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Appendix III: Definitions of Funds

The General Fund (sometimes called the "Current Fund") is a jurisdiction's main operating fund. This fund accounts for resources devoted to the general purpose and general services of the jurisdiction. These include general administration, general services, supporting services, and general operation and maintenance of facilities. The general fund usually accounts for all financial resources except those required to be accounted for in another fund.

Generally, local unions are most interested in the general fund, because it is out of that fund that most services are offered and salaries are paid. However, you need to be aware of the existence of other types of funds and their purposes. There will be times that an analysis should include these funds, especially when bargaining unit members are employed outside of the general fund, or when reserves or balance in other fund may be used to fund union demands.

Special Revenue Funds are used to account for the proceeds of specific revenue sources that are legally restricted to expenditures for specific purposes.

Capital Projects Funds account for financial resources to be used for the acquisition or construction of major capital facilities (land, buildings, or major equipment).

Debt Service Funds account for the payment of interest and principal on long-term debt.

Special Assessment Funds account for special assessments levied to finance public improvements or services deemed to benefit the properties against which the assessments are levied.

Enterprise Funds account for operations that are financed and operated in a manner similar to private business enterprises, where the costs of providing goods are financed in the form of user charges. Examples are water, gas, and electric utilities, swimming pools, airports, parking garages, and transit systems.

Internal Service Funds account for the provision of services to other funds, departments of the same unit, or other governmental units on a cost-reimbursement basis. Examples are funds used to account for printing, computer services, and vehicle maintenance.

Trust and Agency Funds or Fiduciary Funds accounts for assets held in trust or agency by the governmental unit for an individual, private organization, or other governmental unit. The jurisdiction does not have absolute title to the assets to which their use is restricted.