar, also earned a national recognition from GFOA. The Sand Dollar was honored with its second award for Outstanding Achievement in Popular Annual Financial Reporting. The Sand Dollar is Lee County’s annual report detailing key economic factors impacting county residents. In the 20-page report, readers can learn how their tax dollars were collected, managed and spent.

“I am very proud of our team of highly-skilled finance professionals who produces these reports each year to ensure citizens understand how their taxes are collected, managed and spent,” said Clerk Kevin Karnes. “These award-winning reports are examples of how our office ensures transparency of county taxpayer dollars.”

Aside from serving as the Clerk of the Circuit Court, Clerk Karnes is also the Comptroller for Lee County, which means he is the county auditor, county recorder, and custodian of all county funds. Through the Comptroller function of his role, Clerk Karnes is responsible for managing and investing nearly $2 billion of Lee County’s tax dollars annually. His office also audits and pays more than $1 billion in county bills and collects an average of $50 million dollars in tourist tax annually.

For more information about county finances and to view financial reports available from the Clerk’s office, visit leeclerk.org/finances.

About the Clerk’s Office

The Florida Constitution established the Clerk of the Circuit Court as a public trustee, responsible for safeguarding public records and public funds. Clerk Kevin Karnes is directly elected by and accountable to Lee County residents. In addition to the role of Clerk of the Circuit Court, the Clerk is the County Recorder and Clerk of the Board of County Commissioners, and the Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer and Auditor for Lee County.